Pregnant mamas tend to have no idea what about mastitis.
It can be so super lovely when you are about to have a baby but what do you need to know about mastitis. The anticipation of seeing that little baby face for the first time can be so exciting. The focus is all on the baby and the birth, and that’s a great thing.
But if you don't know about mastitis, can it also be detrimental?
Well, in my eyes yes. There needs to be some rebalancing of education during pregnancy to teach women more about breastfeeding, and the challenges that may present. One of the more serious and impacting challenges in mastitis. Mastitis can be terrible. I had it. I had no idea about it. I wish I did.
What you need to know about mastitis?
Mastitis is an inflammation, and potentially an infection of one or more breast lobes. The lobes are where your breast makes milk and each breast has 15 to 25 of them. Unfortunately mastitis presents as an illness with associated breast pain. The breast pain is awful and usually has a region of redness on the skin. It can be a stabbing pain at times, and can last for hours or days depending on the severity of the case. The pain is usually accompanied by fever and flu-like aches and pains. Basically it you will feel completely shattered and struggle to care for yourself, let alone a baby. It’s a time to call in favours, help & support.
What happened to me with mastitis?
My experience with mastitis had me on my back for days. My ignorance of mastitis meant that I didn’t realise I had it for around 12 hours, instead pushing on through breast pain believing it was engorgement. I pushed on until I collapsed in the shower. I never knew this could even happen. I didn’t know mastitis was even a thing. Google helped with that.
Pregnant women need to know this can occur so that if it does occur, you realise it much sooner than I did. This gives you an opportunity to start treating yourself with one of the best ways to treat it, massage. Massage assists the body to drain the tissue inflammation and if you know how to do this effectively, you can shorten the duration of your mastitis episode.
Other treatments used include, heat, cold, antibiotics for infection, probiotics like Qiara and good old fashioned rest.
I hope you never get this but if you do at least you might realise quicker than I did which can only be beneficial to your health.
If you want to know more about mastitis click HERE.
Author: Katie Willy
Osteopath & Your Two Jugs Co-Founder
Elise Fuller & Katie Willy
Osteopaths & Your Two Jugs Co-Founders
Elise & Katie are Melbourne based osteopaths who have been actively treating breastfeeding women in clinic since 2015. During 2020 lockdown they launched their company Your Two Jugs to educate more women about how to treat their own breastfeeding conditions. Their online video based course, Boobology, is available now with heaps of education and hands on techniques to teach women the do’s & don’ts for mastitis, blocked ducts & engorgement. More recently, Your Two Jugs launched a full health care practitioner course, called The Boob Hero, to educate manual therapists on their contribution to supporting breastfeeding women with hands on care. Empowerment all starts with education, and the more support available for women, the better.