When anyone thinks of mastitis they think about it occurring early in the breastfeeding journey. However as I’ve personally experienced it can happen at any point.

Mastitis is an inflammation of the breast tissue caused by breastfeeding. The NHS say that it usually happens within the first three months of feeding.

I’ve now had mastitis three times during the last 10 months and it never gets easier. In fact dealing with the symptoms only becomes harder as your baby gets more active. I have considered moving completely to a bottle but once the pain clears I have found it easier to keep going with breastfeeding.

In my experience there are a few things you can do at home when you first notice symptoms.

Please note I am not a doctor or midwife this is purely how I personally have dealt with mastitis. If in any doubt go straight to your doctor and they will access you and may subscribe antibiotics to deal with any infection.

Home care to ease Mastitis

Take a hot bath or shower – heat is your friend with mastitis. The water and heat should ease some pain.

Comb your boob – this sounds like a weird one but use a soft brush or comb to try to ease pressure in your ducts. Do this in the bath or shower if more comfortable.

Use a hot water bottle – again heat will help ease some of the pain.

Feed on the affected boob – I know this sounds madness when you are suffering but it’s honestly the best thing that will help clear your ducts.

Use a pump – if you can’t bear the thought of feeding your baby, use a pump to help clear the blocked ducts.

Take painkillers – paracetamol or ibuprofen or both if you are able to do and are not allergic. This will be the fastest thing to bring down a temperature/fever.

Have rest – not easy at all with little ones but your body will be exhausted. Try and get some help from family or a friend so you can at least have a nap.

Rest with the furbaby while my other baby sleeps

Hopefully trying out these home care techniques will help minimise your symptoms, if you are unlucky enough to develop mastitis.

 

Hot Pink Wellingtons

Today marks the last day for the self care week campaign (Self Care Forum). The theme this year is all about engaging and empowering people to look after their own health.

Self care for mums

As mums we are so busy looking and monitoring our families health and wellness, we often overlook our own. Even after birth a mum is discharged from midwife care usually after only 10 days. It is often assumed the hard job is done with pregnancy and birth and the newborn babies health takes priority.

However, it is paramount though that mums begin to value themselves more and realise that both their physical and mental health are just as important.

In modern society it feels as though there is increasing pressure to become the perfect wife, friend, mother, worker and homemaker. This is putting unrealistic expectations on women. There is no such thing as perfect, it is a pure illusion. All we can do is be the best versions of ourselves and this can only be done if we prioritise our well-being alongside that of our families.

A positive well-being is both that of the body and the mind. Taking time with or away from the children, to do exercise can have huge positive effects on both your body and mind. Doing something just for you, even if it’s just taking a bath, can help you feel more centred and calm. A mum who is happy, healthy and relaxed is of utmost importance within the home.

Self care week should act as a reminder that every one single one of us deserves to fully embrace our health. There is saying that happens on airplanes that rings true in this situation, “In case of a loss of cabin pressure, oxygen masks above your seat will deploy, please place the mask first and then assist your child or other passengers”. As mums we must embrace self care, to be the best us for our children.