Every new mom who plans to breastfeed her baby must learn about Mastitis so that she can prevent it.
What Is Mastitis?
Mastitis is caused when breast milk gets blocked and does not get cleared or expressed completely after feeding. This causes inflammation of breast tissues and is called Mastitis. It is mostly common during the first month of nursing as there is a possibility as you might not have established a proper nursing method or schedule. Getting the latch right and the breast feeding position right will help you become more comfortable with nursing. You can also get mastitis when you are in the process of weaning your baby, so follow the tips here to prevent it.
Mastitis may or may not be compounded by an infection. If the mastitis develops into an infection, you will may develop chills high fevers and fatigue.
How Can You Prevent Mastitis ?
- Don’t letting your breasts become engorged. You must ensure that your breasts are not hard and full between feeding sessions. If your baby is full and not nursing anymore, express the milk and you can either choose to store it for a later feed or to dispose it. If you have a duct that is plugged, you can massage the breast and apply warm compress and that will help the plug release. A good healthy diet with ample fluids will help.
- A lactation consultant can help. It’s a good idea to get help from an expert if you are having trouble nursing.
- Keep to your nursing schedules. Dropping a feeding slot suddenly and getting ready for a new one can get your breasts to become engorged. So its better to reduce the time and slowly undo the feeding slot. If your baby starts nursing less, you may pump to relieve fullness.
- Tight bras are a bad idea. Make sure your bras fit comfortably and grow with you. Good nursing bras are an investment that you must make. Here are 5 reasons you need a good nursing bra. You can buy Morph Nursing Bras from here. Avoid tight top wear. Wear comfortable nursing kurtis, tops to help make breastfeeding easier.
How Can You Treat Mastitis At Home?
- Nurse your baby often and/or express any build up. Nursing can be painful when you have mastitis but it’s important that you still breastfeed your baby so engorgement is reduced. If you avoid nursing due to pain, you will have risk of milk supply reduction. Nurse as often and as long as your baby wants an if you still feel full in the breasts, you can express till you feel light.
- Use a cold/warm compress. To relieve pain and swelling you can use a cold pack or warm pack. Even a hot shower will work like a warm pack and will stimulate a milk letdown if there is any blockage. This is relieve pain due to pressure buildup in the breasts.
- Massage your breast. Gentle massage from around the area of build up, the nipples and around the arm pits will help. You can use organic coconut oil or olive oil for massaging.
- Wear loose bras. Wear loose bras or go braless for a few days till the issue resolves. If you feel uncomfortable stepping out without a bra, you can use Morph’s Nursing Covers that look stylish and work as a discreet breastfeeding cover. You can buy nursing stoles/nursing covers here.
- See your doctor. An over-the-counter medicine, such as ibuprofen, can ease pain and fever. If the issue is not resolved in a day or two or if the pain becomes unbearable or if you suspect infection, it is best to visit your doctor.
Though nursing with mastitis may be extremely painful, frequent breastfeeding is essential to keep up the milk supply and prevent another blockage.
We wish you to stay safe and enjoy your breastfeeding phase with your little one!