2:43 min| 329,179 views
There are several ways to unplug a clogged milk duct, from massaging yourself in the shower to applying cold cabbage leaves to the affected area. Hear what worked best for these nursing moms.
Gena: I could feel something sort of hard at a couple of points in my breast.
Christine: It was definitely sore, more sore to feed on that side.
Tamara: It feels like a little pebble or something is stuck. And at first I, like, freaked out, like, trying to Google everything – like, what's wrong with me? And I'm just like, "Oh, it's just a clogged duct."
Emerald: I discovered that the underwire bra that I was using was the cause of the clogged milk ducts. It was pushing against my breasts which was causing the milk supply to get cut off and get clogged.
Amy: One thing we did to relieve the clogged ducts that we had were, um, dangling a breast in hot, warm water – as hot as I could tolerate – with some Epsom salt in it.
Gena: Before the feeding, I would do wet heat with some kind of, like a warm kind of, wet washcloth and a heat pack right before the feed to kind of try to loosen things up. And then just try to get him to latch a ton and breastfeed a ton.
Tamara: For the shower that I'll take that day, I kind of stand there for a good 10, 15 minutes and just let the water run on the breast. And, you know, I put my hand in a fist and just kind of knead it and massage it and just, you know, until it starts to feel better.
Emerald: The very last clogged milk duct I had when I was breastfeeding my son, I had it for about a week and I could just, I could not get rid of it. I was using a comb to try to comb it out. I was massaging it. And finally I resorted to just putting cold cabbage leaves on, and I did that for about a day. I'd put a cold cabbage leaf on, and as soon as it'd start to get warm or wilted I'd switch it out. And by the end of the day it resolved it.
Christine: I tried the showers, I tried the massages, but because I kept having repeated clogged ducts, I used sunflower lecithin daily, for the whole year.
Cari Ann: With the second one I realized that I need to start massaging the lumps in my boobs faster so that it wouldn't turn into it.
Tamara: You know after the first couple of times it was just like, "Okay, you know what this is, you know what to do, move on." [laughs]
Video production by Sahra Bhimji.
Medically reviewed by, lactation consultant
Last updated: September 2017