MIA and how to unclog a clogged milk duct

sorry i went underground for a while. i’ve been busy knitting two scarves for my nieces. i got a late inspiration and was needing to finish them in time for the 25th. now that i am done, there are still many things to do besides post. interesting time of the year since my big disaster started happening on december 28th, two years ago. and at the same time i have this beautiful family. its a mixture of emotions. i need to post my christmas letter from last year. every year i write a letter to myself and put it in the holiday decorations box. so first thing i see the next year is that letter. my next post will be that letter.

on another note i was wrestling yesterday with a seriously clogged milk duct. none of dr google’s advice did the trick. heres how to unclog a milk duct. do evrything dr google says: massage it, warm compresses, pump, nurse. keep on doing this until you see a whitehead-looking thing on your nipple. (my nipple did not have a whitehead-looking thing on it until AFTER i pumped, nursed, massaged, and warmed my breast for several hours). take a sewing needle (a safety pin is way too blunt, it has to be a very sharp needle.) and sterilize it and then poke the whitehead. then stand back as milk shots across the room. then drain the breast by nursing or pumping. this has worked for me three times now when all else failed.


~ by complicatedmama on December 22, 2007.

30 Responses to “MIA and how to unclog a clogged milk duct”

  1. The clogged milk duct solution just sounds like something I don’t ever want to have to do, but now I’ve read it something that may well be of use some day. The words ‘a sharp needle’ and ‘nipple’ really don’t go :o)

  2. it is surprising how it doesnt hurt at all. the release of the clog is such a huge relief and then the draining…. ahhh.

    i feel like an asshole posting about this on my blog. the last thing i want is to remind anybody that you should be having such clogged-duct problems right now. as if you could’ve forgotten. how many more stupid things can i say in one paragraph?

  3. OMG, that sounds horrific! I guess I’m recalling what I’ve done to blisters before with a safety pin. OUCH!

  4. I owe you a HUGE thank you for posting this. My plug just started today and it was already unbearably uncomfortable. After trying things for 6 hours, i came across your post here. I was so afraid of it getting infected cause I am unable to take motrin or tylenol due to angioedema. the needle trick is amazing. All pumped out now> THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU !!!!!!

  5. emm… thank you.

  6. Your post was a God-send. I had tried everything I could think of – and after five hours and a whole host of tears, I came across your advice and it worked within seconds. Wow, how absolutely bizarre – I can’t imagine where you got the notion to do such a thing; however, I’m grateful that you shared it with everyone – Thank You!

  7. o.K. i am nursing my 6th child and thought i knew all i could about unclogging a milk duct. I should be an expert since i’ve had the problem more times then i can count, many times leading to mastits. I’ve done the well known heat, massage, nurse and or pump.It works eventually, but can drag out long before it opens. I’ve been working on a current clog since yesterday without success. My oldest son suggested the internet on the subject (which i usually don’t think of). Yours was the first and i thought it was strange, but i tried it.To my amazment, it worked like a charm! If you poke right on the white spot just enough to break through, it doesn’t hurt (at least for me. Thanks!

  8. OMG Thank you, thank you, thank you. I have been battling a clogged duct since yesterday. I am finally pumping it out now thanks to your info. Ahhhhh Thank you!!!!!

  9. I have pumped, nursed, massaged, heat, and still no luck. I do not have a white spot yet. Is it very noticeable on your nipple. Thanks so much.

  10. how long before the white head appears and what do you do if you feel dizzy and are feverish… i don’t want to go to the ER… My son won’t suckle anymore… and ive been pumping non stop for the last 5 hours with a hot shower and warm cloth… and still no PIMPLE!!! stressed out at 3 am… help me!!

  11. Okay, so I just read this and thought, “What!” But I was so desperate that I gave it a try. And, IT WORKED!!!!! THANK YOU A MILLION POSTING THIS!!!!!! (p.s. the needle does not hurt at all, but seriously get ready because the milk comes pouring out!)

  12. Thank you thank you thank you thank you. I just googled “unplug clogged milk duct” and clicked on your link after reading multiple ones about heat and showers and nursing, all of which I’d already tried. I immediately went to the bathroom, found the little white dot, found a needle, and 10 min later, I’m back in happy nursing land. Thank you.

  13. your blog saved me- pumping it out right now- it so helped me when you said you couldn’t see anything until you tried everything else….then the white spot appeared. i found the smallest little white area on my nipple- one could hardly see it, but i took a needle anyways, and tada! when i pressed on the clogged duct it came a flowing…. ahhh sweet relief… i get nasty mastitis so i was trying everything… bless you for sharing!

