Breastfeeding your newborn is a fantastic way to bond with him or her and provide your baby with all of the nutrition necessary for a healthy start at life. But one of the common problems that many mothers encounter is clogged milk ducts. Thankfully, there are several easy ways to prevent clogged milk ducts so that you can avoid this painful condition and continue nourishing your child.
1. Keep the Milk Flowing
One of the many ways to prevent clogged milk ducts is by simply keeping the milk flowing. So if you know that you will be separated from your son or daughter, or if your baby does not nurse throughout the night, you should use a pump or your hand to get the milk out of your breasts. In this way, you can prevent the ducts from becoming plugged up and inflamed as a result of becoming too full.
2. Avoid Pressure
You can also prevent clogged milk ducts by avoiding placing any pressure on your breasts, as doing so could actually stop the flow of milk through your ducts. Avoid things like poorly fitting underwire bras or tight straps on a baby carrier. You should also avoid sleeping on your stomach.
3. Massage Yourself
Massaging your breasts gently, particularly in any areas where your milk is getting backed up, is a good way to prevent clogs as well. In addition to massage, you can also take an anti-inflammatory medication that you can purchase over the counter in order to reduce swelling.
4. Take Lecithin
Have you experienced plugged milk ducts in the past? Do you seem prone to them because they recur? Then consider supplementing your diet with lecithin, as doing so might prevent recurrences.
5. Apply Some Moist Heat
If you notice that your milk ducts are becoming clogged, take action right away. In addition to feeding your baby and expressing as much milk as possible on a consistent basis, you can apply some moist heat with a wet, warm compress. As an alternative to moist compresses, you can also take more than one hot shower each day, if you are able to do so.
Now that you know a few of the best ways to prevent clogging your milk ducts after having a baby, you can rest assured that you will feel totally comfortable and your baby will be able to breastfeed with ease. Remember to take action right away if a duct becomes plugged, as doing so will help prevent it from progressing into mastitis, which is more serious.