Breastfeeding. It’s tough. I feel as much as I read about it, nothing truly could really prepare me for it. With my first son, I lasted 6 weeks. It just didn’t work, I was overwhelmed and had no clue what I was doing. With my second son, I wasn’t even going to do it but I had an amazing location consultant visit me right after I delivered and it just worked. I ended up breastfeeding him for over 13 months.
So when I had my third this past January, I thought I would just give it a try again and if it worked it, it worked. I am truly a cheerleader for “Feed is Best!” Yes, the first couple weeks were though but once we got to know each other, it worked.
Then around 4 weeks, I started feeling awful. I started telling myself it was doing too much, too fast. When you have three kids in the house there is no time to fully recover from childbirth. The flu was going around and I thought oh no, I’m getting it. Then in the middle of the night I woke up and couldn’t move. I cried for my husband because I literally could not move. My teeth throbbed, my head throbbed, every muscle in my body ached. My right breast felt like it was on fire. I took off my shirt and my breast was bright red with bright red lines across it. I said to my husband, I think its Mastitis.
I had heard stories of mothers having this terrible thing called Mastitis and thought ugh if breastfeeding wasn’t hard enough, it must suck to get an infection of the boob! The official definition of Mastitis is an infection of the tissue of the breast that occurs most frequently during the time of breastfeeding.
What I didn’t know about Mastitis was how it effected your entire body. I thought it would feel like a clogged duct. Oh no, my body was fighting off this infection with all its might and taking an already beyond tired mother of three down.
I am by no means a doctor but here’s what I did to battle this beast!
Get to your doctors!
I was lucky enough to have a doctor’s appointment the morning after I discovered that something was drastically wrong. She put me on an antibiotic right away!
Breastfeed, breastfeed again and then breastfeed some more…
The last thing you feel like doing is breastfeeding. It hurt to hold my baby, let alone have her drink from my aching boob with cracked nipples. But you have to get the milk out and the best way to do this is to feed your child.
I also pumped but tried to just do enough to get the last milk out. I believe I was overproducing milk in my right breast and I wasn’t clearing it out with each feeding causing the milk to build up and get infected.
Try and empty any extra milk out in the shower. Press on hard spots in your breast, as much as it killed I had to get the milk out.
An herbal supplement that can be found at your drug store. Supposedly it helps thin your milk so your less likely to get clogged.
Now for the more strange things….
Feeding with you breast hanging down
Putting anything that vibrates on the hard spots in your breast.
Mastitis sucks, period. I hope you never ever have to experience it! But if you or someone you know has it I hope these tips help!