Most new mums frequently have plenty of questions about breastfeeding, especially if it is their first time doing so. Questions like how they should nurse the baby, keep their milk supply up, and prevent themselves from getting mastitis are often on top of their heads.
You can ask these questions when engaging a live-in or day time confinement nanny, as they are typically knowledgeable about childcare and breastfeeding. However, if you are on your own and are particularly concerned about having mastitis, then this article may be of assistance! Read on to find out more about mastitis and how you can effectively treat the infection in the event you have it.
What is mastitis?
Mastitis, also known as lactation mastitis, is a swelling or inflammation of the breast tissue that results from backed-up milk ducts. A painful breast infection can occur if a blocked milk duct is not cleared. According to healthcare experts, your breasts should be emptied regularly every 2 to 3 hours in the first weeks of feeding your newborn. You should also use a suitable breast pump for this.
Otherwise, milk may become trapped and lead to clogged milk ducts. Aside from blocked milk ducts, mastitis can also happen when bacteria enter a woman’s breast through the nipple. This is particularly likely to happen if the breastfeeding mother has a sore or cracked nipple. If you have a cracked nipple, the bacteria from either your skin or your baby’s mouth can enter into one of the plugged ducts and develop.
How to know if you have mastitis?
The symptoms of mastitis often appear fast. Usually, the first symptom of this breast infection is a lump in the breast or thickening of the breast tissue. Mastitis also typically begins as a painful area in one breast. This area may be warm to the touch, red in colour, or both. You may also have chills, body aches, and fever.
A rapid heart rate, painful and swollen lymph nodes in the armpit adjacent to the infected breast, and flu-like symptoms that worsen quickly are all signs that mastitis is worsening. If not treated immediately, mastitis can result in a breast abscess, which feels like a painful hard lump.
How is mastitis treated?
It may be challenging to know what to do when you feel overwhelmingly unsettled due to mastitis. Always seek medical advice from a doctor for an accurate diagnosis and course of action before proceeding.
However, one of the things you can do is to continue your regular nursing schedule. While you may be tempted to stop breastfeeding from the affected breast, healthcare experts suggest that you can recover by maintaining your nursing schedule.
The proper way to nurse your baby when you have mastitis is to breastfeed them on the affected breast first when they are most hungry and try to alternate the positions. Aside from keeping up with your breastfeeding routine, here are some of the most important things you can do at home:
- Apply a warm compress to the affected breast before pumping or feeding your baby. Taking a warm shower is recommended as well.
- Apply a cool compress to the affected breast after breastfeeding your baby for about 20 minutes. This provides comfort and reduces inflammation.
- Drink lots of fluid to stay hydrated.
- Get plenty of sleep every day.
- Consult with your doctor to see if it is safe for you to take over-the-counter pain relief medications.
- You may also need to consult your lactation consultant or doctor before you pump since pumping can sometimes cause increased inflammation.
You should immediately seek your doctor’s attention if your symptoms do not improve in a couple of days, you experience a fever of 101 degrees Fahrenheit or more, or you see pus or blood in your breast milk. Doctors will occasionally prescribe antibiotics to nursing mothers to treat mastitis.
Although a majority of women will not have to deal with mastitis, it can be quite unsettling and burdensome if it occurs to you. Not only will it make you feel ill, but it can also affect your ability to breastfeed your baby regularly and healthily. Therefore, knowing when you have mastitis and what treatment options are available to effectively treat the infection is imperative.
If this is your first time breastfeeding and you need some professional guidance to do so effectively, consider engaging a full time or part time confinement lady in Singapore.
For the most experienced and knowledgeable confinement nanny, NannyStreet is the confinement agency you can count on! With our elaborate and advanced hiring process, we can help you find the best confinement nanny that will surely make your experience as a new mum a lot easier. For more information about how we can assist you in choosing the ideal nanny for you and your baby, feel free to contact us anytime.