  14. i read all of the sensible things to do & did them. i read your blog & cringed at your crazy advice. but, women in pain try crazy things. worked like a charm. cannot even believe it! to address the whole, “what if i don’t see a whitehead?”… i didn’t either. what i did do was started to pump. barely able to get anything out, but a few drops would come. as soon as i saw a drop, i turned off the pump, careful to try to keep the drop in place… then just poked the needle ever so slightly to exactly where the milk was coming from… then a couple of drops came out immediately. when i went back to the pump…whoosh! finally! now i can go to bed after a day of miserableness! hope this add-on to this already sweet advice helps some mamas out! Thanks, again!

  15. Wow! Your advice really does work! After hours of nursing,pumping, massaging, hot showers, and using a heating pad. I found your post and immediatly went to the bathroom in search of a sewing needle or safety pin. Found a safety pin and sterlized it wit hot soap and water. I had seen those white spots on my nipples earlier so I knew what u were talking about. The safety pin did the job but a sewing needle would of definitly done better. Then I went straight to pumping I only got a ounce and half but it wasn’t much as I thought but it unclogged them. The thing we do for our precious babies. Thank you soooo much for posting this info. You are a true blessing from the Lord!

    • Oh my goodness…my entire breast was hard as a rock and getting worse. I had been trying to get my duct unclogged for days (warm compresses, massaging, nursing). I never knew about the “whitehead on the nipple”. I soaked my breast in a bowl of warm water, massaged it, and then “popped” the whitehead with a sterilized needle. I didn’t get the big gush of milk but it did start leaking and two hours later I nursed my daughter…the clog is gone. You are a godsend!

  16. Thank you! I can’t believe after 2 kids and maybe2 years of nursing i am just now discovering this! I did not have a white blister but could see a spot were the milk barely dripped out and appeared stuck. Clog and enforcement from the clog is gone.

  17. I just did this and thank god I saw your posting! What a relief! There was paste consistency coming out it was so clogged! I still think there is more but I am confident my little one will be able to suck out the rest!

  18. Thank you. Tried nursing, massaging, heat, shower, pumping, more nursing and massaging. All the stuff recommended on the other sites. Was wondering if my blockage was from right at the tip because this wouldn’t help if it wasn’t. After several hours was getting desperate, plus could feel the blockage going all the way to the tip by then, so gave this a go. Investigated the tip right after nursing. Could just see tiny white dot when I put pressure on the sore area, so timidly “pierced” it just slightly with sterilised sewing needle. Took the second go and then and milk started squirting. Oh the relief.

  19. Thank you so much! Like everybody else on here, I cringed at the thought of this, but was desperate. Worked like a charm and wasn’t as bad as it sounds. Clog was immediately gone after nursing/pumping right after the poke. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

  20. I know this post is old but I wanted to thank you so much. I tried everything I could find online, but this worked wonderfully.

  21. This post solved my issue, too! I was in such pain and afraid the situation was only worsening even after trying all the typical suggestions… I’m very grateful to you for sharing your experience!

  22. I was a bit skeptical about it but nothing else worked and I was going on day 2 with the clog…. I am SO happy I tried this! Thank you for posting this, it works!!!!

  23. IT WORKED!!!! I did it less than 5 minutes ago and have pumped almost 2 ounces already. I had tried everything possible. Even right before poking it I had been sitting here with the pump going for 20 minutes and nothing was coming out. THANK YOU!

  24. Enjoyed every bit of your article post. Fantastic. http://soiyl9ln.tumblr.com/ – Westling

  25. This worked! I’m amazed. At first, this remedy sounds really bizarre and terrible, but then I did it just now and it actually doesn’t hurt at all, it really works. I gently hand expressed afterward for a little while. Much to my amazement, all the clogged milk came right out of the spot on my nipple that I’d opened up with the needle while simultaneously all the hard painful clumpy parts in my breast slowly dissipated. I was on day two of a painful clog and now I just feel relief…sweet relief. Thank you for posting this.

  26. I realize this is an old post and unlikely to get a response but curious to know if popping the “Whitehead” on the top of the nipple hurts at all. Should I expect blood? Won’t this compromise the skin and leave it open to infection? I’ve just finished a 7 day course of antibiotics for mastitis and still can’t kick this clogged duct. Help!!

    • I have seven children and have used this method many times.
      It DOES NOT hurt. It will not bleed because you will not peirce it deep. You literally barley poke the little white dot on your nipple. It kind of looks like a thin layer of skin grows over the milk duct but when you poke it the milk will come out and you will get immediate relief. Hope that helps:)

  27. Thank you so much you trick really helped… I was in pain since 12 hrs n feel relieved.

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