Aren't blocked milk ducts such a pain in the bum. Dr Elise & Dr Katie are the osteopaths behind Your Two Jugs, an online masterclass platform teaching breastfeeding women how to manage common physical breastfeeding issues such as blocked milk ducts. The women they’ve been treating at their Melbourne clinic over the years have inspired the creation of Your Two Jugs. Here’s what they want you to know about blocked ducts!
1. A blocked milk duct doesn’t mean you have mastitis!
Blocked ducts and mastitis are both caused by milk stasis. Milk stasis is when milk doesn’t flow well and the breast doesn’t clear properly. But that’s about as similar as these two get! A blocked duct will be sore, and you will feel lumps in your breast. But you won’t have common symptoms associated with mastitis, like fever. Sometimes, a blocked duct that isn’t cleared well can lead to mastitis, so definitely keep an eye out for different symptoms.
2. You probably don’t need antibiotics.
Antibiotics are only useful if you have a bacterial infection. Most blocked ducts are caused by a lack of milk flow, and so some milk hardens and causes a backup down the line. This is where you will feel lumpiness in your breasts that may be tender to touch. If you develop flu like symptoms such as a high fever, achy joints and redness over the breast, please consult your doctor, as these are not typical symptoms of a blocked duct.
3. It can take time to clear the blocked milk duct!
That pesky blockage may have popped up out of nowhere, but that doesn’t mean it disappears just as fast (unfortunately!). Don’t think you’re going to push that blockage out in 5 mins. Clearing your blockage takes time and persistence.
4. Be kind to your breasts!
So on that topic of clearing the breast…There’s minimal direction on google when it comes to massaging your breasts with blocked ducts. So many of the ladies we have treated in clinical practice have gone so hard massaging their breast tissue, that they have bruised themselves! This makes it tricky to decipher whether the tenderness in your breast is the blockage, or the bruising. This is why we always advise gentle massage. Not sure how to massage your breast? We have designed our Masterclasses to teach you specific techniques to help yourself clear your blockages!
Osteopath & Your Two Jugs Co-Founder
Elise is one of Your Two Jugs Co-Founders! She is an Australian registered osteopath, and has been using her hands on skills to teach breastfeeding women about their breast health for most of her working career. Working with breastfeeding women was a surprise adjunct to Elise’s career plans, but has definitely been the most rewarding!