Mastitis Whilst Breastfeeding
24th November, 2023

Breastfeeding is a crucial part to any baby’s growth and development, whether it is straight from the breast or from a bottle. It provides babies with the nutrients they need as the develop. But, there are some things that can make breastfeeding difficult for some mothers, including mastitis.

Anyone mother who has had mastitis knows how painful it can be. It is not something you really want after already facing the pain of labour.

If you didn’t already know, mastitis is caused by a blockage of milk in the milk ducts of a breastfeeding woman. It comes with a variety of side effects and symptoms, some that can cause extreme pain and discomfort for mums trying to nurse their babies. Lets talk through some of the symptoms below.

Breastfeeding can help to provide newborns with key nutrients they need for development.

Newborn breastfeeding

Inflammation is the sense of burning skin, feeling like parts of your skin are on fire. This can be really uncomfortable to have to deal with. This is a very common side effect of mastitis and inflamed nipples can make the breasts very sore and painful to touch. This can also lead to dry, flaky skin on the breasts and around the nipples. This is important to keep under control as it can develop rapidly and lead to further health complications.

Another symptom of mastitis is swelling and engorgement of the breasts. The build up of milk caused by the blockage can cause an overflow of milk being stored in the breasts, which is why it important to still try and ump milk out when possible. Engorged breasts can lead to back problems like aches and pain.

Nipple discharge is another common side effect of mastitis. This is when you get a leaky, discharge liquid coming from the nipples. It is often a white/yellow colour. However, it can sometimes contain slight streaks of blood. Nipple discharge is nothing to typically worry about when you have mastitis.

There are simple ways that we can aid mastitis and make it easier to deal with. For example, drinking plenty of liquid and water will help to keep you hydrated and flush water around the body, helping to unblock the milk ducts. Taking medication, like paracetamol and ibuprofen, will help to reduce the pain experienced. Or, simply massaging the breast will help to break up the blockage and hopefully, reduce the pain so you can return to usual breastfeeding.

To deal with inflammation of the breasts, we have introduced a product that can be used as a breastfeeding aid for women with mastitis which allows them to continue breastfeeding, whilst also soothing their pain. The breast gel pad fits around the breast with an area in the middle for the nipple which allows the baby to latch on and feed whilst it is worn. It is available as a hot or cold compress, meaning it can be used cold to soothe inflammation, or it can be warmed to help encourage the unblocking of the milk ducts. It is a reusable product made from latex-free gel meaning it can be used multiple times.

Breastfeeding falls under step 7 of the PREM 7 act, which provides us a list of steps to helping to improve the outcome of premature births. It recommends that maternal breast milk is given to the baby within the first 24 hours of life for all babies born before 34 weeks. Therefore, it really goes to show how important breastfeeding and breastmilk really are.

For more information on PREM 7, read here- https://www.southeastclinicalnetworks.nhs.uk/prem7/#:~:text=PREM%207%20is%20a%20perinatal,rates%20amongst%20babies%20born%20prematurely.

 

For more information, contact us 01274 965089 or check out our website at www.nicheofficesolutions.co.uk www.nicheofficesolutions.co.uk/niche-nhs

 

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