Treatment. A blocked duct must be treated urgently as it could develop into mastitis if the trapped milk becomes infected. Proper emptying of the breasts after every feed is important – express after a feed if necessary.
Hot compresses, and the treatment outlined for engorgement (76) should help get the duct unblocked.
If this is not sufficient, take buccal pitocin (to be prescribed by a doctor) followed by a painkiller (aspirin is best for getting the inflammation down). Then get the circulation going by swinging the arm on the affected side round and round like a windmill.
Feed the baby frequently, from the affected side first, or use an electric breast pump to drain the milk.
Go to bed with a hot-water bottle, and if you are not better within 24 hours call your doctor as he may recommend a course of antibiotics to prevent an infection. Carry on feeding even if you are on antibiotics.
Mastitis. Symptoms. Mastitis has all the signs of a blocked duct, but the breast is red and possibly shiny. The mother feels as though she has a bad dose of flu and her temperature is usually raised but she does not have a sore throat.