Here's What Might Be Causing Your Mastitis
Milk ducts are like tree branches, reaching out in all directions throughout the breast. Some ducts are thinner than others, making them more susceptible to becoming clogged from restricted milk flow.
Odds are if you have experienced a clogged milk duct (OUCH!) you want to do all in your power to avoid them in the future!
A few major potential causes of clogged milk ducts are:
Having air-tight flange pieces with fresh membranes and a strong motor is important to effectively pull and drain all ducts. This is why a hand-me-down pump that has been used for multiple journeys is not recommended.
Inconsistent Breast Drainage
Breasts LOVE consistency and they get used to being drained at certain times of day/night. If a drain time is missed or extended a couple of hours, it can bring on a clog.
Limited Breastfeeding Time
Babes and breasts have a synergetic relationship. Babies can sense when there is a clogged duct. Feeding on demand helps the baby and breasts work together to create a clog-free system.
Non-Equal Breast Stimulation -
It is important to start feeds on the opposite breast each time so that, over the course of the day, both breasts have been stimulated equally. The first breast babe is on tends to be stimulated more because babe is most hungry at the beginning of a feeding. If you always start on one side, the other breast gets consistent weaker stimulation, inviting clogged ducts.
Other potential reasons:
- Too-Tight Clothing
- Sleeping With Pressure To Breast
- Tight Babywearing
- Baby Lip or Tongue-Ties
- Shallow Latching
- Squeezing In One Spot ("Sandwich Hold")
- Through The Whole Feed
- Oversupplying Breast Milk
- Long Stretches of Sleep
- Use of Nipple Shield
- Nursing Stress or Pain
- Breastfeeding While Cold
If you feel like you get frequent clogged ducts, meeting with a lactation professional is essential.