Unlocking Breastfeeding Challenges with Evidence-based Guidance 

As an expectant or new mother, embarking on the beautiful journey of breastfeeding brings joy, connection, and a myriad of emotions. However, it's important to acknowledge that along with the beauty come hurdles, and one common challenge that many breastfeeding mothers face is dealing with plugged ducts or mastitis. These obstacles can be incredibly painful and overwhelming, but rest assured, you're not alone in this journey. 

I'm Amanda Gilman, a Maternal Child Health Nurse and an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC) with a passion for empowering and supporting mothers through the highs and lows of breastfeeding. Over the years, I've witnessed the transformative power of evidence-based guidelines in effectively managing these breastfeeding struggles. 

In recent years, there have been significant updates in understanding and managing plugged ducts and mastitis. Unfortunately, outdated advice often circulates through Google searches, social media groups, or even from well-meaning friends and providers who might not be aware of the latest recommendations. My goal is to equip you with the most current and beneficial knowledge to navigate these challenges effectively.

Photo from the American Academy of Breastfeeding 

Understanding Plugged Ducts/Mastitis: Overview and Causes 

Contrary to popular belief, a plugged duct isn't merely a "plug"; it's inflammation resulting in ductal narrowing. When faced with this issue, frequent feeding is key. Avoid excessive pumping or milk removal beyond your baby's needs, and steer clear of vigorous massage, tight clothing, or heat that may exacerbate inflammation. Opt for gentle lymphatic massage and consider using ice to alleviate discomfort. Additionally, over-the-counter NSAIDs like ibuprofen can offer relief, particularly for severe inflammation. 

Mastitis symptoms encompass breast pain, redness, fever, and flu-like symptoms, stemming from inflamed milk ducts, bacterial infections, or a blend of factors like latch issues, engorgement, infrequent breastfeeding, or breast pressure. 

Management Guidelines & Practical Tips 

In my experience, early-stage mastitis often doesn't necessitate antibiotics. Seeking support at the onset of symptoms can prevent the need for antibiotics in many cases. Nevertheless, bacterial mastitis is a possibility, and it's crucial to engage with an

IBCLC/MD/Midwife for personalized guidance. I'm here to support you through this journey, providing tailored consultations that are often covered 100% by insurance. This individualized approach aims to understand your circumstances, address underlying causes, and prevent recurring struggles. Fill out this contact form with some basic information and I will be in touch to schedule. 


While mastitis and plugged ducts pose challenges, arming yourself with accurate information and supportive guidance makes them manageable. As a Maternal Child Health Nurse and IBCLC, I'm dedicated to empowering mothers in their breastfeeding journeys, enabling them to cherish these moments and feel supported through struggles. 

More About The Amanda Gilman - The Mama Coach 

Beyond breastfeeding support, I bring nine years of experience in Labor & Delivery and Postpartum Support prior to transitioning to community-based care. I assist families locally in Concord, NH, and virtually across the USA, offering a variety of services to help you prepare for birth + beyond. I'm committed to being your trusted resource, providing evidence-based, judgment-free support as you navigate the remarkable journey of parenthood.

Learn more about me and my practice by clicking here 


Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine. (2022). ABM Clinical Protocol #36: The Mastitis Spectrum. Retrieved from 


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