Women who decide to breastfeed anticipate that it will be a wonderful bonding experience for her and her baby. All nursing mothers know that the breast is the best, but what does she do with a case of mastitis?
acknowledging the problem
There are many warning signs that you may have mastitis.
1) An area of the breast becomes sore and red. The site of the plugged duct develops a very pronounced red spot that is extremely painful to the touch and holding or carrying your baby on this side can become unbearable. You may also see or feel a lump.
2) You may experience pain during nursing sessions. This may start as a tingling sensation in the nipple. If there is no pain while the baby is nursing on that side, it does not mean that you do not actually have mastitis.
3) Development of flu-like symptoms. You may experience a fever along with chills and body aches. Exhaustion is another common side effect. Many women report that they cannot even get out of bed.
What to do if you suspect mastitis
At the first signs of development of mastitis:
1) Get in bed and rest! Even if you can sit quietly for a few hours doing nothing, such as housework or taking care of other children or family members, you will benefit.
2) Apply warm compresses to the site of the plugged duct. Take a hot shower or even submerge your breast in a bowl or pot filled with warm water and let it soak for a few minutes, several times an hour.
3) Nurse, nurse, nurse! Try to breastfeed the baby on the side of the blocked duct as often and as long as possible to resolve the blockage. Massaging the breast while the baby suckles can also help.
4) Remedies such as Equinachea and Vitamin C can be taken. Antibiotics can also be prescribed by a doctor or midwife.
How to avoid mastitis
Mastitis begins as a plugged duct and develops into an infection. To prevent your ducts from becoming clogged in the first place, it’s a good idea not to constrict your milk ducts with underwire bras or tight clothing. Try not to sleep on your stomach as this can also lead to a plugged duct. Avoid supplementing with bottles because this can lead to an overproduction of breast milk. When a feeding is missed, the sinuses can become engorged and the ducts can become blocked. Breast compression or breast massage before latching is also a helpful tool to prevent clogged ducts altogether.