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What can be done to avoid mastitis?

(7 Posts)
aurorec Mon 09-Feb-09 17:52:49

DS is nearly 5 months and exclusively BF. The whole thing has been really easy, he's a very relaxed and efficient nurser.

However, 3 weeks ago I got a really bad case of mastitis. I was knocked out in bed for 3 days before the antibiotics started working. And today my breast is very sensitive and I am feeling under the weather.

Luckily nursing doesn't hurt when I get it but looking after a toddler and a baby isn't exactly easy. Are there any tips to avoid mastitis or is it just pot luck?

wastingmyeducation Mon 09-Feb-09 17:54:56

Keep your bra off whenever you can, and make sure the ones you wear are properly fitting.

minxpinx Mon 09-Feb-09 19:20:38

If you feel like it is coming then bash a few cabbage leaves and put them inside your bra - this apparently slows down milk production a bit - really helped me.
Also - look after yourself. I got a bit run down and I'm sure that contributed to mastitis - eat well etc.

SamJamsmum Mon 09-Feb-09 19:30:27

Did you notice a blocked duct before you came down with full blown mastitis? If so, obviously massage and warm compresses and working on getting it cleared is pretty crucial.

There's a good list on the LLL site here. It talks through all the risk factors - some slightly dafter than others. Cleaning shower stalls? [hmmm]:
www.llli.org/FAQ/repeatmastitis.html

It also mentions lecithin supplements.

Does anything on that list ring a bell? Was there any change in feeding patterns or latch prior to the mastitis (different latch with teething perhaps)? It's not pot luck - IF you can work out what might have been your trigger it will help.

aurorec Mon 09-Feb-09 20:25:32

I'm still leaking a lot, so have to wear a bra, but I've made sure my evening/night bras are underwired and really loose.
My day bras are wired, but fit really well.

aurorec Mon 09-Feb-09 20:30:40

Thanks for the help I posted without seeing all the messages.
TBH I can't think of any specific change in pattern for either me or baby. In fact 2 days before I got mastitis the 1st time I was observing to a friend that I'd never even been engorged and that DS was a great feeder.... Typical!

I'm going to go through SamJamsMum's list more carefully and see if I can't pinpoint anything down.
Do you think that maybe DS having a cold might have something to do with it? Even though I don't feel engorger he might be eating less and thus causing the blocked duct (which btw I didn't notice until mastitis had set- not like with DD where I 'felt it coming' for days)

smellen Mon 09-Feb-09 20:37:18

If you feel you have blocked ducts (which may lead to mastitis), then take ibuprofen (as per the packet). It's an anti-inflammatory as well as painkiller, so will help unblock.

Other tips:
-watch where your LO puts his hand(s) during feeding (some babies can provoke a bout of mastitis by putting fists on the breast).
- have a warm shower in the morning, before the first feed, back to the stream of water.
- feed from the affected breast first at each feed until you feel the duct has cleared.

Hope this helps. FWIW I suffered with mastitis with both kids, but mostly in the first 3 months. From then on, I occasionally got blocked ducts (sometimes when they were teething and had clamped down a bit, I think; other times I didn't know why), and found ibuprofen the most effective way of preventing things getting worse. Once your milk supply is established, you can probably offer the breast that is usually affected first at each feed without prejudicing the supply in the other breast.

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