Mastitis occurs when the breast tissue gets inflamed and painful as a result of milk accumulation or infection after an injury to the breast. Mastitis can affect breastfeeding mothers as well as other women. It is important that if you develop a mastitis infection, you take action immediately to treat it, so as to avoid any complications. Mastitis can be treated medically via antibiotic therapy or at home, using some effective remedies which help relieve the symptoms and infection. A clogged milk duct can happen at any time, and often, one never sees it coming. The clogged milk duct can easily progress to a mastitis infection, if not taken care of as soon as it is identified. Therefore, if that does happen, you should try applying some home remedies to relieve the symptoms of mastitis and help clear the infection as well, even though you are taking antibiotics for the infection.
How Can I Treat Mastitis At Home?
Home remedies can be used to quicken the recovery process as well as ease the symptoms. The following are the home remedies that can be used for mastitis:
- Drinking a lot of fluids such as water, soups, fresh juice, and lemon water helps to keep the body hydrated.
- Therapeutic massage reliefs the pain of breasts infected with mastitis. A gentle massage using massage oils, such as coconut and castor oils, helps in relieving the aches and the soreness in the breasts.
- Continuing to breastfeed or express the milk- for nursing mothers, it is essential to remove the milk from the breasts to avoid them filling up and causing more pain. Failure to empty the breasts worsens the pain caused by mastitis.
Using a warm compressor – you should try using a clean washcloth soaked in warm water or heat pack to press on the affected breast helps to reduce the pain and inflammation. The cloth should be clean or sterilized to avoid contamination. Alternatively, take warm showers and let the warm water hit your breast while massaging it.
- Using a cold compression or poultice such as an ice pack or cold cabbage may also aid in relieving pain. The ice pack should not be left on bare skin for too long to avoid causing ice burn. In addition to that, the cold compression should be used after breastfeeding so as to avoid limiting the flow of milk from the breast.
- Applying natural aloe vera gel and juice from neem leaves which contain anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties. Turmeric and raw garlic are also ideal organic ingredients to help relieve mastitis. Turmeric, whose main component is curcumin, contains essential antibacterial and antioxidant properties, which help in fighting against mastitis-causing bacteria. The raw garlic will help with relieving pain.
- Instead of antibiotics, take probiotics as an alternative to help with the infection. This is because, according to research studies, probiotics help reduce bacteria in the breast milk more effectively, and can also be used in the prevention of mastitis.
- Applying sunflower lecithin or soy lecithin. Lecithin is useful in preventing blocked milk ducts in breastfeeding moms by thinning milk, hence allowing it to pass through easily.
Using potatoes, either thinly sliced potatoes or grated ones soaked in water, on the breast around the affected area. Leave the potatoes for about 20 minutes and repeat the process with fresh potato slices as per your liking.
- If you develop mastitis, it is usually as a sign that you need to slow down and rest. So, take a few days off and rest enough. Take the baby with you to bed and nurse him/her as often as possible.
Mastitis can be managed and prevented with various home remedies. The above remedies will help with clearing the infection and also unblocking any plugged milk ducts. For faster relief, you could try combining more than one remedy. Also, repeat the applied procedures several times a day, to ensure that you get rid of mastitis sooner than later. If the above home remedies are not working for you and develop any complications, contact your physician immediately for medical advice and intervention.
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