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Do This Now if You Want to Avoid Mastitis Later



mastitis-care

About one-quarter of breastfeeding moms experience mastitis during their baby’s first 26 weeks of life. Mastitis causes inflammation, leading to redness, breast pain, swelling, and other symptoms that can make nursing difficult. It may worsen into an infection, causing symptoms like fever and chills, if untreated. 


At 4th Trimester Place in Miramar, Florida, our board-certified family nurse practitioner Dr. Nathania Adu, DNP, FNP-C, and team of knowledgeable lactation consultants often tell our patients that we can treat mastitis very effectively but, we’d rather help you prevent it in the first place. 


This blog is full of helpful tips about avoiding mastitis so your breastfeeding experience is comfortable, not painful.


Preventing mastitis


When it comes to preventing mastitis, understanding what you should not do is just as important as knowing what you should do. 


There is often a lot of confusion around mastitis prevention and treatment, and that is probably at least partly due to recent changes in the medical guidelines from the Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine (ABM). Those guidelines changed a lot of what many women thought they knew about mastitis and provided a new clear-cut path to prevention and management. 


Current guidelines provide detailed information that’s based on a large body of evidence. While every woman is different, our team will likely recommend ABM guidelines for what to do and what to avoid when you’re trying to prevent mastitis. 


Things you should avoid


Things you should avoid include:


  • Over-pumping: don’t try to fully drain the breasts frequently

  • Sudden weaning

  • Applying heat to your breasts

  • Vigorous breast massage, including any massaging device


All of these things can contribute to or cause mastitis, so avoiding them and doing a few preventive things can help you avoid it. 


Things you should do now to prevent mastitis later 


Some ways that you can take action now are:


  • Breastfeed regularly

  • Apply ice or cool packs if your breasts are sore

  • Always wear a comfortable bra that supports your breasts well

  • Change sleeping positions during the night to ease pressure on your breasts

  • Drink lots of fluids

  • Vary breastfeeding positions

  • Alternate the breast that you offer baby first


One of the most important things you can do to prevent mastitis is working with our lactation consultants. We have extensive experience in this area, and we are passionate about helping moms and their babies have comfortable and rewarding breastfeeding experiences. 


If you develop problems, like cracked nipples, or other issues, we’re happy to guide you. Reaching out to us early can help you prevent mastitis and, if it does develop, we can stop it in its tracks. 


Our 4th Trimester Place team is here to help with your whole journey, and we specialize in making the 4th trimester a great experience for you and your baby. If you need help with mastitis prevention or any other women’s health concern during this time, call our office or contact us online now.

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