Here is how to massage your breasts if you're suffering from clogged ducts.
Massage to perform before breastfeeding/pumping
Step 1. Circle the breast gently with the lower palm, clockwise
Step 2. Circle the breast with the second knuckle while holding the breast with the other hand. The knuckle should also circle by itself. When the knuckle reaches the clogged area, start by applying pressure on the edge of the area closest to the nipple.
Step 2 (continued). Proceed with the circles as such
Step 3. Use thumbs and fingers to squeeze from the bottom of the breasts towards the nipple, so as to push the milk towards the nipple pores
Step 4. Gently tap the breasts with the palms
Step 5. Rub the breasts with palms in opposite directions back and forth. Do so vertically and horizontally.
Step 5 (continued). The same movement in opposite direction
Step 6. Place your thumb and finger behind the areola and press slightly in the direction of the chest. Gently try and squeeze to let out breast milk, it will make it easier to pump and breastfeed.
Massage to perform while breastfeeding/pumping
Step 7. Massage the clogged area with knuckles or fingers with pressure (only the small circle, not the bigger circle).
Others methods to remove clogged milk ducts
We wrote an article summarizing all the steps you can take to tackle clogged milk ducts. Here are the highlights.
If you have engorged breasts or clogged ducts, your first step to tackling the issue is to ensure you keep a frequent and steady breastfeeding schedule, especially on the affected breasts. If for some reason your little one cannot breastfeed, you can substitute with pumping.
It's also crucial you do not stop breastfeeding or pumping. It can seem like the intuitive thing to do because of the pain in your breasts but if you do so you will just worsen the problem. Your body will still produce milk and, if it doesn’t go out, your milk will accumulate in your breasts leading to increased pressure and engorgement.
Another step you can take to tackle engorged breasts or clogged ducts is to drink a specialized herbal tea designed to unblock your breasts like Unblock Nursing Tea.
It will help your body adjust to your breastfeeding schedule and will help alleviate some of the symptoms you encounter. It’s made with natural plants only and it’s rigorously lab-tested to ensure there’s nothing harmful to you or your baby.
1. Prevention of nipple tenderness and breast engorgement in the postpartal period. Storr GB. J Obstet Gynecol Neonatal Nurs. 1988 May-Jun; 17(3):203-9.
Article tags: Breastfeeding and maternity