How I Use Sunflower Lecithin to Clear Plugged Milk Ducts

How I Use Sunflower Lecithin to Clear Plugged Milk Ducts

If you are a breastfeeding mama who has had recurrent plugged ducts, you know the struggle. What starts as a fairly small tender spot on your breast can quickly become a painful hard lump. If a clog does not clear up on its own or with some home remedies, it can turn into a real problem.

So, learning how to take care of stubborn clogs is essential for busy mamas who have better things to worry about!

How Long Does it Take for Lecithin to Work for Plugged Ducts?

As a breastfeeding mom with a history of recurrent clogged ducts, I have finally figured out a protocol to treat and prevent them. I am generally able to clear a clogged duct in a day or 2. And when I keep up with a preventative daily sunflower lecithin capsule, I do not seem to get any clogs in the first place.

I take up to 4 capsules of Legendairy Milk’s Sunflower Lecithin to help clear plugged ducts. This is the label’s recommended dosage. For prevention, the suggestion is 1 capsule 2 times per day. I stick with 1 capsule per day for prevention and that has worked well for me.

Each Legendairy Milk Sunflower Lecithin capsule has 1200 mg of organic sunflower lecithin and 111 mg of phosphatidyl choline. 

While I share my experience here with sunflower lecithin supplements and clogged ducts, please be aware that I am not a medical professional. All medical questions should be directed to your healthcare provider.

Clearing and Preventing Clogged Ducts

I have found that it takes me 1-2 days to clear a plugged duct following Legendairy Milk’s suggested sunflower lecithin supplement protocol. I also stick to a regular nursing schedule and do some manual massage over the clogged area while nursing. These three strategies seem to help move painful clogs along. 

Since I have had quite a few clogged ducts during my breastfeeding journey, along with a couple of milk blisters and some horribly painful milk blebs, taking a sunflower lecithin capsule daily for prevention has also become essential for me.

I have found that on 2 or 3 occasions when I stopped taking sunflower lecithin for a few days, I got clogged ducts a few days later. Coincidence or science?

At first, I just thought it was a coincidence. I was skeptical that the supplement was doing anything in the first place, but as a desperate mama, I was willing to try anything. When clogged ducts continued to coincide with my intermittent breaks in my sunflower lecithin regimen, I started to wonder if there truly was something remarkable about the product. 

I decided to research sunflower lecithin to see what might be behind its seemingly powerful properties. 

What is Sunflower Lecithin?

Sunflower lecithin is a natural substance and fatty compound that is extracted from sunflower seeds. 

It is a common food additive and emulsifier (helps ingredients mix), and is also used in cosmetic and pharmaceutical products.

The FDA (Food and Drug Administration) has approved it as a generally safe food and defines it as a mixture of phospholipids, glycolipids, carbohydrates, and triglycerides. As far as sunflower lecithin supplements go, Everyday Health notes that the manufacturing process of supplements is not FDA-regulated. This means that there isn’t any standardized quality control when it comes to supplements sold on the shelves in stores or online. Something to keep in mind when you are shopping around for a good supplement.

In addition to sunflower seeds, lecithin is also extracted from egg yolks and soy. Other meats and vegetables naturally contain lecithin as well. 

What Does Sunflower Lecithin Do for Breastfeeding Moms?

On the label of Legendairy Milk’s Sunflower Lecithin bottle, the company states that their product is a fat emulsifier (helps keep fats in breastmilk from sticking together) and helps with milk flow. By making breastmilk less sticky, sunflower lecithin helps clear clogs and helps keep them from forming in the first place.

Where are the Scientific Studies on the Benefits of Sunflower Lecithin?

Drugs and Lactation Database notes that there are no clinical scientific studies on breastfeeding women taking high doses of sunflower lecithin. This is largely because the manufacturing process of dietary supplements is not FDA-regulated. So the quality and effectiveness of a supplement like sunflower lecithin varies from brand to brand. This variation in quality means that results from one study using a certain manufactured supplement will not apply to a supplement manufactured by a different company. 

Despite the lack of research on the effects of sunflower lecithin, reputable sources like the Canadian Breastfeeding Foundation and La Leche League International suggest that sunflower or soy lecithin supplements can potentially be helpful for some breastfeeding mothers with recurrent clogs. 

