Achieve Breastfeeding Success With These Easy Hacks
Nursing an infant does not always go smoothly. Breastfeeding does not come easily to all mothers, and one issue that can cause pain and stress for both the mother and baby is a clogged milk duct that if not properly attended to, can cause mastitis. While quite common, a clogged milk duct can catch even the most experienced mother unprepared.
Here are some easy ways you can help relieve your pain and discomfort, while not disrupting your baby’s feeding pattern:
drink plenty of fluids
Staying hydrated keeps your milk supply from diminishing and helps to flush out your milk ducts
Gently massage in a circular motion
Pump after feeding
It may take several feeds to clear the blockage
A warm compress works well to get the milk flowing and can ease pain. Fill a clean sock with rice. Heat it and apply for 20 minutes
Continue nursing your baby
Regular feedings help prevent backup
Minimize stress on your baby
point your baby's chin
Pointing your baby’s chin in the direction of the clogged duct can help to draw it out
Keep nursing your baby
Even though it hurts and is very uncomfortable, the best thing you can do for yourself and your child is to continue nursing. Sticking with regular feedings can really help to prevent things from getting backed up again. Your baby is your friend in helping you unclog your milk ducts, so you really need to work together here.
Maintain milk flow
Drinking plenty of fluids is key to maintaining a healthy milk supply. Staying hydrated helps to flush out any clogged milk ducts.
Massaging the affected area gently can help to break down the clog. Start in a circular motion behind the lump working towards the nipple.
Applying heat to the area around the clogged milk duct helps to break down the clog and get the milk flowing. The warmth from the compress also helps to ease the pain. Fill an old clean sock with rice and tie the end. Warm it in the microwave for 1 minute and apply it to the affected area for 20 minutes. Do this just before you feed your baby.
How to feed your baby when your milk duct is clogged
A super easy way to unclog your milk duct during feeding is to gently point the baby’s chin towards it. The sucking pressure from the baby’s mouth, particularly at the beginning of a feeding session where it is strongest, can help to quickly dislodge the clog.
Alternate the feeding positions so that all of the milk ducts are drained and always start a feeding on the affected breast. Since the baby’s sucking is always stronger at the beginning of a feed, this way you will increase the chances of the clearing the clogged milk duct.
If you feel that the duct has not adequately cleared during the feeding, you can either hand express or pump after your baby has finished feeding to ensure that you have removed most of the milk.
Importance of breastfeeding in Islam
Breastfeeding offers many health and spiritual benefits to the mother and health benefits to the child. However, if there are problems that make it extremely difficult to continue nursing your baby, it is important to understand that what matters most is that the baby is well fed, by whatever means.
“Mothers shall breastfeed their children for two whole years, for those who wish to complete the term” (2:233)
The Qur’an strongly encourages mothers to nurse their children for up to two years, but there is also an understanding that for whatever reason, parents may not be able to complete that term.
Make Dua’ that Allah swt makes it easy for you to complete the full term, but if you are unable to do so, understand that your intentions and efforts are recognized and rewarded Insh’Allah.
For more information