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