A blocked duct is an area of the breast where milk flow is obstructed. The nipple pore may be blocked (see Milk Blister), or the obstruction may be further back in the ductal system. A plugged duct usually comes on gradually and affects only one breast.
A nursing mother will usually notice a hard nodule or lump in the shape of a wedge or football in the swollen area. It may also feel warm to the touch and painful.
A plugged duct will typically feel more painful before a feeding and less tender afterward, and the plugged area will usually feel less lumpy or smaller after nursing. A holistic remedy as follows:
Frequent nursing is the best natural treatment but suction out of the rest of the milk after feeding will help dramatically. Cold packs will help ease the pain. Soaking the breast in warm saline solution has been noted to be very helpful as well.