Plugged Ducts

Sometimes milk ducts may become clogged due to incomplete emptying or continued pressure on one or more ducts. If this happens, you may feel a hard, lumpy, painful area on your breast.


  • Apply warm, moist towels to your breasts before feeding
  • Massage your breasts down toward the nipple, paying special attention to the painful area
  • Nurse your baby more often, as often as every 1 or 1½ hours if possible
  • Breastfeed in different positions, placing your baby’s chin in the direction of the plugged duct
  • Breastfeed on the side with the plugged duct first. (Babies suck hardest on the first breast.)
  • Use a little lotion on your thumb and apply gentle, steady rolling pressure from behind the outer lump toward the nipple while your baby breast feeds
  • Get plenty of rest and enough fluids
  • Avoid tight clothing. Look to see if your baby carrier or bra is rubbing the painful area.
  • Avoid sleeping on your stomach or the side with the plugged duct