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What is milk stasis and why breastfeeding mums need to know about it?

milk stasis

What is milk stasis?

Milk stasis is the lack of milk flow in breastfeeding women causing a buildup of milk in the ducts. Basically, the milk is stagnant. Think of it like a pond, where water doesn’t flow.

Why do you need to know about it?

Well, simply put, milk stasis is the cause of mastitis.

When it comes to mastitis, a backup of milk sets off a very specific bodily process. This is because the buildup of milk in the ducts gets pushed back into the breast tissue. We explain more on how this happens here. But basically the way the body reacts to this, gives you the symptoms of mastitis. Fever, chills, body aches, redness, pain.

So how does milk stasis happen and how can we avoid it?

This all comes down to draining the breast. Sometimes it’s really simple, seemingly little things that causes a buildup. Like missing a feed or pump session, extending time between feeding or pumping. Sometimes it’s wearing a tight bra or clothing! We wrote a little piece for Mlkd on this exact topic.

Other times it’s more complex, and involves an IBCLC to check feeding positions, or your bubbas latch.

And when all the above has been checked out? We step in with our favourite topic, YOU. That’s right, you and your breast anatomy and function. There’s more to it that just the ducts. There’s breast mobility, there’s tissue congestion, there’s waste removal and blood flow. We deep dive into this in Boobology, and we give you the hands on tools to overcome these issues. This is the exact method we teach in our Melbourne clinic for the past 7 years.

So moral of the story? We want to keep all the fluids flowing well when it comes to breastfeeding!

elise fuller

Elise Fuller

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!