Mastitis is a painful thing to go through when all you want is to enjoy feeding your little one.
But if you know the symptoms and work on the situation fast with home remedies, it will be gone before you know it.
What is mastitis?
Mastitis is a breast tissue infection that usually occurs in the first months of breastfeeding. 1 in every 10 mothers gets affected by mastitis.
How would a mother tell that she could be suffering from mastitis?
Here are the symptoms of mastitis
Redness of the breast
You will notice a red patch on your breast and that can probably show you where the lump of milk has clogged up.
The breasts become very painful.
You will feel pain if you bump into something or if you touch the red-patched area.
Fever and chills
As your body fights the infection, you may experience flu-like symptoms such as fever and body chills.
What causes mastitis?
Inside the breast, some ducts transport milk to the nipple.
When the ducts get inflamed, the child’s bacteria through suckling enters through the nipple into the inflamed area further worsening the inflammation.
This then finally leads to the infection.
Are there other causes? Yes.
Skipping baby feeds
This may occur if your baby takes longer naps than usual or if you are traveling.
You may accumulate too much milk and this may lead to inflammation.
It usually occurs when your baby is learning to latch onto the breast for feeding leading to a very sore nipple.
As self-preservation kicks in, you decide not to feed your child on the breast that hurts.
This then leads to a clogged duct.
Due to the production of milk, your breasts can slightly enlarge and your bras may no longer fit.
When your breasts are compressed for a long time, you increase the possibility of getting mastitis.
What home remedies can help eliminate mastitis?
Using the items that are found in your house, you can come up with natural remedies to treat mastitis.
The natural remedies include:
Probably one of the things you don’t want to do right now. However, it is the first line of treatment for mastitis.
Through breastfeeding, you unclog the ducts thereby allowing healing to take place.
Emptying milk from your breast is a great mastitis treatment.
Try to find comfortable positions for both of you and feed him like you never did before.
Heat and cold compressions
Hot and timed compresses help unclog the ducts.
When you are done with compression, you should feed the child to get as much milk out as possible.
Cold compressions can help you relieve the pain and swelling. You need all the help to ease the pain.
Mix turmeric powder with some water and make a thick paste that will apply to your breast.
Allow it to stay for up to 20 minutes and then rinse it off with clean water.
The compound curcumin found in turmeric has anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties.
The properties help ease the symptoms within 3 days. It has no side effects.
Garlic has antibiotic properties that can help in mastitis treatment.
Slice up a clove and down it with your favorite drink.
It is recommended that you repeat the process every hour until you feel better.
An aloe vera leaf is a powerful anti-inflammatory agent.
Cutting up the leaf should let out the gel.
Apply it on the affected area for maximum healing benefits.
Rest and rehydrate
You need to take as much rest as possible as your body fights with mastitis.
Call in help to relieve you of your duties for a while.
Drink as many fluids as possible to keep you well hydrated.
You can take fluids such as soups, water or coconut water.
Therapeutic breast massage
Breast massage is a proven method for mastitis treatment.
Experts recommend using castor oil while performing the massage.
Apply the oil on your breast and gently massage right behind the affected area through circular motions.
Follow that with massaging in a sweeping motion towards the armpit.
Finally, massage gently leading towards the nipple.
Massaging the nipple will also help to relieve pain when emptying the milk.
Clean the cabbage leaf thoroughly and cut off the veins.
Wrap it around the breast leaving out the nipple area.
You can leave them for a few hours or leave them till they wilt.
Repeat the process until you see improvement on the breast.
You can also chill the leaves in the fridge and wrap them while cold on your breast to ease the pain.
There is no clear reason why using cabbage leafs work, but they have been used for centuries in treating breast engorgement.
Women today also stand by the remedy.
Marshmallow root bath
Add 2 tablespoons of the root to some boiling water and let it cool overnight.
Once cooled, put the solution in some warm water.
Let down your breast into the water and gently massage it.
The marshmallow root bath helps in easing pain and inflammation through its anti-inflammatory properties.
Having pointed out that putting on tight bras can lead to mastitis, letting go of bras for a while can help ease the symptoms.
The breasts need time to breathe and get relief from the inflammation.
By wearing a tight bra, you can further aggravate the situation.
The remedies above are tried and tested for mastitis treatment.
Home remedies are good for breastfeeding mothers because:
- There is no interference with the milk composition.
- They are convenient, easy to prepare, and easy to follow through.
Make use of the remedies and rid yourself of the painful mastitis for good.