Mastitis can be inflammatory, so overfull breasts not draining and milk pushing back into the tissues (this can sometimes fixed early with a prompt full express and cool packs). Or mastitis can be an inflammatory with an INFECTION.
Infective mastitis is a serious business. Mums usually have a temperature, feel achy all over, sore red area and pain pain pain. Mums get very sick very quickly so get advice/medical help ASAP (this will include antibiotics) and let all those around you know that your job is to get well and that this will take time and extra support from your crew. The key element is drain drain drain, together with some antibiotics, eating and drinking well with REST. A temporary dip in supply is common but usually passes.
PREVENTION is always better than a cure:
• Feeding regularly, not going long periods between feeds so no longer than four hours in the first few weeks is best and 2-3 hours is ideal.
• Not over-expressing in the first month ( if you don’t need to ), let your body and your baby get in a rhythm first before feed spacing and stocking your freezer. It actually takes 6 weeks to establish breastfeeding. Give yourself time.
• Healthy diet is actually one of the best ways to help your body resist mastitis.
• Keep nipples healthy to reduce ways for bugs to enter -Rotate feeding positions through the day to drain most areas of the breast. eg: lying down morning and night, cradle in the day, maybe underarm in the evening, whatever works at your house.
• Check your breasts in the mirror daily to look for pink or red spots to get onto draining early. If massaging, don’t dig in hard with fingers you can bruise ducts, flat of palm or heel of hand. A little massager that vibrates is fab.
• think about a review with a Lactation consultant to talk through prevention before or after episode.
- The team at OGB
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