Tips for Relieving Mastitis When You’re Breastfeeding

Mastitis - tried and tested tips for preventing and relieving mastitis from mums who have suffered with it

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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)

2. Fluids

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

16. Formula

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.

Mastitis - how to treat mastitis when breastfeeding

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Hello, I'm Luci, Editor of Mums Make Lists. MML is full of creative tips I’ve put together to bring calm and balance to the lives of busy mums and their families.

5 thoughts on “Tips for Relieving Mastitis When You’re Breastfeeding”

  1. Thanks for the article! I had quick and dirty bouts of mastitis twice during the early months of breastfeeding. I just wrote a blog article on my natural process of curing and most of all preventing mastitis.

    Natural, practical ways to clear mastitis and blocked ducts.

  2. Thanks for sharing. I am done with nursing, as we are not having anymore children but with both my boys I repeatedly got mastitis and it was very painful. I can relate to the guilt of not being good at breastfeeding. With my first, we had two lactation specialists help us in our home, but it didn’t help. Thanks for sharing to help those still nursing.

  3. If you have a cold or your toddler has a snotty nose, make sure your hand hygiene is good especially if you have cracked nipples – this can provide as entry point for bugs.
    I used to get mastitis when I was run down. The minute I would get symptoms I would get stuck into Vit C and echinacaea, garlic (when my baby was older and didn’t get wind) and go to bed to feed and rest – this would stave off the worst of it. And I’d do a lot of the things on your list too.

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