What is Mastitis? Here’s all you need to know if you’re breastfeeding
Created by Chandana Gm Updated on Mar 19, 2017
Though a rare occurrence in lactating mommies, mastitis, usually rears its head between 1 and 3 months after delivery. But before we go on to what causes mastitis, let’s first learn exactly what it is.
What is Mastitis?
Mastitis is a condition where your breast tissue becomes painful and inflamed. If you’re a first-time mommy breastfeeding your baby and your baby is between 1 and 3 months old, you just need to be little careful while lactating. And if you’re well-informed, it can be easily corrected, rectified or even avoided.
#ParentuneTip: Mastitis usually affects only one breast.
What causes Mastitis?
1. Baby not latching properly: The baby should be taking the areole in her mouth, not just the nipple. So ensure that your baby latches properly, both for her benefit and yours.
2. Baby has problems sucking: If this happens, make sure to call or takehelp from a lactating expert or your gynaecologist to resolve the problem.
3. Infrequent or missed feedings: Infrequent or missed feedings are not only affecting the baby, it is also hampering your breast milk production and consumption. Ensure that there are fixed times for feeding, and you feed your baby frequently on demand.
4. Preference of one breast over the other: Your baby may develop a preference over one breast. That is not a good sign as the other breast is producing equal amounts of milk and needs to empty as frequently. So what do you do? Change positions and let the baby latch from the other breast as well.
Symptoms of mastitis
1. Redness and swelling: If you see some redness and swelling on your breast, if it is painful to touch,or feels hot, you might have developed mastitis. Consult your gynaecologist immediately for relief.
2. A lump or hardness: If while touching your breast you come across a lump or hardness, it can be mastitis. If it is not painful to touch then you can treat it at home by using a hot pad, and then consult your gynaecologist.
3. Continuous or recurring pain in breast: If there is continuous pain in your breast that becomes all the more painful while breastfeeding then it is a good idea to consult your gynaecologist.
4. Nipple discharge: If there is an unusual nipple discharge that is white or contains streaks of blood then you immediately need to consult your gynaecologist, as that could be the beginning of mastitis turning into a breast abscess.
5. Other symptoms: Apart from the above-mentioned symptoms, there can be other symptoms that may look the flu—such as aches, high temperature, chills and tiredness.
How can you prevent mastitis?
1. Exclusive breastfeeding for 6 months: Your doctor must have told you this, so follow it like the gospel truth. You have to breastfeed your baby exclusively for 6months if you want to prevent mastitis. Exclusive breastfeeding ensures there is a balance between demand and supply of milk.
2. Frequent feeding: Feed your baby frequently, especially if your breasts feel full. Frequent feeding will ensure that all the milk has been expressed.
3. Feeding from both the breasts: Your baby will prefer the right breast over the left one or vice a versa, but you need to ensure that your baby is latching on to both the breasts.
4. Latch the baby properly: Latching your baby properly for the feed will go a long way to prevent mastitis. Take help from a lactating expert if you’re in doubt about whether your baby is latching properly or not.
5. Finish the feed: Your baby will leave the breast on her own when she has finished feeding,so let her do that. Once she has finished on one side, then let her latch her on to the other breast.
6. Avoid long gaps between feeds: Between 1 and 3 months the feed is on demand, so whenever your baby is hungry feed her. As far as possible, avoid long gaps between feeds so that there is no milk collection in your breasts and it is regularly being expressed.
7. Wear loose clothes: Avoid wearing tight clothes while breastfeeding as they put pressure on your breasts. Get a proper fit bra that is neither too loose nor too tight.
With these steps you can prevent mastitis and enjoy breastfeeding your baby. Got any other tips? Share your views and feedback in the comments section below.
| Mar 26, 2017
hello... my baby is 6 mnth old now and I have a lump in my left breast since he was 2 mnth.. lump is nt painful... is there anything to worry.. and how will it disolve....
| Mar 20, 2017
my baby is 10 months old.. now he is getting teeth.. he is biting nipple while breast feeding.. it's very pain full.. how to prevent from this pain and tips
| Mar 20, 2017
Thank you so much for this article--so many helpful tips here. check it out? www. momcuddle. com
| Mar 20, 2017
very useful information for new moms...
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