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Video:Relieve Breastfeeding Problems

with Melissa Nagin

Breastfeeding is excellent for your child, but it can be tough on new moms. A lactation experts explains how to relieve two common problems: engorged breasts and plugged ducts.See Transcript

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Transcript:Relieve Breastfeeding Problems

Hi, I'm Melissa Nagin and welcome to About.com Health. Breastfeeding is the most natural way to feed a baby, but that doesn't mean nursing moms don't run into problems along the way.

Two of the most common problems lactating mothers encounter are engorgement and plugged ducts.

Use Ice to Relieve Engorged Breasts

With engorgement, the breast becomes rock hard and the nipple becomes so tight that the baby can't latch on. We're going to show you right now how to relieve engorgement.

Using cold packs on an engorged breasts is essential. Do not put heat on an engorged breast. It's like a swollen ankle, it'll just blow everything up even more.

We want to reduce the swelling, and ice is the only thing that will do that.

Massage Breasts to Help Milk Flow

Leave the ice packs on for a good 10 minutes in order to ensure that the swelling has gone down. Then massage the breast all around, in a circular motion, and that should help the milk to flow better.

Ways to Relieve Plugged Ducts

One of the problems nursing mothers encounter are plugged ducts. Plugged ducts feel like little balls or knots inside the breast. Here's a plug.

One way to relieve a plugged duct is massage and heat. Local heat is essential, versus with the engorgement having ice packs on.

Local heat and massage should work the plug out. When the baby's nursing, point the baby's nose toward the plug.

Take a Warm Shower

Also, taking a warm shower with the jet of water focused right on the plug will help, in addition to taking Ibuprofen.

Keep in mind that you will have residual soreness for a few days, but the plug will probably be gone. This is very, very normal.

You can always find the help and support you need by contacting a board certified lactation consultant.

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