A Natural Approach To Health
Living With Mastitis
I had a question the other day about mastitis.
Mastitis is an inflammation of the breast usually caused by infection.
It is most common during the first 6 months of breastfeeding.
It can leave you feeling very tired and run-down.
Add this to the demands of taking care of a newborn, and many women quit breastfeeding altogether.
But you can continue to nurse your baby.
In fact, breastfeeding usually helps to clear up infection, and nursing won’t harm your baby.
Although mastitis can be painful, it’s usually easily cleared up.
Mastitis most often happens when bacteria enter your breast through your nipple.
This can happen when a nursing mother has a cracked or sore nipple.
Going for long stretches between nursing or failing to empty your breast completely may also contribute to mastitis.
Using different breast-feeding techniques and making sure your baby is latched on properly when nursing will help.
Mastitis usually starts as a painful area in one breast.
It may be red or warm to the touch, or both.
You may also have fever, chills, and body aches.
Signs that mastitis is getting worse include swollen, painful lymph nodes in your armpit next to the infected breast, a fast heart rate, and flu-like symptoms that get worse.
Mastitis can lead to a breast abscess, which feels like a hard, painful lump.
To deal with mastitis it’s beneficial to:
*Drink 6-8 cups of purified water daily hydrates body and brain cells and flushes toxins (whether thirsty or not!).
*Get plenty of rest.
*Air dry your nipples after nursing to prevent cracking. If the nipples do crack, you can coat them with breast milk, or apply aloe vera juice after they dry to help them heal. You can also apply heat with a hot water bottle or heating pad before and after nursing, or use a heat lamp with a regular 100-watt bulb for a few minutes after nursing in order to heal cracks and prevent infections. Place the light bulb 12-18″ from the breast – not so close as to cause discomfort.
*Remember to always wash your hands before and after breastfeeding to remove germs, and always wash the breast and nipple area afterward.
*Your health care provider may prescribe antibiotics you can take while breastfeeding.
*Review my post on candida.
*Increase exercise, relaxation techniques.
*Increase fresh, raw fruits and veggies (organic when possible).
*Consider fresh juicing.
*Consume plenty of fresh, raw, unroasted pumpkin seeds.
*Increase fiber intake.
*Ensure good bowel function; avoid constipation.
*Consider a liver and/or colon cleanse.
*Decrease toxic exposures (food and environmental).
*Decrease any and all hydrogenated, trans fats, deep-fried foods, margarine, fast foods, artificial sweeteners.
*Decrease sugar, sweets, white flour products, processed foods.
*Avoid tobacco, alcohol, caffeine, soda pop.
*Understand your medications and possible side effects.
*Maintain a healthy weight.
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