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Some nursing moms go their whole breastfeeding journey without a clogged duct, but many women get at least one at some point. And not only are they super painful, if a clogged duct doesn’t get cleared, it can lead to mastitis. So when you realize you have a clogged duct, you really want to start trying to clear it right away… there’s no waiting the two or three days for Amazon to deliver your remedies, and most of these items I’m about to suggest can’t be found at Target or Walmart.
This is why I went ahead and made sure I had a couple things on hand before I got a clogged duct, so I could immediately deal with the problem if (and likely when) it arose. I’m only 2 months postpartum with my second now, and I’ve already cleared two ducts with these methods. I did the same at least a handful of times with my first girl as well.
Some of the best ways to clear a clogged duct are through heat, massage, and emptying the breast. So here’s what you need…
- The LaVie Lactation Massager. This thing is a-MA-zing! It is so effective at working those clogs out. MUCH more effective than hand massaging (and less painful in my opinion). If you have an electric toothbrush, some women claim they work too.
- These mini gel heating pads you can insert into your bra. You can definitely use a regular heating pad (which I do), but these are great for using while nursing, or doing anything where you don’t have time to sit with a heating pad plugged into the wall. Just pop these into the microwave for a few seconds and shove them in your bra over the affected area.
- The Haakaa & Epsom Salt. Now, this is not the primary function of the Haakaa, but it’s an excellent and effective use of it. Simply fill the Haakaa about 2/3 of the way up with warm water, add about a tablespoon of epsom salt, lean over, gently squeeze the Haakaa so the water rises to the top and attach it to the breast. Your nipple should be totally submerged in the water with little to no air in the Haakaa. Leave it there for 5-10 minutes. You can do this a few times a day if it doesn’t clear the first time.
I use all of these things in combination with each other to effectively clear the duct. It may take a couple tries, so feel free to do this multiple times per day until the duct clears.
Step 1. Apply heat for around 20 minutes
Step 2. Use the massager to loosen up the clog
Step 3. Apply suction with the Haakaa, warm water and epsom salt (and continue using the massager simultaneously if you choose).
Step 4. Nurse and/or pump to fully drain the breast.
Repeat throughout the day. Works like a charm!
As always, I am not a doctor or lactation consultant, so please consult one or the other if you have any concerns about these methods, or if you think your clogged duct might be infected.
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