Mastitis is a common problem for breastfeeding mums and the sooner you treat it the better. Mastitis symptoms can develop really fast and in a short amount of time you can feel very ill.
So what are some common mastitis symptoms to look out for? Generally they are similar to the flu with a high temperature, the chills and aches and pains all over your body. You may notice a hard lump in one of your breasts which is accompanied by redness and pain. This is caused by a blocked milk duct and is the most common cause of mastitis.
What can you do to relieve mastitis symptoms? The most important thing is to continue to feed your baby, even if it is painful, because this is the most effective way of unblocking your milk duct. A good tip is to feed your baby with their chin pointing towards the blockage as this will help to clear it. You may also find a warm flannel placed on the breast and massaging the blockage will help ease the pain and speed up recovery. It is extremely important that you rest to aid recovery. Most bouts of mastitis will clear up within 24 hours if you follow the advice above. If mastitis symptoms persist, or suddenly worsen, you need to seek medical advice as you may require antibiotics.
So how can you prevent mastitis? The most effective way is to feed your baby as often and for as long as they want. Check your baby’s position and that they are draining your breasts. Keep an eye out for any redness or lumps and apply heat or massage them immediately. Try to get as much rest as possible too.
Mastitis symptoms are uncomfortable but with a bit of knowledge you can learn to recognise them and treat them before you become too unwell.