Canadian Breastfeeding Foundation

Blocked ducts

Herzl Family Practice Centre, Goldfarb Breastfeeding Clinic and Program Patient handout

What is a blocked duct?

When a milk duct is clogged so that milk can’t flow freely, causing a lump or thread of firm area in the breast it is called a blocked duct. The exact cause is unknown.

Risk factors for blocked ducts:

You may be more at risk of having blocked ducts if:

What to do for blocked ducts:

Generally when the blockage is gone and milk is flowing all the symptoms go away. Blocked ducts can last a couple of days and should improve with treatment.

If you do not feel better in 2-3 days or if symptoms worsen, contact your health professional.

The information contained in this patient handout is a suggestion only, and is not a substitute for consultation with a health professional or lactation specialist. This handout is the property of the author(s) and the Goldfarb Breastfeeding Clinic. No part of this handout can be changed or modified without permission from the author and the Goldfarb Breastfeeding Clinic. This handout may be copied and distributed without further permission on the condition that it is not used in any context in which the International Code for the Marketing of Breastmilk Substitutes is violated. For more information, please contact the Goldfarb Breastfeeding Clinic, Herzl Family Practice Centre, SMBD Jewish General Hospital, Montreal, Quebec, Canada. © 2009