Tips for Supporting & Preventing Mastitis

Posted by Riannon Page on

Navigating the beautiful journey of motherhood comes with its unique challenges and for many breastfeeding mothers, mastitis can be an unexpected hurdle and can lead you running to the GP for antibiotics. In this blog we hope to provide insight into tips you can try to reduce inflammation and symptoms to prevent the mastitis leading to infection. For those mums out there struggling with re-occurring mastitis we have great tips for you to! Note: you should always consult your health care practitioner for personalised healthcare advice and medication use.

New research from the Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine that mastitis is not attributed to infection alone, it can be caused by a range of conditions resulting from inflammation of milk ducts and oedema, engorgement of the breasts. The progression of bacterial mastitis is caused by congestion and blocked ducts made worse by overstimulation of milk production.

Key symptoms to look out for:

Early symptoms:

- Feeling fluey

Breast pain/ tenderness

Emotional and teary

Other key symptoms:

Swelling/ redness

Breast engorgement

Painful lumps

Fever

Fatigue

Emotional and teary

Based on the new findings treatment suggestions have changed from applying warmth, massaging and emptying your breast. As mastitis starts with inflammation, its important to reduce inflammation and prevent excess heat to the localised area.

Tips for supporting mastitis:

- Continue breastfeeding or pumping to your normal schedule, watching bubs cues. Now is not the time to stop breastfeeding as this can increase the chances of developing an abscess.

- Keep your breasts soft and supported, avoid ‘draining’ your breasts and avoid an ‘over-supply’ that will cause pressure within your milk ducts increasing inflammation.

- Cold compresses are best to help reduce inflammation & swelling, these can be wrapped ice packs, cold green cabbage leaves, wet nappy frozen to wrap around the breast.

- Lymphatic massage is great to help drain excess fluid, use gentle sweeping motions towards the armpit.

- Increase your water intake to support hydration, use hydramama sachets to increase hydration quickly.

- Choose anti-inflammatory foods reducing processed foods, sugar and stimulants such as caffeine.

If it does process to bacterial mastitis, please consult with your health care practitioner.

Tips for preventing mastitis:

- Check in with a lactation consultant who can check attachment and latch of your baby feeding and check for tongue ties which can contribute to inadequate milk removal or engorgement.

- Avoid tight or under-wire bras that may compress milk ducts. Sleep in a position where you are not placing pressure on your breasts.

- Take care of yourself! Try to get rest, prioritise your diet and eat quality wholefoods and continue including stress management strategies that help manage your stress i.e meditation, walking in nature etc.

- Take a probiotic, the Qiara Breastfeeding Probiotic is perfect to stay on whilst breastfeeding as it contains lactobacillus ferementum strain which has been shown in clinical trials to have beneficial effects on the breast health of mothers who have recurring mastitis.

- Book in a consult with one of our naturopaths to provide individualised diet and supplement support.

As you navigate the beautiful journey of motherhood, remember that you're not alone in facing challenges like mastitis. By staying informed, proactive, and seeking support when needed, you can overcome hurdles and continue to cherish the precious moments with your little one.

Always prioritise your health and well-being, and don't hesitate to consult with healthcare professionals for personalised advice and guidance. Together, we can empower each other to thrive on this incredible journey of motherhood.

Wishing you strength, resilience, and endless moments of joy with your baby. You've got this!

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