Lifestyle

Zoe Hendrix On Her Struggles With Mastitis: ‘It Is So PAINFUL’

Married At First Sight’s Zoe Hendrix has opened up about her breastfeeding struggles to fans in an honest post on her Instagram page.

Struggling With Mastitis

The 27-year-old star, who welcomed her daughter Harper Rose into the world with her partner Alex Garner in November, wrote: “Mastitis has hit me again. I saw the doctor yesterday after the tell tale signs lingered all morning (fever, fatigue, sore/hot breast).”

Zoe Hendrix
Zoe Hendrix. Source: Instagram

Zoe reveals she was given antibiotics, but was told by her GP that if her symptoms didn’t ease up, she would have to have surgical drainage.

“[The doctor] has prescribed me antibiotics & said if it doesn’t clear, we may look at surgical drainage,” she says. 

“I am continuing to feed as frequently as possible as recommended, but it is so damn PAINFUL, and I find myself swearing. ?? @alex_garner_ wants to help, but he can only standby and offer words of encouragement as his nipples are made for decoration purposes only.”

When mastitis is not treated promptly, a breast abscess can form. This may require the mother to go to hospital and have the abscess surgically drained. In some cases, the mother can avoid hospital but, over several days, her medical adviser will drain the abscess using a syringe. This does not mean the end of breastfeeding. However, if the drain in the wound is close to the nipple, the baby may not be able to attach to that side for a while. It is still important to keep the breast well drained by feeding the baby or by expressing, says the Australian Breastfeeding Association.

To THE STAY AT HOME MUM: I can imagine it isn’t easy doing what you do, day in day out, in a role that doesn’t get the value and respect it should in our society. But to spend those precious years with your babies must be amazing. I salute you for the many sacrifices you make. You’re a great mum! To the mum who goes to paid WORK: It’s wonderful that you’re providing an income to support your family and following your career goals, you’re a positive role model for your children in so many ways, it’s fantastic. I salute you for the many sacrifices you make You’re a great mum All of our journeys are different and we should unite and support each other in our individual choices and give the middle finger to the comparative, judgemental bullshit that surrounds this decision. I know it’s one Iv been thinking a lot about already. #bringbackthesisterhood #whenwomenunitewearepowerfull ?? #marriedatfirstsight @alex_garner_

A post shared by Zoe – Married At First Sight (@zoehendrix) on

‘I have this strange paranoia that my milk will dry up’

Zoe went on to say that her experience breastfeeding has been difficult at times but also rewarding.

“Breastfeeding is hard and for me it has been bittersweet. It can be exhausting, isolating, painful and cause incredible anxiety (I keep having this strange paranoia that my milk will dry up..?) Yet it can also be incredibly rewarding and the benefit to our babies is so incredible,” she added.

“I hope this clears up and I can continue for my personal goal of at least 12 months – but if I can’t I hope I can find peace with that.”

Zoe On The Challenges Of Motherhood

Last month, Zoe admitted she was struggling with motherhood, and at times felt like a ‘failure’.

“SOME DAYS I feel like a complete and utter failure. Some days I just want to curl up in a ball and sleep for days on end,” Zoe’s heartfelt post read.

SOME DAYS I feel like a complete and utter failure. Some days I just want to curl up in a ball and sleep for days on end. Some days I feel guilty for not enjoying every moment of motherhood, remembering how much I wanted this little rainbow baby. Some days I day dream about what life was like before motherhood and I wonder whether I was truly ready. Some days I am intoxicated with love for this sweet child and I can’t imagine anything more beautiful than her milk drunk smile (even at 3am) Some days I trace the outlines of stretch marks on my body, in complete awe of what my body has done. Some days I google ways to remove those stretch marks. Some days I can’t believe how incredibly fortunate I am (a healthy baby and a loving husband) I know il look back at these precious days with this precious girl and wish I was back in the cot with her in my arms like I am tonight. The happiest & most challenging 12 weeks of my life ?? that my friends is my truth. #happy12weeksbabygirl #harperrose?❤️ @alex_garner_

A post shared by Zoe – Married At First Sight (@zoehendrix) on

“Some days I feel guilty for not enjoying every moment of motherhood, remembering how much I wanted this little rainbow baby. Some days I day dream about what life was like before motherhood and I wonder whether I was truly ready.

“Some days I am intoxicated with love for this sweet child and I can’t imagine anything more beautiful than her milk drunk smile (even at 3am). Some days I trace the outlines of stretch marks on my body, in complete awe of what my body has done.”

We hope you feel better soon, Zoe.

Motherhood isn’t easy at times and it can seem even more of a struggle if you’re suffering from mastitis. We hope it clears up soon. Hang in there, you’re doing a great job!

What is Mastitis?

Mastitis causes an inflammation in the breast and is often a result of a blocked milk duct.

It’s very common among breastfeeding mothers and can be very unpleasant if left untreated.  It’s important to recognise the symptoms as early on as possible.

Source: iStock
Source: iStock

Symptoms Of Mastitis

Symptoms of mastitis can often include:

  • Localised redness in the affected breast
  • Pain and heat in the affected area
  • You may develop flu like symptoms such as fevers, chills, and aches.

10 per cent of breastfeeding mums experience mastitis, and the highest risk of it occurring is in the second and third weeks after giving birth.

According to Australian Breastfeeding Association, your best bets against preventing mastitis include:

  • Make sure baby is attached well to your breasts and feeding well.
  • Breastfeed your baby as often as your baby wants to be fed. 
  • Reframe from avoiding or missing feeding. 
  • If a breast becomes full beyond comfort, wake your baby for a feed.
  • If your baby is not interested in feeding, express a small amount. 
  • Cease putting pressure on your breasts e.g. with clothing or with your fingers while feeding
  • Try and get as much rest as possible. 
  • Ensure that you alternate breasts when it comes to feeding. 
  • Try not to give your baby any other fluids except your breastmilk, unless medically advised to.

Please note these points and other information regarding mastitis, including information on what to do and additional resources can be found on Australian Breastfeeding Association.

Here at The Healthy Mummy, we advise any mum who thinks they may be suffering from mastitis to chat with their healthcare practitioner as soon as possible.

The Healthy Mummy team has written a piece regarding mastitis, recognising the signs and how to treat it. You can read this blog here.

jennifer
written by:

Jennifer Hartnett

Jennifer is our Senior News Producer with a passion for trending news and lifestyle stories. Jennifer spends the rest of her time running around after her son Kian.