Mastitis is a benign condition usually brought about by breastfeeding. A woman’s breast is made up of ducts and glands. Mammary glands are producers of milk, and they begin to fill up during pregnancy. The nipple is connected to the glands and ducts that facilitate the transportation of milk. A clogged milk duct is sometimes the culprit in mastitis. The milk will remain trapped inside the breast. This will cause the pain, swelling and tenderness in the affected breast. Infection may also occur due to that trapped milk inside the ducts. After a period of time, the trapped milk might facilitate bacterial growth that will worsen the condition. Staphylococcus aureus bacteria may also enter the ducts through the nipple. The baby’s mouth can be a source of these bacteria. Fever and other symptoms similar to flu might develop shortly. Mastitis can also be caused by an accumulation of dead skin cells and other materials in the ducts of the breast.
Breast Mastitis Relief
Breast mastitis relief can be facilitated by the following:
- Application of warm compress to the affected breast. This will help relieve the pain by expanding the ducts thus relieving the pressure.
- Continued nursing will allow milk to flow freely. This will prevent the stagnation of milk and keep the breast from getting swollen.
- Nipples should be cleaned and dried appropriately between each breastfeeding.
- Some mothers can also be relieved by suctioning milk from the breasts using a breast pump. This will empty the breasts, promote new milk production and prevent pressure from building up. The suctioned milk can be placed in milk bottles, refrigerated until needed and warmed before feeding. This is usually best for women working outside the home.
- Proper hydration is also beneficial for mothers suffering from mastitis.
Breast Mastitis Natural Treatment
The following are tried and tested methods of natural treatment of breast mastitis. Natural tinctures and infusions are applied to the breast or nipples while some are in the form of poultices. The safe techniques for nursing mothers are as follows:
- Application of cold raw potato poultice unto the breast. This helps to relieve the swelling and moisturizes the nipples to keep them from cracking.
- Raw cabbage applied directly on the nipple.
- Poultices of comfrey leaves and calendula flowers. Apply to the nipples similar to a hot bag.
- Echinacea root tincture or infusion.
- Marshmallow root infusion.
- Poke root tincture.