Knowing how to treat mastitis is an important bit of knowledge every expecting mum should be aware of. While not every breastfeeding mother will develop it, you should be able to recognize it should it occur. It is a common thing amongst breastfeeding moms. However, if you know how to treat it, you will be a-ok. Furthermore, there are actually things you can do to prevent it from ever happening! We will explain how you can both treat and prevent mastitis from developing below.
What Is Mastitis?
Mastitis is an infection which is developed in a breastfeeding mother’s breast. Even though you may not develop it, knowing how to treat mastitis is a must for all mums. Signs of mastitis are engorgement, a red, swollen tissue in the breast, fever like symptoms and general discomfort. Even though this doesn’t sound pleasant, there are ways to prevent mastitis from developing. But if it does appear, know that there are also ways to treat mastitis.
How To Prevent Mastitis
The steps you need to take to prevent mastitis from occurring are actually incredibly simple. There are a few things to do if you want to avoid this from occurring in your breasts:
- Feed regularly: feeding every 2 and a half to three hours ins a must. And if breasts still feel a little full post feed, express to comfort level with a Medela breast pump. Keeping a log book will also be helpful at this time.
- Keep a feeding logbook: as previously discussed in one of our earlier posts, keeping a feeding logbook can do wonders for every mom. But when it comes to mastitis, these are incredibly important. A feed log can help you keep track of when you need to feed or express. One of the causes of mastitis is a skipped feed. So, knowing when you need to do so is imperative to avoidance. Read up on how to keep an effective nursing log book here.
How To Effectively Treat Mastitis
If you have already developed it, knowing how to treat mastitis is a must. But luckily, there are simple, effective things you can do to manage mastitis at home.
- Applying a compress: during this time, you will want to apply both a hot and cold compress to your breasts. Use a hot compress whilst feeding or expressing. This will help heat up the clogged duct, allowing your milk to express easier. Apply a cold compress to your infected breast between feeds to bring down your swollenness. This will also leave you feeling a little relieved.
- Shower: another great way to heat your breast before a feed is by taking a nice hot shower. The water pressure may also help massage the inflamed tissue. This will help you express from the infected breast.
- Gently massage your breast while feeding/ expressing towards the nipple area: another must is a massage. Even though it may be sensitive, massaging the inflamed tissue will help you release the clog from your infected milk duct.
- Always empty your breast after a feed by pumping: gently express if you still feel full after a feed. But keep in mind to not over stimulate your breasts. Only do this when you feel too full
- If things aren’t getting better: if you find nothing is getting better, you need to consult your doctor. Consult your doctor if you see the red, swollen area developing red streaks surrounding it, if your breast milk smells funny when you’ve managed to clear the duct, or if your expressed milk is green. These could all be signs of a more serious infection being present. In this case, you may need to begin a course of breastfeeding friendly antibiotics. It is crucial that you finish your course to avoid the mastitis returning.
If you need any help understanding mastitis and how to treat and or prevent it, don’t hesitate to contact Breastpumps & Beyond now. One of our experts will advise you on how you can avoid this completely. But also offer helpful tips on how to treat mastitis if it has already developed.