What Causes a Blocked Milk Duct?
It is not uncommon for breastfeeding moms to experience a blocked or plugged milk duct. Ducts become blocked when milk fails to drain completely or if the duct becomes compressed or damaged. This can happen after an illness such as a cold, during a particularly busy or stressful time such as the holidays, or simply out of the blue. Sometimes it happens after sleeping awkwardly, extended time between nursing (after returning to work, once your baby begins sleeping through the night), improper latch, using a pump that is not powerful enough, wearing a nursing bra that does not fit well, or from sleeping on your stomach. It can even occur after a long car journey if the seat belt is pushing against the breast. Left untreated, a blocked duct can develop into a full-blown breast infection known as mastitis, so it is important to be aware of the symptoms.