Mastitis is where a build up of milk has occurred in your breast, often leaking into the breast tissue. Early stages of mastitis is not an infection, but your body reacts to it as if it is an infection. Later stages of mastitis can apparently turn into a real infection or worse, an abscess. Your milk ducts can get blocked and it can get quite painful.
Apparently, it’s quite a common occurrence when breastfeeding so when I saw a red patch on my left breast and that it started to feel warm and tender I knew what it was. On top of this, I also started to feel like I had flu.
The main causes of mastitis are a poor latch (Yep! Thanks to our recent tongue tie), problems sucking (Yep!), and/or infrequent feeds. Mastitis is also more likely to occur if you’re tired (You betcha) or stressed anyway.
To deal with the issue, I started expressing after feeds so I could empty the duct. I also regularly applied a hot flannel to the affected area as well as regularly massaged it. T also helped by being placed into different feeding positions – apparently certain positions work on different ducts within the breast.
After a few days the redness and tenderness eventually went down, but I still went to the doctors to get myself checked out just to make sure everything was ok however everything was fine.
Since having mastitis I still express (especially as T is now 6 weeks old) and I still regularly change the position I feed T in – it’s just good boob maintenence!