The first time I got mastitis, it felt like I got hit by a truck. For someone who never gets sick, this one left me flat on my back in bed, hardly able to stand on my legs to walk to the bathroom. It felt like the flu, with a fever, and major pain in my breast--making breastfeeding an excruciating chore.
The typical way to get rid of mastitis is to take dicloxicillan, but I try to stay away from prescription drugs if at all possible--attempting first to help my body get back to homeostasis by natural means. After all, God gave us plants for us to use, why not start there before using man-made remedies that are trying to replicate said plants?
Let's first take a look at dicloxicillan. According to RXList.com, dicloxicillan can "pass through breast milk and harm a nursing baby." Um.... And why are we using it to treat a breast infection that needs to heal with breastfeeding? A "less serious" side effect of this drug is thrush. This I had heard of previously, which was personally why I shied away from it to begin with. Yeast infections are no fun. Thrush from breastfeeding can get passed back and forth from mom to baby. To treat thrush, you have to be given more antibiotics.
Skip the hassle. Go natural.
1. If able, stand in a hot shower--providing plenty of heat directly to pained breast. Alternatively, you can apply a heating pad to the area instead.
2. Apply a hot compress with castor oil to the affected area.
The heat helps the milk flow better, which can help unclog your ducts better.
1. Use different position to ensure the milk is draining from all areas of the breast. If possible, position baby's chin toward the hurting part of the breast. The baby sucks more strongly where the chin is positioned. All of my mastitis experiences have been in areas that the chin is not usually positioned near, if that tells you anything.
2. Massage, massage, massage! This part HURTS. You will want to cry, scream expletives, etc. It's not easy, but it's the very best thing you can do. Use your knuckles and knead that clogged duct down toward the nipple as baby eats. The two of you are working together to unclog it; persevere! You can alternatively massage in circular motions or use a comb and comb over it, down toward the nipple.
3. Make sure you breastfeed a lot until the pain is gone. You've gotta keep working it out.
1. I layered these four oils (1 drop each, just a little tiny bit of the Soothing Blend) on the affected area. I always did it after a feed so the oils absorbed wouldn't change the taste of my milk. I use the Oregano Touch because it's pre-diluted and doesn't give me any sensitivity. I've listed their benefits below so you can see why I chose them.
2. Apply a cold compress to the area to help soothe the pain.
Valued for its calming properties and positive effect on the nervous system*
- Supports a healthy immune system*
- May promote a healthy cardiovascular system*
Acts as a natural cleansing and detoxifying agent*
Has a calming, grounding effect*
May help to maintain cellular function and overall cellular health.*
It supports healthy immune function and response.*
Juniper Berry contains internal cleansing properties.*
Deep Blue - Soothing Blend
Soothing and cooling oil blend*
Provides immune-supportive benefits*
Powerful cleansing and purifying agent*
It provides a powerful antioxidant support.*
THREE TIMES A DAY
1. Take lecithin capsules. This helps your milk be less sticky and to flow better. As the symptoms clear, you can go down to 2x a day, then 1x a day, and then once a week.
2. Take Deep Blue Polyphenol Complex. Patent-pending, fast-acting frankincense extract is shown to help support muscle and joint comfort and function*
3. Take regular multivitamins and plenty of Vitamin C. You really want to boost your immune system to help it fight off the infection.
AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE
1. Rest. I can't speak for this enough. Whenever I wake up with the pain in my breast now, I clear my schedule as much as I can and spend the day lying in bed or on the couch. I've been known to ask family and friends to come help me with the baby so I can get some extra sleep.
I wish I would have known about this the first time I had mastitis so that when I started to feel the pain I could have combatted it quickly. As it was, I felt like I was constantly playing catch up to try and beat it. Nevertheless, I eventually fought it off with this regime. The second time didn't last quite as long, but it was still miserable. The third time, I was smart and got on this plan right away. The fever never came, nor did the flu. I had mild pain in my breast that became less each day. Same for the fourth time. I'm not confident in how I've been able to treat my symptoms through natural means researched by myself and suggested to me by my midwife. I'm thankful me and my baby never had to deal with the side effects of prescription drugs.
*I am not a doctor. These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Please consult your physician to find what works best for you.