As a new mom, you would already have a lot to think about and should take care of regarding the baby. But never miss taking care of yourself in this hassle because there are so many things that may bother you in this peak time and one such problem is mastitis and the symptoms of mastitis in the breast. This article will provide you with clear information about mastitis, its causes and prevention.
Table of Contents
What is Mastitis?
Mastitis is breast inflammation. This occurs in the first six weeks of delivery of baby cause this is the time when right feeding patterns are not yet fixed. It results in swelling of breast, pain, redness and warmth in the breast. Most of the times new moms fall prey to this mastitis but there are certain scenarios where normal women and men also suffer from this infection. Those cases are referred to as non-lactational mastitis.
What Causes Mastitis?
The most important mastitis cause is a blocked milk duct. After the delivery when the new mother is feeding her baby, there are certain times when the milk ducts present in the breast are not completely emptied. The milk stored in these ducts is the first reason for the cause of mastitis. If something like that happens it is important for the mothers to recognize the plugged duct and observe early signs of mastitis. Preventing it in the early stages is better for both mommy and baby.
There is another reason for the cause of mastitis. It is an infection. The spreading of bacteria from the baby’s mouth to the milk ducts can also cause the infection. The ducts which have milk in them are more prone to bacteria. Infrequent breastfeeding is also another reason for the cause of mastitis. It is important to feed the baby from time to time in order to avoid acute mastitis.
[You may want to read: What Mastitis Looks Like? - A Breastfeeding Mom’s Story]
Symptoms of Mastitis
There are so many mastitis symptoms which you can recognize and take care off. It is very important to be careful if you ever observe these symptoms in your after the delivery period then consult a doctor immediately.
‣ Body aches
‣ Persistent mastitis fever and no improvement in the state of the patient even after treatment
‣ Breast Engorgement
‣ Draining of pus from the nipple
‣ Tender lump inside the breast
‣ Skin redness around the breast
‣ Body chills
‣ Burning sensation
‣ Pain in the nipple
It is important to take necessary precautions in the earlier stages when you observe the breast infection symptoms. This way you will be able to avoid chronic mastitis.
[Skip to: Treatment for Mastitis]
How To Prevent Mastitis?
There is a saying “Prevention is always better than cure”, it is important to follow it and take the required precautions in order to prevent mastitis infection.
It is important to establish a good relationship with your infant regarding the feeding. If you are not able to establish this relationship then better consult a lactation consultant in order to get an idea about what to do and the needed precautions.
Make sure that the total milk has been drained from the breast while breastfeeding and switch to the other breast once the total milk in one breast is completed.
1. Keep on changing the breastfeeding positions.
2. Ensure that baby latches to the breast properly
3. If you have a smoking habit, it is better to quit it till you stop breastfeeding your baby.
4. These are some of the steps that you can take for mastitis prevention.
Treatment for Mastitis (Home Remedies)
After taking necessary precautions if you still fall prey for the lactation mastitis then it is better to opt for the mastitis treatment by a medical professional. Besides this, you can opt for some home remedies to get some relief from mastitis. These are just simple treatments that can be done at home for mastitis relief.
If you feel or recognize a hard spot in your breast then keep massaging it. It would be a plugged duct in most of the cases and massaging it while you are feeding your baby will unplug it and the milk will be fed to the baby. Do not stop this massaging even if you suffer from pain because massaging the breast while mastitis breastfeeding will help in relieving from it.
A Shower Or A Hot Bath
If you ever feel a hard spot in your breast, stand in the shower facing the shower, the water will do its work and the hard spot will be eradicated in no time. This is one of the best mastitis remedies.
A warm compress on your breast will do magic when you are suffering from mastitis infected duct. Placing the heat on the hard spot of the breast will help in melting the hard spot. It will break the blockage and allows the milk to flow. Just wrap your breast with a hot cloth. Repeat the step until the blockage is broken. You can give the breast cold compress after nursing the baby.
Boost Your Immune System
Boosting the immune system alone is not the mastitis cure but it surely shows some effect on your infected breast. Consume antibiotics and Vitamin C supplements.
It is very important to nurse as much as you can for the baby but ensure that the nursing isn’t too much. Be safe and take necessary precautions when you are nursing your baby. Unless your milk is green or having a foul smell, the milk is healthy and can be fed to the baby.
Treat The Damaged Nipples
It is very important to treat the damaged nipples. If you ever feel that your nipples are sore and cracking then use the lanolin cream. It is important to fix the latch so that it won’t come back to you. If necessary visit the lactation consultant.
It is very important to take care of the breasts and keep it safe from the breast infection. So take all the necessary precautions and treatment in order to avoid it. Mastitis can be dangerous sometimes. If you are not lactating yet and are affected by mastitis, then consult a doctor immediately. It is not a common situation.