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    Blocked Milk Ducts

    Blocked Milk Ducts

    Milk ducts in the breast may become blocked during breast-feeding when the breasts are full and not emptied regularly or thoroughly. Blocked milk ducts cause a lump that is sometimes tender and can become infected (mastitis).

    Blocked milk ducts may be treated by:

    • Breast-feeding more often and in different positions, which helps drain milk from all parts of the breast.
    • Breast-feeding from the affected breast first, to move milk through the breast faster.
    • Applying moist heat to the area just before breast-feeding and hand-expressing or pumping a small amount of milk.
    • Massaging the area, always working toward the nipple, to increase the flow of milk before and during breast-feeding.

    Last Revised: April 12, 2013

    Author: Healthwise Staff

    Medical Review: Sarah Marshall, MD - Family Medicine & Kirtly Jones, MD - Obstetrics and Gynecology

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