Lactostasis in a nursing woman: symptoms, treatment,Prevention, how to feed with milk stagnation

Update: October 2018

Lack of milk in a nursing woman is essential
problem. But its abundance can also lead to a situation where
woman begins to experience discomfort. As a rule, it is often
leads to milk stagnation in the breast, which is called

Development mechanism

When production begins in the lobules of the breast
high-grade milk (to the second, third day after the birth of the baby),
ideally, it should pass unhindered through the lactiferous ducts
and stand out from the nipple. This is facilitated by baby sucking breast.
or decanting, that is, mechanical and reflex stimulation
chest If the ducts are pinched or clogged milk
cork, milk stagnates in them – lactostasis occurs.

Causes of milk stagnation

  • Incomplete breast release from milk. To this lead: feeding
    from one breast for several feedings, too rare
    attachment of the infant, rejection of night feedings, shortened
    one sucking time (less than 20 minutes)
  • Incorrect attachment of the child when it does not capture
    the nipple along with the areola and not all lobes of the breast give milk
    (see how to properly attach the baby to the breast)
  • Holding the breast while feeding with two fingers like
    scissors, at the same time milk channels can be overwhelmed.
  • Wrong bra, pressing on the side and
    верхние квадранты chest
  • Habit of sleeping on the belly
  • Abundant lactation and neglect of decanting after feeding
  • Pathologies of development of the mammary glands: narrow milk ducts,
    retracted nipple, sagging of the lower parts of the gland
  • Hypothermia
  • Cracked nipples (what to do)
  • Dehydration
  • Denial of breastfeeding with continued lactation
  • Breast bandaging to stop lactation
  • Breast injuries.

Symptoms of lactostasis in a nursing mother

  • Asymmetric breast augmentation
  • Breast compaction
  • Coughness and uneven breast density
  • Pain and feeling of pain
  • Uneven sprinkling of milk from the nipple: unequal
    trickles, drip or lack of milk from individual

If you do nothing, then for one or two days lactostasis
may turn into chest inflammation (see mastitis in a nursing woman),
which will already require full therapeutic measures with
the appointment of physiotherapy or antibiotics, which often leads to
forced refusal of breastfeeding. When suspected
lactostasis, symptoms and treatment will have to be differentiated from stagnant
or infectious mastitis.

Differences of lactostasis and mastitis



Color of the skin Usual  Redness
Chest temperature Habitual Elevated
General temperature More often normal, normal after decanting Often high
General state Does not suffer Brokenness, lethargy, pain in the head and muscles
Lymph nodes Not enlarged Enlarged in the armpits

Lactostasis: home treatment

Stagnation молока требует в первую очередь, правильного и
регулярного опорожнения chest At home do it
quite capable of any woman.

  • Chest with stagnation need to warm up for a start. For this you can
    take a hot shower, you can make it soft
    circular massage of the breast. You can use and dry
    heat: a hot-water bottle or a bag of salt for 15 minutes. Alcohol and
    vodka compresses today is not recommended, because
    it is believed that alcohol will reduce the production of oxytocin and inhibit
    lactation, although it is highly doubtful that a lot of that alcohol will fall
    through the skin into the blood.
  • Next you need to start decanting (see how to
    express milk by hand). Brute force and aggressive massage is not
    recommended because of the risk of further compression of other ducts
    glands. Massage is performed gently and gently, with movement.
    directed from the base of the gland to the nipple. Skim milk
    four fingers put on the lower part of the chest, and the thumb
    – on the areola area. Movements should imitate nipple gripping and
    areola infants. Better yet take advantage of mechanical, vacuum
    or electric breast pump (see how to choose a breast pump).
  • After decanting the baby, it is necessary to feed in
    request “or on schedule, with breaks of no more than 3 hours,
    including night time. It is important to give the baby suck so much time
    how much he needs, not only to saturate. But also to
    calm down. Do not artificially shorten the sucking time, so
    as with this part of the lobes of the breast will not have time
    to empty.
  • Care should be taken to ensure that the infant is attached to
    chest, giving him to grab the nipple and areola. The head and body of a child
    must be located on the same line. The chest is better not
    obey or support with four fingers below, positioning
    big on top, without squeezing the chest.
  • In order to reduce swelling of the breast, after feeding to
    mammary gland can be applied cabbage leaves, ointment arnica,
    gel Troxevasin.
  • Do not limit drinking mode, even if milk
  • If signs of lactostasis are not pass within 1-2 days, skin
    Above the areas of the seal began to blush, the temperature rises
    body and suffers general well-being, it is advisable to turn to

How to express

  • Four fingers position the bottom of the chest on the border between
    pigmented areola and white skin. Thumb put on top
    on the same border. The fingers should remain fixed, not
    slide on the skin to avoid scuffing.
  • The first movement is pressing your fingers towards the chest.
    cage imitating seizure of ducts with milk.
  • The second – rolling the channels with your fingers.
  • So that during hyperlactation not to increase even more
    milk, it is worth to decant long, but not more than three per day.
  • At night, from about 2 am until 8 am (when there is a peak
    production of oxytocin) it is better to refuse decantations, and to replace them
    by feeding.

How best to feed during lactostasis

If there are prerequisites for the occurrence of lactostasis,
It is advisable to change positions throughout the day for
feeding the baby. For example, alternate feeding lying and sitting.
Also try to alternate and chest, giving each next
feeding another.

  • With stagnation in the upper inner quadrants of the gland (closer to
    sternum) fed sitting, “from the armpit”, when the ass and baby legs
    are behind my mother’s back, and the head is at the chest or “jack”.
  • When there is stagnation in the axillary parts, the position is “from the armpit”.
  • When problems with front lobules are fed, bending over
    a child.

Treatment of lactostasis in lactating

Lactostasis therapy is carried out on an outpatient basis. AT
hospital with this one does not stack. ATрач после осмотра молочных
glands gives basic recommendations for decanting, feeding and
prescribes ultrasound course in 3-7 days. Conduct and ultrasound
исследование glands. Of the drugs prescribed
Traumeel’s homeopathic gel and antispasmodics, dilating ducts
(No-shpa, Drotaverine hydrochloride) for 3-5 days.

AT случае, если есть повышение температуры. Suspected
non-infectious mastitis, resort to antibiotics,
not contraindicated in feeding (Amoxicillin, Augmentin).


  • Try to breastfeed on demand.
  • AT случае гиперлактации сцеживайте немного молока до
  • Следите за правильным захватом ребенком chest
  • Do not take long night breaks.
  • Не укорачивайте время одного feeding
  • Sleep on your back or side.
  • Wear comfortable underwear for nursing.
  • Keep your chest from cooling and injury.
  • Treat cracks in the nipples in a timely manner.

Read also What to do if there is not enough breast milk and how
Introduce complementary foods to the baby.

Thus, lactostasis is a situation from which it is difficult, but
it is possible to protect yourself, especially in the first weeks of breastfeeding.
ATыполняя несложные правила, можно гарантированно разрешить эту
situation without the risk of developing mastitis and without abandoning the breast

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