Motherhood is an important period in the life of every woman. The health of the mother and the health of the child to a large extent depend on the care and precautions taken during pregnancy. After the birth of the child breastfeeding is the most preferred way to feed the infant. Recent studies have shown that breastfeeding has innumerable medical benefits both for the child and the nursing mother. So, the medical fraternities time and again have emphasized the importance of breastfeeding.
For various reasons, some women face difficulty in feeding an infant. It could be insufficient secretion of milk in the breast, blockage of milk in the milk duct or sometimes infections like, for example, viral fever in the mother. Other causes such as being depression, lack of enough rest etc are also known to cause blockage of milk ducts. Complete draining out of the milk from the breast is yet another cause for blockage in the milk duct. While medical remedies are available for all these contingencies there are some home remedies also and these home remedies are time tested and they have been time and again proven to be effective.
Although medical science is yet to find out the exact reason why milk gets blocked in the duct, one of the known reasons is incomplete and timely draining out of milk secreted in the breast. This is particularly true of working mothers where mother may find it difficult to feed the baby on time and drain out the milk completely. In such cases the un-drained milk gets secreted in the breast and causes redness of the particular portion of the breast. It may sometimes also take the form of a painful lump. If left unattended, it may result in infection called ’Mastitis’. Although there are many medical remedies many proven home remedies are also available.
- Home Remedies
- Other Remedies
- Precautions to prevent
Natural Home Remedies for blocked milk ducts
Alfalfa as a Home Remedy for blocked milk ducts
This porridge-like cereal, also known as ‘oats’ is one of the most popular food items world-wide. Rich in minerals, fiber and vitamins but low in cholesterol, oats is the most preferred diet for people of all ages. It is said that oats have the ability to fight cancer. It can be applied externally as well. It also makes a delicious meal for breakfast, lunch or supper. Those who are particularly weight conscious will always look to ‘oats’ as their main food.
Home Treatment for blocked milk ducts using alfalfa
Use of alfalfa in the sprout or capsule form is known to increase the quantity and quality of milk in the breast. It is also known to stimulate lactation of milk. It also supplies enough vitamins and minerals to the blood.
Codonopsis as a Home Remedy for blocked milk ducts
This herb is used in the Chinese system of medicine. This herb is known to increase and strengthen the blood and also increase the lactation of milk. In fact, according to the Chinese system of medicine, Codonopsis has the same curative properties as Ginseng and is called common man’s Ginseng. Among various medicinal values, Condonopsis is very well known to remove the blockage of milk ducts in nursing mothers without any side effects.
Home Treatment for blocked milk ducts using Codonopsis:
It is available in tablet and powder form. If one prefers powder form, the user boils water and adds the required quantity of Codonopsis and cools it. Then the mother should take the liquid about one hour before starting to feed the baby.
Goat's rue as a Home Remedy for blocked milk ducts
This herb was largely in use in European countries. It was used to feed female goats so that the quantity of milk in the goat would be increased. In later years the medicinal values of this herb was recognized and it is now known that goats rue is effective in fighting diabetes.
Goat's rue as a Home Remedy for blocked milk ducts:
Two teaspoons of dried leaf of goat’s Rue put in boiled water if taken regularly, the quantity of secretion of breast milk will increase by almost 50% and it also clears the milk ducts of all types of clogging.
Vervain as a Home Remedy for blocked milk ducts
The medicinal value of this herb vervain has been known since the Roman period. The infusion prepared from the leaves and other aerial parts of the plant is known to increase the quantity of milk secretion and it also has the properties of removing blockages in the milk duct. This herb has many other medicinal values like it is the best mouth wash, it is known to cure jaundice, asthma, fight depression etc
Treating blocked milk ducts using Green peas:
Normally tea is prepared using vervain. It is also available in the ointment format.
Parsley as a Home Remedy for blocked milk ducts
Parsley is believed to have spread from Mediterranean region to other parts of the world. The herb has great medicinal value. One of the medicinal qualities of parsley is that it removes blockage of milk ducts in the breast.
