Mastitis is the inflammation of the breast. It is commonly linked with having an infection, or a blockage of a milk duct.
It’s a 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.
Symptoms of mastitis can often include:
- Localised redness in the affected breast
- Pain and heat in the affected
- You may develop flu like symptoms such as fevers, chills, and aches.
10% of breast feeding mums experience mastitis, and the highest risk of it occurring is in the second and third weeks after giving birth.
How to treat mastitis
1. Begin with frequent breastfeeds and/or pumping to remove milk from breast tissue and resolve blockages and engorgement. If you stop breastfeeding the condition may get worse, so if the pain is so severe you feel you can’t feed, start with the other breast, and swap once you have let down. Try different feeding positions with your baby.
2. Rest! This means no housework, cooking, cleaning, exercising or socialising!
3. Check your bra! Too much tightness and restriction on your breast tissue can lead to mastitis. This includes bras, tight clothes, seat belts, and even sleeping on your tummy.
4. Apply a warm compress to the breast tissue before feeding, and gently massage the breast towards the nipple while you are feeding. When you have finished breastfeeding bub, pump to finish off, to ensure the breast is empty.
5.Bruised cabbage leaves can help with engorgement and may help provide relief during about of mastitis.
6. Using a probiotic specific for breastfeeding can help increase immunity and reduce infections.
7. Garlic may help due to its antibacterial properties. Include more in your cooking, or take a garlic supplement.
8. Make sure you are drinking PLENTY of water!
9. Massage with a herbal cream can help provide relief and promote healing, Aloe Vera gel or Calendula cream, or even breast milk itself can help soothe the inflamed tissue.
10. A herbal tonic with echinacea in it can help reduce infections.
11.A poultice made of fresh ginger applied to the breast may also help promote healing and provide symptom relief.
12. Lastly, Antibiotics may be prescribed by your Doctor to clear infection if at home treatments are not working
If you are having trouble breastfeeding and would like some support we encourage you to contact the Australian Breastfeeding Association.
Did you know that our smoothies are breastfeeding friendly?
The Healthy Mummy smoothie has been created to help mums benefit from a wide range of nutrients which can also help support your healthy eating plan and exercise routine if you are trying to lose weight.
The smoothie range has been formulated by leading nutritionists, dietitians and with input from Monash University.
It offers an excellent source of essential vitamins, minerals, nutrients and important antioxidants.
It’s also free from any weight loss accelerants, caffeine, contains no wheat ingredients, no fructose, is 96 per cent sugar free and is dairy free.
You can download our information fact sheet here. You can also download the smoothie label and ingredient list here.