Dealing with Clogged Ducts

Clogged Ducts

After 8 months of breastfeeding (and the hopes of 4 months to go), I have had two clogged ducts. While I am happy that I’ve only had to deal with it twice, they are incredibly painful, and you have to be persistent to get rid of them.

Here’s what I’ve done to get them GONE:

1. Put a hot compress on the spot for 5-10 minutes. I have used hot washcloths and those hand warmers that you put in your gloves, but the best thing that I found was a heating pad with a wet washcloth underneath it. Hot showers and hot tubs can also be good for this.

2. Massage the spot like crazy. It will hurt sooooo much, but you have to put pressure on it so that it works its way out. Put as much pressure on it as you can stand, keep that pressure steady, and then rub it. You will want to work it towards your nipple, as the end goal is for that milk to push its way out. When you feel like you can push harder, do it. I promise it will hurt, but you need to keep doing this.

3. If the baby is not available: pump. Really work on massaging the clog while you are pumping. OR

4. If you can nurse: lay the baby on the ground, get on all fours on top of him/her, positioning yourself so that his/her chin is pointing towards the clog, and nurse in this position. It’s not comfortable. You will be tired. You will be achy. The gravity REALLY helps everything work in the right direction.

For me, it usually takes at least a day of constantly using all of these before the clog finally goes away. It’s worth having a day of exhaustion in order to prevent mastitis.

While looking for other ways to help alleviate clogged ducts, here are some other things to try:

  • more frequent nursing/pumping
  • vary the nursing position
  • ibuprofen to help inflammation and pain
  • get some rest (HA!)
  • mix 2 drops of lavender oil and 1 tsp of coconut oil and massage over breast
  • apply thinly-sliced or shredded organic potatoes to breast and cover with a cloth for one hour
  • eat one raw garlic clove mashed every 2 hours (until pain is gone)
  • drink water
  • wear loose-fitting clothes
  • slip raw cabbage inside your bra


Did you like this? Share it:


  1. Great tips to share! When I was nursing my twins and got clogged I would really pump up my vitamin C intake through both juice and vitamins. If possible after a nursing session I would lie on my belly on the side of the bed with the clogged breast hanging off it and do my best to massage and pump to help work it out. The gravity/pump/massage combo seemed to do the trick after a day or two. It was awkward, but it really helped! (Little girl weaned herself a week before they turned 1; had to wean little boy around 14 months.). Breastfeeding twins was hard, but I felt such a sense of accomplishment at powering through those tough times! Enjoy all that beautiful double snuggle time on your gigantic nursing pillow;)

  2. Since I will very shortly be starting my breastfeeding journey this is great info to have! Thanks for sharing!

  3. I breastfeed for 9 months (and pumped one more month after that) and was fortunate to never have clogged ducts. I had a few bouts of engorgement which hurt like the dickens, though! My biggest hurdle was biting. Ian got his choppers early (he had teeth at 4 months!) and he liked to bite. Did everything I could think of to nip that habit but nothing worked. So stopping at 9 months was bittersweet. I wanted to go for a year but was pretty over being bit! Hopefully you make it to the twins’ first year!!

  4. I remember having a blocked duct a few times and it was TERRIBLE. Warm rags were my best friend! lol. By the way I just found your blog from the Blog Hobnob link up! Glad I did, you have a cute blog and I’m excited to follow you on Bloglovin!

Speak Your Mind