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Clogged ducts can block the path of milk, which can cause pain, inflammation and may lead to a breast infection and even an abscess. It is imperative that a mother is informed about ways to keep her milk flowing sufficiently and how to quickly get rid of any blockages that may occur. Here we discuss exactly how to do just that with the help of dangle feeding and other methods.
It's not the most comfortable breastfeeding position, but it helps to unlodge milk during a bout of plugged ducts or even mastitis. When you "dangle feed," you are leaning over your baby so that gravity can aid in removing any blockages. If you are going to take advantage of this position, you need to ensure that your baby still has a good latch for effective milk transfer.
If you have hard, swollen, engorged breasts dangle feeding can help to remove more breast milk and therefore soften the breast and relieve pain.
No pump can match up to the sucking skills of a baby, add gravity and you have a strong force that helps to pull the milk down, making it even easier for your baby to drain the breast. Dangle feeding is often used as a preventative measure against blockages too.
While taking advantage of dangle feeding, It is essential that a mother uses other methods to help remove blockages too, such as using an Epsom salts soak and heated compresses. See treating clogged milk ducts.
The angle and position of your baby at the breast during dangle feeding is so different from any other breastfeeding positions that it might be just what you need to get things flowing more freely. Some mothers have claimed that it has helped them stimulate a let-down and even increase their milk supplies. Again, a mother may find that her baby latches more efficiently using this positions than others - it's definitely worth a try, even if it's not the most comfortable position!
Dangle feeding can be done while the baby is in your lap, on the bed or the floor. You can stand on all fours, while your baby is on his/her back. You can alternatively dangle-feed while sitting; kneel up over your baby to ensure that your breasts are hanging while nursing, this helps gravity get things flowing. You might need to use some cushions or pillows to keep your back or shoulders from straining.
Breast massage will soften the breast tissue and loosen the milk, making dangle feeding double as effective.
Massage helps to improve lymphatic drainage. Fluid build-up is common in breast tissue and will cause swelling and water retention, massage and dangle feeding used simultaneously can help to prevent this extra fluid build-up and therefore, prevent other issues.
'Breast massage may have effects on relieving breast pain, decreasing breast-milk sodium, and improving newborn suckling. Breast massage can be used to solve breast problems.' (1)
A milk blister or bleb is a small yellow or white spot found on the nipple pore opening; this is an indication of a blocked pore which can sometimes lead deeper into the breast.
If you have a milk blister/nipple bleb, you can:
Effects of Brest Massage on Breast Pain, Breast-milk Sodium, and Newborn Suckling in Early Postpartum Mothers
Sukhee Ahn,1 Jinhee Kim,2 and Jungsuk Cho2
1 Associate Professor, College of Nursing, Chungnam National University, Daejeon, Korea.
2 Doctoral Candidate, Nursing Major, Graduate School, Chungnam National University, Daejeon, Korea.