Breastfeeding And Mastitis: Prevention And Treatment Tips
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 most 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 breastfeeding 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. Mastitis may or may not be compounded by an infection. If mastitis develops into an infection, you will may develop chills high fevers and fatigue. So follow the tips here to prevent it.
Also read : 5 Comfortable Breastfeeding Positions For New Moms
How Can You Prevent Mastitis?
- Don't let 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 of it. If you have a duct that is plugged, you can massage the breast and apply a 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 it's 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, 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 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 the risk of milk supply reduction. Nurse as often and as long as your baby wants and 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 relieves 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 armpits 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.
- 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 an 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.
Also read: 4 Things You Should Know Before You Start Breastfeeding
Mastitis is a common problem for moms who breastfeed their babies, especially during the first month of nursing or when they're weaning. It happens when milk ducts in the breast get blocked, which can cause inflammation or even infection. To avoid mastitis, it's important to breastfeed often, eat a healthy diet, wear comfortable clothes and ask a lactation consultant for help if needed. If you do get mastitis, you can try things like nursing more often, using a warm or cold compress, or gently massaging the breast to feel better. And u prevent mastitis by following the above tips. But if the problem keeps going or gets worse, you should go to the doctor. With good care and help, mastitis can be treated so you can keep breastfeeding your baby without any problems.
We wish you to stay safe and enjoy your breastfeeding phase with your little one!
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