Milk ducts in the breast may become blocked during breastfeeding when the breasts are full and not emptied regularly or thoroughly. Blocked milk ducts cause a lump that is sometimes tender and can become infected (mastitis).
Blocked milk ducts may be treated by:
Breastfeeding more often and in different positions, which helps drain milk from all parts of the breast.
Breastfeeding from the affected breast first, to move milk through the breast faster.
Applying moist heat to the area just before breastfeeding and hand-expressing or pumping a small amount of milk.
Massaging the area, always working toward the nipple, to increase the flow of milk before and during breastfeeding.
Medical Review:Sarah A. Marshall, MD - Family Medicine & Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine & Kirtly Jones, MD - Obstetrics and Gynecology, Reproductive Endocrinology