Let me count the ways.
Ol’ Mastitis that dreaded beast. The feared fiend which strikes us unawares.
If you’re reading thinking, “Woah Mama, dramatic much?!” then you’ve never had Mastitis, whom for the rest of this blog post I shall refer to as ‘THE DREADED M’.
If you’re a Mum-to-Be and have never heard of THE DREADED M the ABA (Australian Breastfeeding Association
) characterise the demon as:
Mastitis is usually the result of a blocked milk duct that hasn't cleared. Some of the milk banked up behind the blocked duct can be forced into nearby breast tissue, causing the tissue to become inflamed. The inflammation is called mastitis
Some of the most well know symptoms described on on Dr Google are:
Breast tenderness or warmth to the touch.
Generally feeling ill (malaise)
I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that Dr Google has never met THE DREADED M.
The day I met THE DREADED M, I woke feeling like I had been hit by a bus. Everything was sore, my breasts, my arms, my legs, my eyelids trembled under the weight of my eyelashes. I couldn’t move.
Then came the fever.
Fever. In the morning. Fever all through the night.
Following fever was hot and cold flushes, chills and sweats.
My darling husband would attach our son to my breast, settle him after his feed and then pat down my body with a cool flannel. He did that all night.
When the antibiotics destroyed THE DREADED M, we were both utterly exhausted.
And as the saying goes: Friends Don’t Let Friends Get Mastitis.
So Friends, here are some great ways to PREVENT being taken over by THE DREADED M.
Empty that breast. Not only is this great for your supply it will actively prevent blockages from occurring.
You can encourage this by:
- Letting your little one determine the length of feed.
- Massaging the breast as you feed, from the outer breast towards the nipple. Don’t neglect your under arms and under the breast.
- Hand express or pump after each feed for 5 minutes.
- Use a warm compress for up to 5 minutes just before a feed or when pumping to assist your milk flow - Bouncing Back From Birth stocks and highly recommends the BodyICE Woman Breast Gel Pads.
*On a side note Mama’s having an nonrestrictive, supportive bra is very important throughout your breastfeeding journey. Bouncing Back From birth stocks the Cantaloop nursing bra range for this very reason. Cantaloop Nursing Bra’s are fully adjustable so there’s no need to get fitted. They are designed to support and grow with your breast making them ideal for sleeping and in the immediate postpartum period.
If THE DREADED M does strike, continue to employ all methods above which work for you and continue feeding.
You can also use your BodyICE Woman Breast Gel Pads as a cool compress during rest periods to soothe and cool the inflammation.
As always Mama, stay confident.
You’ve Got This.