Knowledge is power, it is essential to not let others judgments define your breastfeeding journey. It is imperative to understand the condition of mastitis before treating it.

Why is this happening to you and what can you do to prevent it?

Mastitis is an inflammatory and reactive condition of the breast tissue, which causes:

  • Pain
  • Swelling
  • Redness

It is usually caused by an infective agent such as bacteria but can also be caused by a reaction to systemic disease or an immune response. In the first three months of breastfeeding women are most commonly affected with Acute mastitis: cellulitis, an infection of the skin caused by bacteria, commonly Staphyloccocus aureus (Staph), which can then lead to a formation of an abscess, and in extreme cases septicaemia.

Micro-organisms such as Staph are contributed to and allowed entry through:

  • Lowered immune system,
  • Impaired milk flow (blocked duct),
  • Cracks and/or Fissures of the nipples

Clinical signs and symptoms are are used to diagnose mastitis which include:

  • Engorgement of the breast
  • Local inflammation of the breast with redness
  • Hardening of the breast tissue
  • Tenderness, pain, swelling and warmth to the touch
  • High fever, aches and pains, rigors, headaches and flu-like symptoms are usual.

Risk factors for mastitis include stress and sleep deprivation associated with nursing a baby. So what can you do to help prevent mastitis?

1. REST!!

As difficult as it is to rest with a new baby, it is essential that you try to get some time to yourself:

  • Don’t push yourself
  • Don’t feel guilty

Have a cup of herbal tea, watch a movie, read a book and sit back and REST when your baby is resting. When will you get the chance to do so again?

2. Hydrate

Drinking plenty of water is essential!! It helps eliminate waste, boosts your immunity and assists in milk production.

3. Well-Balanced diet

It’s easier said than done, if it helps find a good meal service that can at least take care of your meals during the day. There are some amazing companies out there such as My goodness organics, there are few out there so you can find the one that suits you (If you can afford it, let someone else take care of you).
If those companies are a little pricey for you, you can bake a tray of protein on the weekend with whatever seasoning you like and add a leafy salad on the side, which you can purchase already washed and bagged from your local supermarket. It is simple and nutritious and most of all doesn’t take a lot of time to prepare.

4. Breast Care

  • Hot/cold compresses
  • Hot showers
  • Massage
  • Loose bras/clothing
  • Expressing with electric pump and hand pumping
  • Physiotherapy ultrasound

Click here to find out more about breast care from the Australian Breastfeeding Association.
Or call the Maternal & Child Health Line 24 hour Helpline – 13 22 29

5. Probiotics

It has been researched that two strains of Lactobacillus probiotics isolated from breast milk (L. fermentum and L. salivarius) have helped reduce and treat Mastitis; these strains have a higher efficacy rate than antibiotics (Available to purchase in clinic).

 

As Naturopaths we have so many tools in our box to make your life easier, we can prescribe the right probiotic strain for you and your baby. We are here to alleviating your stress with diet and lifestyle advice that are tailored for you and your needs.

Make an appointment today for further information.  Call 9596 9930 or fill in your details below and we’ll be in touch!

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