Kamis, 22 September 2016

How Can I Tell If I Have Mastitis?

All breastfeeding women should know the signs of mastitis, what to do if they develop this condition, and how to prevent it. Mastitis is a condition which causes a woman's breast tissue to become painful and inflamed.

Symptoms of breast infection, which may come on gradually, include:
1.    Intense pain in one breast.
2.    Red, hot, or swollen breast or a hard, tender, reddened area on the breast.
3.    Flulike symptoms, including a fever of 101 degrees F.

Mastitis usually only affects one breast, and symptoms often develop quickly. If you notice any of these symptoms, see pus or blood in your milk, call your doctor. If you get a breast infection:
1.    Apply either dry or wet heat directly to your breast and gently massage the area while feeding.
2.    Start each feeding on the affected breast.
3.    Vary your nursing positions.
4.    Don't wear tight clothing.
5.    Rest!
6.    If you're breastfeeding, continuing to feed your baby and making sure they are properly attached to your breast. Breastfeeding your baby when you have mastitis, even if you have an infection, won't harm your baby and can help improve your symptoms.
7.    For non-breastfeeding women with mastitis and breastfeeding women with a suspected infection, a course of antibiotic tablets will usually be prescribed to bring the infection under control.

If you're breastfeeding, you can help reduce your risk of developing mastitis by taking steps to stop milk building up in your breasts, such as:
1.    Let your baby finish their feeds – most babies release the breast when they've finished feeding; try not to take your baby off the breast unless they're finished.

2.    Avoid pressure on your breasts from tight clothing, including bras.

How to Prevent and Treat Mastitis Naturally

1.    Wear a well-fitting, comfortable bra—underwire can cause pressure and plug ducts, so use with caution!
2.    Get plenty of rest. Mastitis is a signal that rest is needed—snuggle with baby in bed as much as possible.
3.    Make sure baby has a good latch.
4.    For recurring plugged ducts and mastitis, lecithin has been recommended.
5.    Nurse, nurse, nurse! While in bed with baby, nurse on demand—get lots of skin-to-skin contact by taking off your and baby’s clothes as this will encourage breastfeeding.
6.    Apply heat to the breast before breastfeeding—this will help liquefy the milk pocket and get it moving out of the breast.
7.    Massage towards the nipple when baby is breastfeeding on afflicted breast.
8.    Massage during and between feedings will help loosen the milk pocket.
9.    Therapeutic grade lavender essential oil—apply a few drops to afflicted breast a few times a day.
10. Poultice—apply a poultice of herbs to the skin a few times a day while resting, herbs that may help are fenugreek seed, rosemary, and dandelion.
11. Cabbage leaves—apply cool cabbage leaves to afflicted breast and leave on the breast for about an hour and then remove.
12. The leaves can be applied up to four times a day. 
13. Tincture of Echinacea—3-4 times per day.

What natural remedies for mastitis have you tried? 

Breast Infection

The milk-carrying ducts extend from the nipple into the underlying breast tissue like the spokes of a wheel.  Under the areola are lactiferous ducts. When a girl reaches puberty, changing hormones cause the ducts to grow and cause fat deposits in the breast tissue to increase.

Mastitis is an infection of the tissue of the breast that occurs most frequently during the time of breastfeeding, can occur when bacteria, often from the baby's mouth, enter a milk duct through a crack in the nipple.
In healthy women, mastitis is rare. Chronic mastitis occurs in women who are not breastfeeding. In postmenopausal women, breast infections may be associated with chronic inflammation of the ducts below the nipple.

Breast infections may cause pain, redness, and warmth of the breast along with the following symptoms:
1.    Body aches.
2.    Breast engorgement.
3.    Abscess: Sometimes a breast abscess can complicate mastitis.


Puerperal Mastitis

Between 10 % and 33 % of breastfeeding women develop lactation mastitis. Infectious mastitis occurs when accumulated milk allows bacteria to grow.

Risk factors:


1.    Reduced number of feeds, leading to milk accumulation. This may be due to:
  1. Partial bottle feeding.
  2. Painful breasts.
  3. Preferred breast, leading to milk accumulation in the other.


2.    Trauma to breasts.

Management: 


1.    First-line management:
  1. Encourage the woman to continue breastfeeding.
  2. Assessment of breastfeeding technique by an appropriately trained, skilled person who can assess feeding pattern, positioning, attachment, sucking behaviour and breast fullness. Because mastitis is thought to result partly from inadequate milk removal from the breast, optimizing breastfeeding technique is likely to be beneficial.
  3. Manual expression of milk to empty the breast after feeding.
  4. Increasing feeding frequency.
  5. The mastitis was preceded by deep nipple wounds that were treated with topical and oral antibiotics, and the woman was receiving topical antibiotics when she developed mastitis. Treatment with oral antibiotics resolved the mastitis.



2.    Surgical management, is indicated for breast abscesses, occur in around 3 – 7 % of women with puerperal mastitis. Stopping breastfeeding suddenly in mastitis increases the risk of developing an abscess. Other risk factors include obesity and smoking.

How to Relieve Pain from Mastitis

Mastitis is an inflammation of the breast that can occur when a milk duct becomes clogged.

Recognizing mastitis symptoms:

1.      Know the symptoms of mastitis: pain, soreness, a lump in the breast.
2.      Take note if you are feeling a bit under the weather. Mastitis symptoms resemble those of flu. If antibiotics are discontinued before the infection is completely cured, mastitis can come back. 

