Williston - (802) 860-4360
Burlington - (802) 657-7990
Shelburne - (802) 985-9360

New Program - Blocked Milk Duct Therapy

With over 5,000 babies born in Vermont each year, there is a strong need for perinatal support as mothers often do not always get the lactation support they need following birth. One ailment affecting up to 20% of women is blocked milk ducts. Blocked milk ducts can be caused by: inadequate breast emptying (due to poor latch, tongue ties, and sleepy babies), missed feedings, pressure on the breast, or limited time during feedings. If gone untreated, blocked ducts can lead to mastitis - an infection in the breast, which may require antibiotic treatment.  

If you develop blocked milk ducts, you may notice pain, a hard lump, a warm and painful localized spot or a wedge-shaped area of engorgement on the breast, swelling, and/or redness. If the clog leads to mastitis, symptoms will come on quickly and include flu-like symptoms such as fever, chills, fatigue and body aches. You may also notice red streaks along the breast. If you have any of these symptoms, call your physician. 


How can I relieve blocked ducts and reduce my chances of mastitis?

According to the Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine, there are several ways to manage this condition:

  • Consider lymphatic drainage to alleviate interstitial edema. Avoid deep massage of the lactating breast.
  • Utilize therapeutic ultrasound.
  • Feed the infant on demand, and do not aim to ‘‘empty’’ breasts.
  • Minimize breast pump usage.
  • Wear an appropriately fitting supportive bra.
  • Ice and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) can reduce edema and inflammation and provide symptomatic relief.

The new Blocked Milk Duct Therapy program at PT360 in Williston provides lactating mothers access to certified and experienced lymphedema therapists. These therapists provide a gentle, therapeutic massage called lymphatic drainage, and ultrasound to decrease swelling and pain to allow return to normal lactation. 
Call today to learn more or get scheduled for an evaluation – (802) 860-4360.