A clogged milk duct is something that many mothers may encounter when nursing. Some women compare this condition to having a “pebble in your breast”, and experience discomfort and heightened sensitivity.

You’ll be able to solve this common condition by using this guide that shows you how to massage out a clogged milk duct.


What is a clogged milk duct?

A clogged milk duct is a blockage that happens when breast milk is made quicker than it is being expressed. When this happens, the surrounding tissue can become inflamed and red.


What are the signs of a clogged milk duct?

• A hard lump on your breast that is sensitive to touch

• Redness

• Feelings of relief after nursing

A clogged milk duct may turn into an infection with symptoms that include aches, fatigue, and fever. Serious complications from this condition include mastitis. Please consult a health professional if symptoms persist.


What kind of things cause a clogged milk duct?

• Baby feeding issues

• Slow breast pumps

• Sudden change in feeding schedule

• Pressure on your chest (ill-fitting bras and sleeping on your front)

• Milk blister (blocked nipple pore)

• Stress

• Illness


How do you massage out a clogged milk duct?

Follow these steps to massage a clogged milk duct. Because the area around the clog may be painful to touch, take each step slowly and with care. Be sure to treat this condition as soon as it is noticed.

1. Apply a warm compress or take a warm bath or shower before nursing. This will help  open the ducts, ease the process of expressing milk, and help relieve pain and swelling. For stronger results, try dangling your breast in a tub of warm water mixed with Epsom salt.

2. During feeding or pumping, manually massage the hardened areas using your hand. Apply pressure behind the clogged duct with your thumb. Massage gently towards your nipple. 

3. Concentrate your massage at the point of the clogged duct. Be sure not to overdo it and cause yourself pain.

4. To make the process easier, try bending over so that the breast dangles and points at the ground. Use this position to use gravity to your advantage.

5. Try massaging your breast at times when you are not nursing. Using hand expression throughout the day to keep the milk moving can prevent milk stasis and can resolve blocked ducts. 

Trying to fix a clogged milk duct can be very frustrating. The important thing to remember is that this condition can be easily solved if you catch it as soon as it begins. Be aware of the changes in your body, and take action when needed.


It is important to contact a Lactation Consultant to address the underlying cause of this issue, especially if the blocked duct does not resolve with feeding or expressing your milk. An IBCLC (International Board Certified Lactation Consultant) is a breastfeeding specialist that can help resolve any feeding challenges you may be having. Through this expert, you can have all your questions about lactation and milk production answered.

It can make such a world of difference to have support from a warm, nurturing, and knowledgeable health professional to your well-being! Sign up for your own Lactation Consultant on our website here!

The WOMB Vaughan offers Breastfeeding Support, Holistic Sleep Training, and Pelvic Health Physiotherapy in addition to a wide range of services that also cater to children and the whole family! See what we have to offer on our virtual tour, or bring your inquiries to us in person at our convenient Vaughan location right by Highway 7!


Read more about motherhood tips and experiences on our blog!

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