Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Mastitis, Plugged Duct...Keep it Away

1- Antibiotics are good life-saving measures, but natural remedies trump antibiotics for keeping the bacteria dead. (Garlic. Garlic. Lots of garlic. Garlic until you become a fire-breathing dragon! Fresh, uncooked organic garlic. Whee! And cranberry capsules. And soaping up the boob in the shower (carefully avoiding getting soap on the areola and nipple) and using a wide tooth comb to gently but firmly comb the breast from about 1″ away from the problem area, in a straight line toward the nipple.

2- Find the cause. What puts pressure there? Are you sleeping in a way that puts pressure there? Is your underwire bra putting pressure there? Is the side of your bra holding your breasts in too tightly? When you help your baby latch on is your thumb or finger putting pressure there? (vary how you help your baby latch.)

3- Avoid soap on nipple. Soap on nipple is baaaaaad.

4- Dangle nurse. Lots and lots of dangle nursing. Lay your baby on your bed either flat or use a pillow to have him on an incline. Then you can move around your baby like you’re the arms of a clock. Your goal is to have his chin pointing at the problem area (rotate if there are multiple problem areas). The chin-pointing coincides with the maximum amount of pressure/suction. Dangle nursing basically allows you to nurse in extreme positions for optimal chin alignment AND it has the added benefit of using gravity to move the milk and the clog down.

5- Vary the position that you use to nurse frequently. Dangle nurse, football hold, cradle hold, etc.

6- Nurse more frequently on the side that has a problem. Don’t “nurse on demand”, “demand they nurse”. Keep the milk out!

7- Nurse ins! Take your baby to bed. Strip yourself from the waist up and strip your baby to his diaper. Spend the day there. Spend two days there. Blatantly ignore everything else in life and do so with the excuse that you and your child are fighting mastitis together.

8- Vary your bras daily. And make sure they’re not tight or underwire. Or go braless if possible. Bras exert pressure. Pressure causes clogs. Clogs become infected.

9- DO NOT sleep on your stomach. It puts pressure on your breasts.

10- If you usually sleep on one side, check and see if that is putting pressure on your breast- either from the breast coming in contact with the mattress, or the weight of that breast itself compressing itself from gravity. Try sleeping on the other side or using a fluffy pillow to help support your breast. Keep in mind that pillows can exert pressure as well. If you sleep on your back, the weight of your breast can cause pressure. Try sleeping on the side. Or varying things by sleeping on your back occasionally.

11- Massage your breast from waaaay high up down toward the nipple while nursing for at least a few weeks. Try to start just above the clog and apply pressure until it’s slightly painful. Work your way down toward the nipple in short hard strokes

12- Be careful to wash your pump shield and flange well. DO NOT use antibacterial soap. Regular soap is fine.

13- Probiotics. YAY! Put ‘em on your nipple too before nursing. (Get baby jarro-dophilus for that particular purpose)Take ‘em orally too.

14- Vitamin C. Zinc. they boost the immune system.

15- Make sure your’e not dehydrated. Sip water across the day rather than drinking your daily alotment in huge gulps or downing a full glass all at once. Drinking too much water all at once DEHYDRATES you not hydrates you. 8-16oz consumed across an hour is much more hydrating than not. I like the Camelbak BPA-free better bottle with the bite valve. It makes it difficult to consume TOO MUCH water at once, while keeping it convenient in large amounts on your desk or right near by.

16- If you have started a course of antibiotics, FINISH THE COURSE. If you have done multiple rounds of antibiotics unsucessfully ask your doctor to try a different antibiotic and ask them to prescribe them for a slightly longer time. It could be that the mastitis-causing bacteria is not being killed off completely. This can be a dangerous situation as each time the bacteria is EXPOSED to the antibiotic but not entirely erridicated, it learns to resist the antibiotic and this can be a life-threatening issue.

Dissclaimer: I'm not a doctor, nurse or lactation consultant I'm just a mother who want to share the information with mommy.

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