Treatments for blocked milk ducts can include:
- Making sure the affected breast is fully emptied regularly (every few hours). You may need to feed from this breast first for the next couple of feeds. You may also need to express more milk after the feed, if you feel the breast is still too full. If your baby is not feeding very frequently, you may need to express in place of the feed. If your breast is too sore, start feeding on the unaffected breast, then swap after the let-down happens, this makes the affected breast feel less full and more comfortable.
- Drain all areas of the breast. Your baby will usually best empty the area of the breast that is in line with the direction of their chin. Therefore, if the lump is up towards your armpit, it is usually better to try and feed your baby in a 'football hold'.
Image 11-88 shows a woman feeding her baby using a 'football hold'.
Sometimes it helps to vary the positions throughout the feed, to drain all areas of the breast. Some women will lay their baby on a rug on the floor and kneel over them in an 'all fours' position, to feed them with their breast and nipple 'dropping' into their baby's mouth ('feed me a grape!') This may look and feel weird, but the gravity can help to drain all areas of the breast.