Photo by NIKOLAY OSMACHKO from Pexels

How to Avoid Mastitis While Breastfeeding

by | July 13, 2019

Mastitis can be a very painful and debilitating experience to go through.  If you are breastfeeding your baby, it pays to be aware of the signs and symptoms of mastitis, as well as what you can do to help avoid it.  Read more about mastitis while breastfeeding here.

How to Avoid Mastitis While Breastfeeding
Photo by NIKOLAY OSMACHKO from Pexels

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How to Avoid Mastitis While Breastfeeding

According to the Australian Breast Feeding Association, mastitis usually occurs as a result of a blocked milk duct. The milk is then forced into the tissue surrounding the duct causing the breast to become inflamed. 

If you are able to recognize the signs and symptoms of mastitis, it may help you avoid a serious infection. 

Mastitis can come on quickly, so you may be feeling fine and then a few hours later you may start to experience flu-like symptoms. According to Better Health Victoria, other symptoms include hot tender breasts, a painful lump, redness on your breast, fever, and nausea. 

Tips from the Experts

According to the Australian Breast Feeding Association, tips to help you avoid mastitis while breastfeeding include: 

  1. Allow your baby to feed and drain your breast completely. 
  2. Make sure your baby has a proper latch. If you are concerned about latch, lip or tongue ties, you should consult an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC).
  3. Avoid delaying feeds to prevent your breasts from becoming engorged.
  4. Relax while feeding your baby to help trigger your let down and your milk to flow. 
  5. Gently massaging your breast while your baby feeds to ensure all milk is released. 

If you do contract mastitis it is important you seek medical help. At-home remedies to relieve symptoms include applying hot and cold packs. The cold will help reduce swelling. Only apply a heat pack immediately before feeding to help trigger a letdown. You will also need to rest, and make sure you feed your baby often from the side with the inflammation. 

Early treatment, and seeking medical attention, will help reduce the risk of developing an abscess and further infection. 

Did you experience mastitis while breastfeeding? What helped you the most? Please share in comments!

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Amanda Goss

Digital Writer | Gold Coast, Australia | [email protected]

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