Mastitis is a common disease in lactation. According to the statistics from ABM (The Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine), the incidence of mastitis in lactation is 3%-20%. And it may happen anytime during lactation, especially 6 weeks after delivery. However, mastitis can be avoided effectively.
What’s the Symptoms?
- Redness of the breast.
- Appearance of cracks.
- Acute pain.
- Skin surface structure change.
- Some patients will also find enlarged lymph nodes in the armpits or the raising body temperature and chills.
What Causes Mastitis?
In the early postnatal, the imbalance of breastmilk supply and demand, overusing breast pump or long time no breastfeeding can make hypergalactia occur. This will make mother’s breast fill too much breastmilk and easily lead to the mastitis.
Giving birth a baby can consume most of a mother’s strength. Even worse, the sleepless night, the anxiety for baby and the change of relationship between family members can cause the stress of a new mother. Stress can put new mother in poor resistance. Therefore, the stressful mother will get mastitis easily.
During the breastfeeding, the inappropriate breastfeeding position or habit can make the mother’s breast broken and bleed, which gives bacteria an opportunity to enter mother’s breast and cause the mastitis.
The pressure from tight underwear, safety belt, sleeping with face down or sleeping on one side for a long time can be the reasons for mastitis.
5. The White Spot on the Nipple
The inappropriate breastfeeding position, the baby’s pulling nipple and the overuse of breast pump can cause the white spot on the nipple. The white spot will block the breastmilk way out which makes the continuous supply of breastmilk can not output successfully. Then, the mastitis comes.
How to Prevent Mastitis?
The most important thing is to have a good rest. Having a good rest plays an important role in lactation. Mother should adjust her timetable and relax herself. Raising a little baby is not that terrible, just enjoy the pain as well as the joy from it.
On the other hand, a good breastfeeding position is also very important. It will reduce the chance of getting mastitis directly. Mother should let her baby put the majority of the breast into the mouth. (Sucking the nipple only can cause the nipple broken easily.)
Last but not least, building up a good balance of breastmilk supply and demand can prevent the mastitis effectively. Do not overuse the breast pump. Though using the breast pump after breastfeeding can improve the breastmilk supply. However, it’s easy to make the nipple broken. In fact, baby is the best breast pump. The more breastfeeding, the more breastmilk mother will get. The balance of supply and demand can keep mother away from it.
How to Deal with Mastitis?
Getting mastitis with light symptom, mother can have some medicine like Paracetamol. Cold compress can also ease the symptoms. At the same time, mother should keep breastfeeding or expelling the breastmilk.
When getting mastitis, especially feeling some hardness beneath the breast, expelling that part of breastmilk is the key to ease it. Mother can breastfeed more frequently, adjust the breastfeeding gesture, massage the hard part and expel that part of breastmilk by hand. After breastfeeding, cold compress can help to ease the symptoms.
All in all, mastitis is a common problem of new mothers. Learning more breastfeeding knowledge, breastfeeding baby with appropriate gesture, building up a balance of supply and demand can prevent it in lactation effectively.