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we're due 12th Nov. I plan to breastfeed but I'm concerned about developing mastitis, is there any way to prevent it from occurring or to lessen its severity? Any help would be appreciated.
Joey and Andre.
Hi, best of luck with everything - hope the pregnancy is going well!
Try to avoid wearing bras that are too tight - can be a hard thing when your milk first comes in. You might try to go braless as much as possible until your breasts settle down - my breasts leaked like you wouldn't believe and I had to keep changing my top. When I had mastitis I started using medical tape (micropore) to tape breast pads on!
Check your breasts for lumps (caused by blocked ducts) - if you find one, gently massage under a warm shower, or put a hot pack on it and massage it - this may help unblock the duct.
Try to get baby to empty your breasts as much as possible during feeds (can be hard to know when starting out - see how you go).
If you think you have mastitis, and you have an expressing machine, use that to make sure your breasts are empty after feeding your bub.
Keep an eye out for red areas on your breasts - could be mastitis.
Other signs of mastitis: you feel achey and tired like you have the flu, but without the snuffles. You can feel very thirsty, and your temperture goes up to 38 degrees.
See a Doctor if you think you have mastitis.
Hello Joey, I hope your pregnancy is going well! I have had mastitis twice, and I swear it was as a direct result of sleeping on my side with pressure on that particular breast. According to some experts, mastitis is also a sign that you're generally exhausted, doing too much and don't have enough family support, so rest up as much as you can when baby sleeps, even if you can't sleep, at least put your feet up with a cuppa and a trashy mag. Easier said than done, I know, but it's worked for me - I had to force myself as housework is always lurking!!
If you feel a lump in your breast (always a signal to me), try to get your baby to feed with his/her chin on the side the lump is - it can mean some unusual positions, but I think that this is where the strongest sucking occurs and can help clear the lump out. Apart from that, BJelly's advice is excellent. Good luck, and do get to your doctor if you get the "fluey" symptoms too, he will put you on antibiotics.
If it's any consolation of about 10 friends of mine who have breastfed, only 1 had mastitis. I personally have had it, but with me it happened a few months after I weaned my 2nd child, which is not that common.
The signs to look for are breast tenderness in specific places and feeling fluey. I mistook my mastitis for a suspected pregnancy, they can give you the same feeling of very tender breasts and complete exhaustion.
Treat your breasts, when you're breastfeeding, with the same attention as you'd treat your baby. Be gentle with them, recognise that as soon as they start feeling full they need to be emptied and buffer them when sleeping. They will be quite tender anyway a few days after the birth for a week or so, but that dies down and apart from an inkling more towards Pamela Anderson than before, they are very manageable. You may also find that buying tops a size larger than you normally wear will make them more comofrtable than trying to swueeze them back into your little tops.
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