Relieving mastitis pain:
1.      A full breast increases the pain of mastitis, so draining the breast of milk helps reduce pain. If breastfeeding is too painful, use a pump. Start each feed on the sore breast. Your baby may appear reluctant to nurse on the affected breast. Express a little milk from your nipple to encourage nursing.
2.      Take analgesics for fever and pain. The relief of pain during mastitis aids healing.
3.      Take warm showers or baths frequently throughout the day. Massage the affected breast while in the warm water. Soaking your breasts in a warm Epsom salt bath speeds healing, and relieves pain.
4.      Massage the breast prior to feeding the baby. Be sure to massage gently. Rough handling of the breast can increase swelling.
5.      Nurse your baby frequently. Avoid giving baby a bottle. If baby is reluctant to nurse, continue to try periodically.
6.      Experiment with a variety of nursing positions. One suggested position is to crouch above your baby, on your hands and knees. Lower your breasts towards your baby's mouth, until she latches on.


Using natural remedies:

1.      Apply slices of raw potato to the breast within 24 hours of first symptoms. Slice 6-8 raw potatoes lengthwise, and place into a bowl of cold water for 15-20 minutes. Remove a few potato slices from water and place on affected breast. Allow to remain on the breast for 15-20 minutes, then remove and discard. Repeat with fresh slices.

2.      Place some raw, chilled cabbage leaves into the cup of your bra. Cabbage leaves have anti-inflammatory properties. Some mothers have reported decreased milk production using this method. If your milk slows, discontinue using this treatment.

Practicing healthy living:
1.      Eat a healthy, anti-inflammatory diet. 
2.      Rest in bed with your baby. This will promote frequent feeding, helping in pain relief.
3.      Drink more water. Water can be used to dilute fruit and vegetable juices.

Researching proper breast care:


1.      Check out educational pregnancy and baby websites. Remember, mastitis is a common condition of nursing mothers. You are not alone!


2.      Identify conditions that can lead to mastitis. Cracked nipples can allow bacteria to enter into the breast. 

Minggu, 22 Mei 2016

Mastitis and Blocked Ducts



Mastitis is a bacterial infection of the breast that usually occurs in breastfeeding mothers, needs to be differentiated from a plugged duct because a plugged duct does not need treatment with antibiotics, whereas mastitis often, but not always, requires treatment with antibiotics. A blocked duct presents as a painful, swollen, firm mass in the breast. Mastitis is usually associated with fever and more intense pain as well. However, it is not always easy to distinguish between a mild mastitis and a severe blocked duct. Both are associated with a painful lump in the breast. Without a lump in the breast, one cannot make a diagnosis of mastitis. A blocked duct can, apparently, go on to become mastitis.


Blocked ducts will almost always resolve spontaneously within 24 to 48 hours after onset, even without any treatment at all, can be made to resolve more quickly by:
1.      Continuing breastfeeding on the affected side.
2.      Draining the affected area better.

If the blocked duct is associated with a small blister on the end of the nipple, you can open it with a sterile needle. Opening the blister has the added benefit of decreasing nipple pain, even if the blocked duct does not immediately resolve. If a blocked duct has not settled within 48 hours, therapeutic ultrasound often works. Get the blocked duct re-evaluated at the clinic. Ultrasound also seems to prevent recurrent blocked ducts that always occur in the same part of the breast.

Here is my approach to dealing with mastitis.



1.      If the mother has symptoms consistent with mastitis for more than 24 hours, she should start antibiotics. If, over the next 24 hours, the mother has not worsened, but not improved, she should start the antibiotics. However, if symptoms are starting to decrease, there is no need to start the antibiotics. If the course of your mastitis does not follow this pattern, contact the clinic.



2.      Amoxicillin, plain penicillin, and some other antibiotics often prescribed for mastitis are usually useless for mastitis. If you need an antibiotic, it must be effective against Staphylococcus aureus. 


Continuing breastfeeding helps mastitis to resolve more quickly. There is no danger for the baby. Heat applied to the affected area helps healing. Fever helps fight off infection. 

An abscess occasionally complicates mastitis. You don’t have to stop breastfeeding to get a breast lump investigated. A breastfeeding friendly surgeon will not tell you that you must stop breastfeeding before she can do tests for a breast lump.


Breastfeeding Pain



Unfortunately, many breastfeeding moms experience some sort of pain as they begin to nourish their baby. Most of the time, a poor latch is the cause of nipple pain. Aaaaaah! Your baby will suck extra-hard on your breast if the milk flow is pinched off due to a poor latch, if milk supply is low.

Sore nipples in later months may be related to sucking pattern changes in a teething baby. The pain gets a little better once she’s feeding but is still pretty bad for the whole time. Experiencing pain when using a breastpump? If your breastshields are too small, pumping can cause unneeded friction on your nipples. Soothe sore nipples with Medela’s Tender Care Lanolin and Hydrogel pads, which are both safe for mom and baby.

Keep bra pads and bras dry and allow air to circulate around your breasts whenever possible. Multiple-hole breast shells like SoftShells can help protect from further irritation by holding fabric off of sore nipples and allowing for better air circulation.

Injured nipples may also become infected with bacteria, which can slow healing and cause pain even when positioning and latch are corrected. A common yeast infection known as thrush can cause redness, irritation in your nipples. If you suspect you have a thrush infection, contact your healthcare provider. Your doctor can help identify and treat tongue-tie, determine if an allergic reaction is the cause of your pain. 

Have you experienced pain while breastfeeding? Supplement with formula: I’m not going to do this since the baby is actually getting plenty to eat, and since I’m prone to low milk supply issues I think that skipping feedings could cause more problems than it solves.