Plugged milk ducts are the worst. Any breastfeeding parent who has ever had one knows just how much they hurt. Plugged milk ducts make nursing hurt even more than it already does. Now there’s a cool new “lactation massager” that says it can help relieve plugged milk ducts, and it sounds like a godsend.

Plugged milk ducts happen when milk gets backed up in a breast. Instead of flowing out freely, it gets stuck and starts to build up, causing the duct to become swollen, hard, and excruciatingly painful. It can even cause fevers and infection. Warm compresses, massage, and nursing from the affected breast all hurt like hell, but they are among the more effective treatments at getting the milk flowing through the duct again.

This is a little vibrator for plugged milk ducts.

The LaVie Lactation Massager is designed to help unclog milk ducts. It’s basically a little vibrator, but shaped to fit under an arm or on a breast. Regular, wand-shaped vibrators are a awkward to use on a swollen breast, especially if the baby is nursing from the breast while it’s going on. Best of all, it’s waterproof and battery-operated. That means it can be taken into a shower. Massaging the duct in a hot shower is one of the most effective ways to cure a blockage.

Breastfeeding can be really hard. Mastitis and plugged milk ducts are excruciating, and they happen to a lot of women. (This veteran doula has seven kids and tandem-fed two sets of twins, and suddenly wound up with debilitating mastitis while nursing her last baby.) Plugged milk ducts can happen to anybody, and they really suck.

These are extremely common problems. Most breastfeeding parents will experience a plugged milk duct. Approximately 20 percent of nursing parents will experience full-on mastitis. Anything that could help that would be worth a try.

The LaVie massager costs $34.95, and it’s basically just a little vibrator you can take in the shower.

What’s your best treatment for plugged milk ducts? Let us know in the comments.

Also read:

(H/T Babble, Image: LaVie Lactation Massager)