This post is part of our complete guide on treating engorgement and clogged ducts. Refer back to the guide if you want a complete list of topics covered, from prevention to diagnosis and treatment. If you're specifically interested in understanding whether engorgement or clogged ducts can get cured on their own, please read on!
Do engorgement or plugged ducts go away on their own?
Most often, if you do things right, engorgement or plugged ducts go away on their own. If you read our article on relieving engorged breasts, you’ll see that there are basically three things you can do to help the issue disappear. Firstly you should establish a steady breastfeeding schedule. Secondly you should drink a specialized herbal tea designed to mitigate the issue like our very own Unblock Nursing Tea. Thirdly you should consider getting breast massages from a lactation or Gua-Sha massage therapist. In the overwhelming majority of cases, if you do those three things, the issue will disappear on its own. If the issue still remains after a few days, please go see a physician or a lactation consultant who can help you identify what’s going on.
If you don’t do things right or if you have deeper reasons that cause the issue, your engorgement or plugged ducts may not go away on their own and might even worsen into mastitis, a painful inflammation of the breasts. In that case please go see a physician or a lactation consultant who can help you. If you have mastitis a physician might prescribe antibiotics or anti-inflammatory medication.
In any case it’s very important that you never stop breastfeeding (unless a physician tells you otherwise): a change in breastfeeding rhythm, particularly if you breastfeed less than usual, will likely worsen the issue. If actually breastfeeding is too painful for you, pump instead while you have the condition: the important thing is that you keep emptying your breasts thoroughly and regularly.
So to summarize, do engorgement or plugged ducts go away on their own?
- Yes, engorgement or plugged ducts go away on their own in the overwhelming majority of cases if you do things right. That is: you need to 1) keep a steady breastfeeding schedule, 2) drink a specialized herbal tea designed to mitigate the issue and 3) get your breasts massaged by a specialist (or yourself if you’re familiar with the techniques).
- If your engorgement or plugged ducts do not go away on their own or worsen into mastitis, please go see a physician or a lactation consultant.