Tribe Secrets: Unclogging Blocked Ducts

Back in the day we used to learn all the amazing tricks to parenting from our mothers, our grandmothers, aunts and other ladies in our Tribe. In modern days we often live far from these sources of knowledge, so we have to find our own Tribe to share our gems of knowledge with. This is not medical advice, but tips that I've picked up in my parenting journey. 

Having a clogged milk duct can be very painful and has other side effects like reduced milk supply. It can happen for several reasons, but it can also happen spontaneously, but when it does it needs to be dealt with immediately so that it doesn't escalate. In many cases, massaging, persistent direct nursing, using a hot shower head to massage it will help, but if you've got a stubborn blocked duct, try one of these lesser known tricks:


1. Dangle Feeding

Lie your baby on his or her back and get on all fours over your baby to feed. Gravity and the suction from nursing will work together to hopefully get the duct unclogged. 


2. Haakaa with Sea Salt 

Put the sea salt and water in your Haakaa and then attach it to your boob with the clogged duct. Your nipple needs to be submerged, so make sure the water is not too hot. You should start to see streaks of milk come out, but it's also normal if it takes a few tries every couple hours


3. Warm Castor Oil Compress

Wet a small wash cloth or old flannels with hot water and after wringing it dry, drizzle some castor oil on it. Place the cloth on the affected area and cover it with some cling wrap and then apply a heated compress like this one on top for 20min. Remove the castor oil compress and then wash thoroughly, especially around your nipple and then breastfeed while trying to massage the clot in the direction of your nipple. Repeat as necessary


What are your favourite ways to get rid of a stubborn clogged duct? Please do share!


This is not medical advice. If you feel your clogged duct is not getting better or is getting worse, please seek medical attention from your doctor as soon as possible.