You DO NOT need to stop breastfeeding with mastitis.
There you go. Straight to the point my friend. Now I will tell you why.
Mastitis can either be inflammatory or an infection in the breast tissue. This is NOT occurring in the milk itself. In fact the milk has escaped where it being held or made, and travelled into the breast tissue outside the milk-making structures called lobes and ducts. Your baby will not be sucking through mastitis inflammation or infection from your nipple.
One thing to note though is that although you don’t have to stop breastfeeding with mastitis, your baby may be deterred from feeding off the mastitis affected breast. This is for a couple of reasons:
- Your body will usually reduce the amount of milk that breast produces because you are unwell. Your brain is clever and will work to get the breast healthy again by not making it work so hard.
- The chemical changes that occur with mastitis can change the flavour of the milk to be more of a salty taste. Babies generally prefer sweeter milk and so may turn off that breast for up to a week until the milk regains it’s “normal” flavour.
What should I do?
Please continue to breastfeed or pump a mastitis affected breast. It is important to continue to drain the breast. Of importance here though is that you want to also clear the breast tissue congestion of the mastitis which is not via the nipple. The lumps you feel with mastitis will not come out the nipple and in fact need to be drained via specific mastitis massage that we teach in our courses.
By resolving mastitis with our massage techniques, you will not only learn how to manage it if it happens again in the future, but you will also assist your breast health to get back to making milk for your baby.
Read more about mastitis HERE.
Dr Katie Willy
Osteopath & Your Two Jugs Co-Founder
As a mother of 2 boys, Katie has both personal and professional experience with breastfeeding challenges, having had mastitis twice, blocked ducts, engorgement, & a user of nipple shields due to difficulties latching her first baby. Her challenges provided ample motivation to understand more about human breast anatomy and structure far beyond the milk-making lobes. Her passion to help other women with their breastfeeding issues led to the development of a protocol for her clinic to treat women in need with similar breastfeeding experiences that Katie had, which she and her team have been doing in her Osteopathic clinic in Melbourne Australia for the past 6 years.