By Samantha of Mama Be
How the Haakaa Breast Pump can help clear plugged milk ducts
By Samantha of Mama Be
Hi Haakaa family! My name is Samantha with Mama Be! I am a mom, Registered Nurse, Certified Breastfeeding Educator, and Certified Breastfeeding Specialist. I’m here today to chat about plugged ducts and how your Haakaa can help you out if you happen to get one.
Plugged ducts can be miserable! They happen from a build up of breast milk that wasn’t able to be fully expressed from a milk duct in the breast tissue, causing it to swell and have an inflammatory response. Plugged ducts usually feel like a tender hard spot or lump. They can occur anywhere around the breast tissue and even up near the armpit!
It’s super important to get the plugged duct resolved before it festers and turns into a bacterial infection known as “mastitis”. Easier said than done, however! Here’s where your Haakaa silicone hand pump comes in handy. This method, along with a few other key methods, can really help to get that plug out so much faster!
I recommend doing the following steps to work out a plugged duct:
- add some heat to the plugged duct area- a warm wash cloth works well or you can use a heat pack or heating pad
- gently massage the area, including above and below the hard spot
- nurse baby on that side often (or pump) and massage gently while doing so
- use your Haakaa and some epsom salts to help pull out the plug
To use your Haakaa silicone pump to remove a plugged duct, you’ll need the following:
- 1-2 tablespoons of Epsom salts
- Warm water
Do the following steps:
- Add the Epsom salts to your Haakaa and then add warm water until it’s close to being full.
- Stir gently (or apply the Haakaa lid and shake gently) until all the salts are dissolved.
- Apply the Haakaa as you usually would by pulling back the flanges, squeezing the base, and applying to breast with nipple in the center of the opening. Note: some water will come out that top when you squeeze it- that’s ok! I recommend doing this over a sink.
- Lean forward to allow gravity, the warm Epsom salt solution, and the suction from the Haakaa to pull the plug out.
- Depending on where the plug is located, you may be able to gently massage the area.
- Leave on until the Haakaa loses suction.
- You can do this twice a day until you either see the plug come out into the water or you feel relief and the hard spot becomes softer.
This trick can work wonders on a plugged duct! The suction combined with the Epsom salts really helps to pull out a plug. Sometimes, you can even see a thick plug come out into the water in the Haakaa, which is both gross and satisfying!
If you have any breastfeeding questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to reach out! I offer virtual support and lots of tips on Instagram @mamabeeducated or at www.mamabeeducated.com.
Mama Be founder, Samantha, is a registered nurse with experience working in hospitals, a pediatric clinic, and teaching prenatal education classes. She is a Certified Breastfeeding Educator and Specialist. Samantha is passionate about empowering women through education and encouragement because she has seen the need for modern support for modern moms first hand. Samantha is married and has a daughter, Emery, as well as a dog and cat. When not busy with Mama Be, she enjoys traveling, reading, teaching fitness classes at barre3, and trying new restaurants.