Many pregnant mamas have no idea what you need to know about mastitis. I didn’t.
It can be so super lovely when you are about to have a baby. 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.
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.
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.