Breastfeeding and Lactation

Plugged or Blocked Milk Ducts

Plugged or blocked milk ducts are caused by plugging, blockage or poor drainage of a milk duct or section of the breast. It often follows incomplete drainage, skipped feedings or stress.

One symptom of a plugged duct is a tender lump in one area of the breast that causes pain, but no fever. A blocked milk duct may also include a tiny white milk plug (bleb) seen in an opening on the nipple. Onset of the plugged or blocked milk ducts — and the pain that accompanies it — may be gradual but if the condition is not treated it can lead to breast mastitis, a more serious condition. 

Tips to prevent plugged milk ducts

What to do if you get plugged milk ducts

Contact us

For more information or to schedule a consultation with a lactation specialist at CHOP, call 215-590-4442 or contact us online

Reviewed by: Diane L. Spatz, PhD, RN-BC, FAAN
Date: August 2012

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