Make Mastitis Less Painful

New mums are likely to feel upset about their breasts during or after nursing. It is crucial for them to see a doctor and take the necessary precautions before it’s too late. Feeling discomfited and worn out while breastfeeding can be due to mastitis - an infection common in nursing mothers during the first six months of childbirth. 

Mastitis is an infection of the breast tissue often found in breastfeeding mothers. Like any other infection, if not treated on time, it spreads to the other parts of the body, resulting in further damages. Mastitis can happen due to various reasons and one of them is clogged (or blocked) milk ducts which obstruct the natural milk flow in nursing mothers.

Although this infection is common in non-breastfeeding women, it is most evident in the mothers of newborns. Albeit it may make new mums feel terrible and cause a never-ending process of suffering. That said, new mums can get rid of this irritating situation by following a few cautious steps shared below. 

 

MASSAGE

Whenever you feel a hard spot on your breast, start properly massaging the area. This hard spot can be a clogged duct which needs to be cleared before your breast becomes too engorged or tender. The hard spot can cause a lot of pain but massaging will help reduce the pain and clear the clogged milk in your breast to keep mastitis away. 

 

BREASTFEEDING IS THE KEY

If you are wondering if it is safe to breastfeed your baby while you have mastitis, you must know it is absolutely safe to nurse your little one even when you’re suffering from mastitis(1). Regular breastfeeding helps to empty the milk ducts which is extremely important if you have mastitis. Any bacteria in the milk will be killed by your newborn’s digestive juices, keeping the baby safe from any ailment. 

New mums suffering from the infection are advised to apply a wet and warm washcloth to the affected breast for around 15 minutes before feeding the baby. This is to improve the flow of milk in the breasts before nursing. 

Make sure to start breastfeeding from the affected breast, as it is important to empty out the afflicted breast entirely for faster relief.

 

TAKE REST AND STAY HYDRATED

If you notice any symptoms of the infection, start taking an ample amount of rest and get over it without much ado. Mastitis is a clear sign that you’ve been deprived of proper rest so, take rest as much as you can. 

It is also crucial that you intake a lot of fluid to keep yourself hydrated, which is important to keep up your milk supply. Water, fresh juice, coconut water or clear soups can help you suffice the need and keep you hydrated, making your breastfeeding journey a comfortable and successful one. 

 

APPLY WARM COMPRESS

Applying warm compress on the affected breast before breastfeeding can help liquefy the milk pocket, ensuring a proper milk flow in nursing mothers. Placing heat on the engorged breast helps soften the blockage and encourages infallible milk flow. Keep your breast warm with the help of warm compress to get the milk flowing without any difficulty. 

 

TAKE A HOT SHOWER 

Taking a hot shower can immensely help you to get rid of milk blockage during nursing. So, whenever you feel a little blockage forming, take a hot shower or bath and get out of the uncomfortable situation. 

A hot bath also rejuvenates your senses and make you feel fresh, as breastfeeding can take a toll and leave you drained out.

It is also necessary that you wear comfortable bras, maintain a healthy diet and most importantly, keep breastfeeding your baby as long as you can to keep this infernal issue at bay. Mastitis can be an enduring problem, yet if you take proper care of yourself, there is nothing much to worry about.        

 

Source 

1. https://www.uofmhealth.org/health-library/hw98039