Mastitis – It sucks

I actually wrote this a year and a half ago, long before I finally mustered up the courage to have a public blog. The following is almost exactly what I wrote minus a few tweaks. I guess I had always wanted to blog and share about motherhood, in hopes of encouraging and helping mamas who may find my experiences useful! Here it goes!

If I’m a mom blogger I would be writing a blog titled “everything you need to know about clogged duct/mastitis, how to work through them and not be discouraged about breastfeeding”. Instead, I will just write a long post here. Only moms might care about this. So please keep scrolling if you don’t care, it’s SO long. I got my latest clog on Monday morning, not fun!

My “credential” on this topic – I breastfed all 3 babies for 18 + 20 + 22 months. There is nothing wrong with formula, I’m just blessed with milk, which has been a blessing and a curse. In all those months I have experienced numerous painful clogged milk ducts, at least twice requiring antibiotics so I will classify that as mastitis. Unlike some of the information I read online, It typically took me  3-4 days of feeling awful and frustrated before finally getting the milk clog out. I’m not proud to have gotten clogs so many times, but I AM freaking proud of myself for nursing each baby for at least 18 months despite all the difficulties of breastfeeding – still my biggest accomplishment as a mom.

The reason I got clogs was mainly due to physical exhaustion and lowered immunity. In this week’s case, I had sleep deprivation for a few days. A run on Sunday with a tight sports bra and then sleeping for 5 hours straight (I was SO tired!) that night without feeding or pumping added salt to the wound. Yes being a mom is so hard. Even when I want to sleep through the night I can’t, the blessing of milk means engorgement and possibly clogs and mastitis if I sleep all night!

  • How to treat if you ever get it – hot shower, warm towel compress and massage before feeding, nurse frequently on affected side with baby’s chin toward clog, use cold cabbage leaf and/or cold potato slices on lump between feedings, if you are an EO person like me, Oregano and Melaleuca oil (1 drop) help to prevent bacterial growth and infection. Stay hydrated, well-rested and eat fruits with plenty of VC. I also had to take Tylenol when I had chills/low fever (hate that feeling, but it goes away as soon as the clog starts to clear).
  • How to prevent future clogs – rest and feed on schedule, take Lecithin daily, which thins milk. I take it when I can remember…definitely gonna be diligent about taking it every day from now on and hoping to never experience this miserable pain again!

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