Are you struggling with plugged ducts? I have a few tools you can use to help open your plugged duct and also a tool to prevent them! Here is my Plugged Duct Tool-Kit.
1. An Infant Diaper- Use a wet newborn diaper and heat it up in the microwave for heat application. Please test the temperature to avoid burns. The diaper is perfect for cradling around your breast and is mess free and reusable. You can also use an infant diaper for cold application, by placing it in the freezer.
2. An Electric Toothbrush- Use a new electric toothbrush, the flat, back-side only, for vibrating and massaging directly on the hard lump. Milk cells called lactocytes, are VERY sticky and vibration will loosen them so that massage can help open a plugged duct.You can also use the toothbrush while in the shower with hot water streaming over your breast, for an added benefit. You can use direct pressure, circular and spiral eight motions on your plugged duct too. I tell my moms who have reoccurring plugged ducts, to use the electric toothbrush in the shower each day to prevent and loosen up sticky milk cells. Starting at the top of the chest wall, use a sweeping motion towards the nipple and move all around the breast. Not only does this help with potential plugged ducts, but it feels really good, too. If you have a problem area, you can concentrate in that spot as well.
3. An Instant Hand Warmer–Some moms will want to use a constant source of warmth during the acute phase of plugged ducts and using a heat pack takes no extra time in the early days of sleep deprivation. PLEASE, do not place these on bare skin as they are hotter initially and can burn your delicate skin.
4. A Hand Held Massager- This little gem is perfect for moms who have really DEEP plugged ducts and the electric toothbrush doesn’t penetrate deep enough. The one I have pictured, is only one example of what is available for purchasing. I like the ones that vibrate AND have massage fingers. When we have moms who simply cannot get their plugged duct(s) open, we will send them for ultrasonic treatment with a physical therapist.
There are many reasons for plugged ducts which I will talk about in a later post. My Plugged Duct Tool-Kit, is for when a mom needs immediate relief, to prevent further complications, like mastitis.
Feel free to add additional things that helped you with managing plugged ducts.