Mastitis is a common occurrence in moms that have recently started breastfeeding. Typically it happens in the first 2-3 weeks, but can occur at any stage of breastfeeding. It essentially occurs when one of the milk ducts in your breasts gets clogged, thereby resulting in a bacterial buildup which can result in an infection. Mastitis may come on abruptly and usually, affects only one breast.
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Some tips to help relieve your symptoms:
Before feeding your little one place a warm, wet washcloth over the affected breast for about 15 minutes. Try this at least 3 times a day. This increases milk flow in the breast. Massaging the affected breast may also increase milk flow.
If pus is draining from your infected breast, wash the nipple gently and let it air dry before putting your bra back on.
Bed rest -Ideally with baby and skin to skin, if possible.
Increase fluids, adequate nutrition – If you can get some or have some Bone Broth is great! Its just an amazing thing for post-partum healing all around.
If you are battling your fever and feeling discomfort try some Peppermint oil – But be cautious. It CAN lower milk supply in some women.
You don’t have to take antibiotics in order to treat your mastitis if you have it. There are a number of natural remedies as well, all of which are natural and will not cause any side effects. It’s important if symptoms worsen or you are not really right you see your doctor. If you are getting worse or symptoms have not started to improve in 24-28 hours, please contact your Dr. In no way, shape or form am I a doctor. These are just tips that have been passed down to me from other moms and from research and reader feedback.
1) Cabbage: The reason that cabbage is such an effective cure for mastitis has to do with the fact that it has sulfur. Sulfur is what you are going to need in order to reduce inflammation, which is why cabbage is so effective. All you need to do is cool the leaves down in the fridge for a little while, and when they are nice and cold you would be able to place it on the infected area. Use while the leaf is chilled and then use a new one when the old one gets warm.
2) Garlic: Rather than rubbing this onto your infected breast, with garlic you just need to eat it. Bear in mind though that cooked garlic is not going to have all that great an impact instead, you are going to have to consume it raw. Two cloves a day should do the trick, they will strengthen your immune system and help it dispel the infection a lot faster than it would have been able to otherwise. You can take supplements containing garlic as well but ask your doctor before you do so.
3) Vinegar: Vinegar has a lot of antibacterial properties as well so it is a great solution if you want to help your body fight the infection. Use apple cider vinegar, mix it in with some honey (A great natural antibacterial!) and have a tablespoon once after each meal for a week. The infection is going to be gone after four or five days, but you need to make sure that it does not come back so having this remedy for two or three extra days is going to be necessary to maintain your health as well as the health of your child.
4) Yogurt: Yogurt is a probiotic which would help your body process food faster. This is going to help boost the nutritional efficiency of your digestive system, thereby providing the immune system with the nutrients it needs to allow it to fight the infection with ease. Yogurt is full of other nutrients that would make your breast milk a lot healthier for your baby as well, which is why you should try to incorporate it into your diet as much as you can. Try to eat it with every meal and mastitis can be prevented outright.
5) Probiotic supplements– Several studies have shown that probiotic supplements are effective in treating infectious mastitis and also resulted in a lower occurrence of repeat mastitis compared to antibiotic treatment.