You have to care about so many things while caring for your baby. Even it becomes difficult for you to prioritize activities for yourself. However, being a mom, you should be aware of some hazardous health conditions that can develop while breastfeeding. Mastitis is one of these infections that make breastfeeding a challenge for you. This article will tell you about mastitis, its symptoms, and what you can do for mastitis prevention.
What is mastitis, and how it occurs?
Mastitis is a swelling of the breasts that occurs due to an infection. There could be many causes, but most frequently, it happens during breastfeeding. The risk of this infection is higher during breastfeeding because an attack of disease becomes easier on the clogged duct of the breasts while breastfeeding. The breaks occur in the skin of the nipples, and infection pervades.
However, when this infection enters the mother’s bloodstream, white blood cells are released to combat this infection. Ultimately, it causes redness and swelling. The infected portion of the breasts becomes painful to touch. Moreover, fever and headache can also occur in this infection.
Although the most common cause of mastitis is breastfeeding, it can also occur for other reasons. It can also develop in males. People with the weak immune system and those passed from radiation therapy can also develop this infection. Smoking can also become a reason for the development of this inflammation.
Symptoms of Mastitis
There could be different symptoms of mastitis from person to person. However, the infected area develops redness and painful swelling with a warm touch. The shape of the swollen area is often wedge-shaped. Mastitis can occur on both breasts, but it seldom happens.
However, it is safe to continue breastfeeding with the illness. The reason is that infection and antibiotics cannot pass through the breast milk. However, you should consult with the doctor when you develop the symptoms of mastitis so that you can take the necessary steps for mastitis prevention.
Treatment of Mastitis
The treatment of mastitis becomes essential when the developed symptoms have become worse. You should schedule an appointment with the doctor. They will prescribe oral medications that may clear the infection upon use. However, if you go with the symptoms and don’t consult the doctor, the swelling develops into an abscess on the breast. When this abscess occurs, it has to be removed surgically. Thus, you should consult the doctor for proper mastitis prevention if the symptoms persist.
The crucial steps during inflammation you should do are as follows.
- Use cool compresses for breasts after breastfeeding.
- Take warm showers between sessions of breastfeeding.
- Wear a comfortable bra to avoid compression of breasts.
- Use fluids abundantly and take maximum rest.
Though it is not possible to prevent mastitis, particularly in non-breast-feeding cases, we can follow some preventive measures for mastitis prevention. In most cases, mothers should consult lactation consultants to learn breastfeeding techniques to avoid complications. Specialists can also give tips and recommendations to adopt effective strategies for mastitis prevention. Here are some strategies you should adopt to prevent mastitis.
- The baby should empty one breast before shifting to the other.
- Ensure to empty the breasts by changing the body position from one to the next breastfeeding session.
- To stop the feeding session, use your finger between the nipple and the baby to break the suction.
Urgent care for mastitis
If you are lurking with the developed symptoms of mastitis, it can get worse. Thus, it is crucial to visit urgent care if the symptoms are not improving. The blocked duct of the breast should start clearing after 24 hours. However, if it does not become evident, you should visit an urgent care for mastitis prevention. If you don’t know when to go for urgent care, read our article “Things You Should Know Before Visiting an Urgent Care.“
There are different methods to treat mastitis used by experts. Other than antibiotics, therapeutic ultrasound is another effective method to unclog the duct of the breasts. In this method, a physical therapist uses a device for massage administration and hearing the area to open up the duct. Sound waves are used to generate vibration in the infected duct of the breasts and start the drainage of milk.