Mastitis is an uncomfortable condition where there is inflammation in the breast tissue. Mastitis often occurs due to an infection which enters the breast via broken skin on the nipple or milk duct openings. It may also be caused by going too long between feedings or not emptying your breasts completely at feedings.
Besides a nasty infection, mastitis can also appear alongside breast engorgement, nipple trauma or blocked ducts. Early symptoms of mastitis can make you feel as if you are getting the flu. You may begin to get shivers and aches, along with these classic symptoms:
– Breast tenderness
– Skin redness
– Breasts are warm to touch
– Breast swelling
– Pain/burning sensation of the breasts due to breast feeding
– General malaise/feeling unwell
Blend 2 drops of each of the following with 8 drops, of olive oil.
Topically apply this blend over the breast at least an hour before each feed. Wash the nipple and breast area properly before feeding.
Early motherhood is a rollercoaster of emotions, learning curves, sleepless nights, and new experiences. Just when you think you’ve got the hang of one thing (like breastfeeding) there is another curve ball, such as mastitis! The discomfort of mastitis can sometimes cause new mums to doubt their ability to breastfeed. With the rise of developing mastitis during the first 6 months after giving birth, it’s important to create awareness and talk about how to manage this painful condition and give new mums back their confidence in their body’s ability to breastfeed.
TOP 4 NATURAL REMEDIES FOR MASTITIS
APPLY CABBAGE LEAVES TO REDUCE BREAST ENGORGEMENT
It sounds a little strange, but naturopaths have been using cabbage leaves as a traditional mastitis remedy for years. To reduce breast engorgement try applying cold bruised cabbage leaves directly onto the breasts inside your bra for about 20mins at a time. Although an ice pack is more effective at reducing heat and swelling, certain plant compounds found in cabbage leaves have an anti-inflammatory effect. These compounds are called glucosinolates and when applied directly to the skin the enzyme action converts the glucosinolates into a constituent called ‘pungent isothiocyanates’, commonly referred to as mustard oil. Mustard oil has long been used as a home remedy for swelling because it is rich in alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), a type of omega-3 fatty acid that may help decrease inflammation and relieve pain.
APPLY NATURAL TOPICAL NIPPLE OINTMENTS
. Make sure that you wash the area thoroughly before breastfeeding if you’ve applied an ointment. Apply Hadassah Healing oil nipple balm over nipples throughout the day.
SELF-MASSAGE THE AFFECTED AREA
Breast massage therapy can ease the breasts’ sensitivity and provide better blood circulation to the breast, increase milk supply and help warm up and loosen the tissues around the breasts’ milk ducts. Gently self-massage behind the affected area of the breast moving in the direction towards the nipple to help reduce mastitis, breast engorgement, and plugged milk ducts and promote natural breast milk flow. Massaging the breast before and during a feed will help to stimulate the flow of milk and drain the plugged duct. While massaging alone won’t resolve mastitis, it will help break up painful clogs and relieve discomfort. Using firm pressure, massage the affected area down toward the nipple and alternate with compression around the edges of the blockage to break it up.
APPLY ICE AND HEAT PACKS
Apply both warmth and cold to help soothe mastitis. Apply COLD packs on the affected breast to help reduce swelling, relieve pain and take the heat out of the inflammation.
Use WARMTH only sparingly and just before a feed (for up to a few minutes) to help trigger your let-down to help clear the blockage which may relieve pain.