Home Remedy for blocked milk ducts using Parsley
To reduce the pain in the breast caused by blockage of milk ducts, take some parsley and put it on a cotton diaper. Tie the ends securely and dip the diaper in boiling water for about 15 minutes. Cool the diaper to the required temperature and gently compress the breasts with the diaper.
Comfrey as a Home Remedy for blocked milk ducts
This herb is largely grown in Great Britain and other European countries. This perennial herb has many other species like Prickly Comfrey, Rough Comfrey, Causasian Comfrey, Bulbous Comfrey etc. Comfrey leaves are in great use for their medicinal values. Comfrey leaves are known for their curative qualities like removing blockages in milk ducts of the breast and for many other medicinal applications.
Remedy for blocked milk ducts using Comfrey:
The use of comfrey leaves is similar to that of parsley leaves. Comfrey leaves are also quite effective in treating sore nipples.
Grated potato as a Home Remedy for blocked milk ducts
Potato does not require any introduction. Cold compress of grated potato is known to be quite effective in removing blockages in milk ducts. In addition to this, grated potato is also effective in fighting infection.
Treatment for blocked milk ducts using Potato:
The application is quite simple. Take a clean white cloth and put the grated potatoes on it and directly apply it to the breasts. Remove the cloth when it becomes dry.
Castor oil as a Home Remedy for blocked milk ducts
Castor oil also has the property of removing blockages in milk ducts.
Treatment for blocked milk ducts using castor oil:
Apply castor oil in small quantity on the breast. This will help to remove the blockage of milk ducts.
Other Home Remedies for blocked milk ducts
Stone compress is yet another way of treatment of blocked milk ducts. Take a piece of volcanic rock and put the rock in boiling water for some time. Now, cool the rock to the required temperature and tie it on the breasts.
Other home remedies include placing warm towel or heating pad on the nipple for some time. This will remove the blockage of the milk duct. Never use tight bras or bras with underwires because they actually prevent easy flow of milk and result in blockage of milk ducts.
The best remedy to prevent the blockage of milk ducts is to drain out the milk in regular intervals by feeding the baby.
Practice good sleeping habits and never get tense because any depression will affect the secretion and flow of milk.
Take the home remedies for some time and if the results of the home remedy is not satisfactory, then it is advisable to get the help of a doctor.
Before feeding the infant, gently press the breasts or use a warm towel and keep it on the breasts for some time. This will help easy flow of milk.
The Best Diet for the blockage of milk ducts
According to medical experts, Vitamin ‘C’ plays vital role in removing the blockage of milk ducts. Doctors advise pregnant and nursing mothers to take more fruits and vegetables that are rich in Vitamin ‘C’.
Further, nursing mother is advised to drink enough liquids like water, fruit juice (particularly juice rich in vitamin ‘C’) etc.
Some even advise mothers to take Gatorade as it is rich in necessary electrolytes.
Precautions to prevent the blockage of milk ducts
Sleeping position also has its say in ensuring unhindered flow of milk through the ducts. Nursing mothers are advised to sleep on their back or sideways and never on the stomach. This is because sleeping on the stomach will cause blockage of milk ducts and easy flow of milk will be affected.
If milk plugs are noticed they should be removed. Locate the milk plug and gently squeeze it and gently bring it down to the nipples. While doing so ensure that it is done in a hygienic condition. The entire process should be done as gently as possible as otherwise it could be painful for the nursing mother. After feeding the infant, if the mother observes any area where the milk is not drained out use a warm towel and place it on the affected part and gently squeeze the part so that the blockage is removed.
Prevention is better than cure. One of the reasons for the blockage of milk ducts is incomplete draining of the milk which has secreted. Therefore, nursing mothers should periodically feed the infant so that the milk is completely drained out. This prevents blockage of milk in the duct.
Nursing mothers are advised that before each feeding, they must gently compress the breasts which ensure unhindered flow of milk
Nursing mothers can try different feeding positions like feeding by lying down or holding the infant in the nurse laying down position etc. By using this procedure, it will be possible to drain out the milk.
In some cases the un-drained secretions cause pain. In such cases, the nursing mother should gently massage the top portion of the area which is causing pain and gently bring the milk towards the nipple. Once the secreted milk comes out then the pain disappears.