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Tips for Relieving Mastitis When You’re Breastfeeding
Breastfeeding can be beautiful.
Breastfeeding can be hard.
Breastfeeding for one of my oldest friends, was agonizingly painful
She had mastitis, repeatedly, with both children.
And although, she was aboslutely committed to breastfeeding, the pain took an enormous toll on her physically and mentally.
And that impacted the whole family.
She found it incredibly hard to consider giving up but the excruciating pain of every feed filled her with dread.
So many mums go through this agony, but with her second child, my friend did find ways to greatly reduce her mastitis and the pain when it did occur.
This is her list of tips that she compiled from other friends who had been through mastitis and which worked for her …
If you suffered or are suffering with mastistis do share your experiences and what, if anything, has worked for you …
Tips for Relieving Mastitis
1. Get plenty of Rest
Get plenty of rest (I know easier said than done but your body needs to recover)
Drink plenty of fluids
3. Loose fitting clothes
Wear loose fitting clothes
4. The right kind of maternity bra and clothes
Wearing maternity bras that open right up and clothes that open right up when you are feeding. Also try and wear a seamless maternity bra.
5. Empty your breast
Completely empty breast by expressing at end of feed … a good electric breast pump will help if baby isn’t emptying breasts. They are not cheap but you may be able to rent one locally.
Don’t interrupt feeds – or at least try not to.
6. Don’t skip feeds
Don’t skip a feed without expressing the milk to ensure you empty breast
7. Warm compress
Soften breasts with warm compress to open your milk ducts
8. Cold compress
If you find it very painful to feed your baby, apply a cold compress to your breast
9. Massage breasts
Massage breasts to remove blockages
10. Baby’s chin up
If you have mastitis lumps, ensure your baby has his or her chin towards lump
11. Hot shower
Hot shower before feeding
12. Sleep position
Don’t sleep on stomach and try and sleep on alternate sides
13. Feed from one side
If you only have mastitis in one breast feed off one side only – it is possible!
14. Fellow mum advice
Get an experienced mum to watch you feed to see if anything odd in position
Support breast underneath when feeding
15. Avoid external pressure on breasts
Look out for anything that could be pressing on breast e.g. clothes, bag
Do NOT feel like a failure if you switch to formula. Breastfeeding simply isn’t for everyone
When to see your GP
Mastitis can result in serious infection and abbesses that needs to be drained in the hospital so if there’s extreme pain and a lot of redness and lumps or any sign of infection do see your GP and do push to get a scan so this can be ruled out.
I do hope this post helps in some way … if you’re looking for more tips and ideas do check out our other baby posts … they are cram full of ideas on everything from breastfeeding and baby sleep to teething.