Breastfeeding Woman’s Anecdotal Evidence

Without hard clinical evidence, we are left with the anecdotal evidence of breastfeeding mamas struggling with clogged ducts.

So I am here to say that sunflower lecithin supplements have helped treat and prevent my recurrent plugged ducts and milk blebs. For the first half of my breastfeeding journey with my second child, I was constantly dealing with these issues. Now, as long as I stick with a daily sunflower lecithin capsule, I can prevent these problems. When I get lazy about my daily dose though, I have found that I start to develop a milk bleb or clogged duct.

What is the fastest way to get rid of a clogged milk duct?

Here’s what I do as a breastfeeding mom to deal with clogged milk ducts;

  • Take Legendary Milk’s Sunflower Lecithin capsules (1 capsule up to 4 times daily when dealing with an active clog, and 1 per day for prevention)
  • Nurse or pump on a regular schedule
  • If very painful, I apply a warm compress to the clogged area before nursing/pumping
  • Gentle breast massage at the site of the tender lump during a pumping session or nursing session. 
  • Practice patience. Clogs can take a day or two to clear. 

As soon as I feel a clog developing, I take action. I take up to 4 Legendairy Milk Sunflower Lecithin capsules spread throughout the day. I am also diligent about nursing on a schedule so that I am not going too long in between feeds. Some online sources encourage a breastfeeding mom to nurse or pump as often as possible to reduce a clog, but I have found that there is a balance to be had.

Too much nursing or pumping can boost milk production. When milk is already backed up, an increase in milk production and an overly abundant milk supply are not helpful. So in most cases, I have always stuck to my normal nursing or pumping schedule when dealing with a clog. If the clog has become extremely painful and seems like it is quickly getting worse though, I do sometimes go ahead and try to do an extra nursing session.

As I nurse or pump when dealing with a clog, first I make sure my baby’s latch is good and she is in a good breastfeeding position. Even when I am dealing with a milk bleb and sore nipples on top of a clog, I am diligent about a good latch. Then as I am nursing, I try to do some gentle breast massage on the hard lump where the clog is. I try not to use too much pressure to keep it from being painful or too harsh on delicate breast tissue. I also do not want to stimulate more milk production. If my affected side is really sore, I apply a hot water bottle to the tender lump before nursing to soften everything up a bit. I have found that a warm shower before nursing has also helped make nursing with a clog a little more comfortable.

Even if I catch the development of a clogged duct and or milk bleb early on, it still usually takes a handful of nursing sessions and massage to fully clear the clog. When I actively manage clogged ducts as soon as I feel them coming on, I have never had one stick around for more than 2 days. 

When You Can’t Clear a Clog on Your Own

It’s important to watch out for any symptoms of mastitis if a clog isn’t clearing. John Hopkins Medicine explains that mastitis is an infection in the breast that can be accompanied by flu-like symptoms and a red spot or streaks on one or both of your breasts.

Mayo Clinic explains that a doctor usually needs to prescribe antibiotics to clear a mastitis infection. Additionally, Healthline notes that if not treated, mastitis can lead to a breast abscess (an accumulation of pus from infection). Luckily I have never had to deal with either of these issues, but I know I would head to the doctor if I ever started developing any signs of infection.

Who Should Not Take Sunflower Lecithin?

It is worth noting that sunflower lecithin is not for everyone. Health News explains that some people may have an allergy or may experience adverse reactions such as gastrointestinal problems as a negative side effect. Sunflower lecithin could also negatively interact with medications, so it is important to speak with a healthcare provider about taking sunflower lecithin alongside other medications.

Where to get Sunflower Lecithin Supplements?

Sunflower Lecithin supplements are relatively easy to come by. I buy the Legendairy Milk product at Target. You can find it in the breastfeeding and formula aisle in the baby section. You can also buy them at most major grocery stores in the vitamin aisle. 

Since supplements are not regulated by the FDA, it’s worth doing a little research on the brand you are planning on buying. While you may find one brand that offers sunflower lecithin for cheap, you may not necessarily be getting a quality supplement. 

Related Posts:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.