Sunday, December 9, 2007

Treating Mastitis

Most women who've given birth and subsequently nursed their babies have at least heard about the possibility of developing mastitis (if not experienced it themselves). I have, on one occasion, developed what appeared by my estimation to be mastitis. It started out with what seemed like a plugged duct. I had experienced a plugged duct before, so I nursed frequently on that side while massaging the painful area. Eventually the pain was accompanied by flu-like aches all over my body. I didn't want to wait around for the fever to start, so I immediately opened up my Nursing Mother's Companion to see what suggestions were there. I was a little disappointed that it didn't offer many concrete natural treatments and encouraged women to see their doctor for a prescription of antibiotics to avoid having the infection progress into an abscess. I have only taken antibiotics twice in my memory--once for an ear infection as a teenager and later for a supposed UTI (which was probably not actually a UTI in retrospect). I am not a big fan of antibiotics, and I think we all know they're over-prescribed, over-injected, and largely responsible for the scary super-bugs we keep hearing about. So, needless to say, I didn't want to go to the doctor and get a prescription.

I turned, instead, to the trusty internet, found some ideas, and put them to work. I continued to experience breast pain and mild aches for another day and half, but by the end of the second day I was pain and ache-free. I can't promise that what worked for me will work for everyone, but here's my recipe for treating mastitis without a prescription...

Read the rest of this post at my new website!


Fig said...

I have to admit, breastfeeding freaks me out a little. I'll do it, because I'm aware of the absolutely amazing benefits, but plugged ducts? Mastitis?

And how do you eat raw garlic? Just peel a clove and pop it in? I love garlic and eat tons of it, but I've never attempted it raw.

Lani said...

Ha ha. I chopped it up into pill-size pieces and swallowed them like pills. It wasn't too bad really. It's just the general garlic breath and odor afterward that's a pain... but mostly just for the people who live with you. ;-)

Breastfeeding is kind of strange at first, and I was surprised at how painful it was at least for the first few weeks. But, once you get the hang of it, it's a piece of cake and totally worth it--for you and for your baby. :-)

Summer said...

Hey Lani
I haven't been here in awhile so I'm playing catch up. I really appreciate all the research, tips, and information you find and put here. It's very helpful.
I had the same issue with mastitis with Adam, (three infections in the first 6 weeks!) and each one got progressively worse. I finally found something called Lecithin. It's made from soy beans, come in a gel capsule. So it's not as natural a remedy as raw garlic (eek!) but it's been amazing. It's a preventative, and helps to prevent clogged milk ducts. (it's also good for the brain supposedly) I took one once a day for awhile and I've never had an infection since. Hurrah!