how do you know if I have a clogged duct or mastitis? You'll always have a clogged duct before you have mastitis and sometimes mastitis can be prevented if you jump on it fast enough. A clogged duct may be red, it can be a tender lump on one side or the other, just feel a little bit painful in one area when you nurse, and the best thing to do is apply warm compresses especially before nursing, massage the area from your armpit down towards the nipple, and then nurse your baby. The goal is to unclog that duct, get your baby to fully empty the breast, and hopefully it will prevent an infection. An infection or mastitis develops if the clogged duct isn't unclogged and bacteria start to harbor and grow and then you have an infection. Symptoms can be the same as a clogged duct as far as how the breasts feel. You might notice a red tender area or a lump. In addition to that you usually do have a fever or flu-like symptoms or just have generalized malaise, and fatigue, and aches. If you feel this way, call your doctor as soon as possible because it requires treatment. An antibiotic is the treatment as well as drinking lots of fluids and nursing your baby as frequently as possible. The milk that comes from the clogged duct is not harmful for your baby but sometimes it tastes a little extra salty and babies refuse it. If that's the case be sure to pump so that you're emptying your breast frequently. The more frequently you empty your breast the quicker you'll get over the infection. Also, of course, taking the antibiotics your doctor has prescribed and be sure to finish the entire course. If you have any other questions for me in the future feel free to ask them on our Facebook page at Facebook.com/IntermountainMoms and recommend us to your friends and family too.