LivingThis is mastitis: a mother shares her painful experience...

This is mastitis: a mother shares her painful experience to inform nursing mothers

We can explain what mastitis is (and then we will), but as they say around there: a picture is worth a thousand words. Rudy is a mother who has been breastfeeding her baby for a year and wants to share her story, not because it is inspiring or enjoyable, but so that all nursing mothers are informed about this problem that can arise during breastfeeding .

Breastfeeding is not always a bed of roses, complications can arise but the key to solving them is having the necessary information to know the causes, prevent them as much as possible and know how to act in each case.

What is a mastitis?

Mastitis is an infection of the mammary gland that causes inflammation and most of the time pain, redness, fever, chills, and muscle and joint pain.

It affects 10% of breastfeeding women and is one of the main causes of abandonment of breastfeeding, although precisely increasing the frequency of feedings is the way to prevent it when the first symptoms are noticed.

Warning signs of mastitis

The first warning sign may be pain when breastfeeding the baby . Breastfeeding shouldn’t hurt; if it hurts, something is wrong. Breast engorgement is quite painful engorgement of the breasts that can lead to mastitis if it is not solved with the proper techniques.

Your chest feels hot and swollen and you may notice small lumps produced by the obstruction of the ducts and reddened areas appear on the chest . At the same time that you feel heat in your chest, you feel chills and a fever appears above 38.5º.

Rudy’s experience

As had happened to her when she started breastfeeding, and like many women, she was not informed about the possible complications that could arise from breastfeeding.

This misinformation led her to take time to recognize that she had a possible mastitis that made her end up in the emergency room. That is why she now wants to share her experience with other mothers to raise awareness about this painful complication and how to prevent or solve it.


This is mastitis. After a year of breastfeeding, this past Sunday I felt compelled to share my story. Breastfeeding was not easy for me. My milk arrived after five days. He wasn’t aware that it could take that long, he didn’t even know what “rising milk” meant. (No one ever taught me.) I was the only breastfeeding mother in my neighborhood. One woman tried to breastfeed, but switched to formula after 12 hours because she “had no milk” (no one taught her either). While the other babies slept with a full belly, my son screamed and cried on my chest throughout the night. (What was take grouping? No one told me)

When I got home, problems started to arise: my nipple literally broke in half. I never felt such pain, I dreaded every take, but I kept doing it with tears in my eyes until they healed me. (No one taught me that breastfeeding could be painful, no one taught me what a crack looked like)

When feeding my son in public, I either had to go to the bathroom or pump at home to feed him from a bottle. Because he felt ashamed as if he was going to incite others. This resulted in plugged ducts and breast obstruction. (I freely feed in public now, and I’ve been doing it for a long time. Shit, this society is backwards!)

Then came the mastitis. I remember waking up at 3 in the morning shuddering, putting on my robe and extra blankets and trying to feed my son. The pain was excruciating. I was shivering and sweating but chilling to the bone. At 5 in the morning I woke up my boyfriend and told him that I thought I had to go to the hospital. My stepfather, who is a doctor, took my temperature and said it was slightly high, but to take acetaminophen and try to sleep.

At 7am I hadn’t been able to sleep and now I was vomiting, he took my temperature again (40 degrees). I had developed sepsis overnight. This happened because I could not recognize the more subtle signs of mastitis (not seeing any redness that day)

They took me to the ER. They gave me morphine and the strongest antibiotics they could give me, and they separated me from my baby for two nights. I was devastated.

How to treat mastitis?

As soon as the first warning signs appear, a lot of chest. You should put the baby to breastfeed as much as possible, whenever he asks and if you notice congestion, you should especially increase the frequency of feedings since it is the most effective way of emptying. The suckling of the baby makes the milk flow, preventing it from being retained and increasing inflammation, while relieving pain.

Applying dry heat to the chest and massaging (can be done under the shower or during a hot bath) is also effective. Performing the reverse softening pressure (PIS) is a very simple maneuver that consists of applying gentle pressure from the breast to the nipple (you can help with the knuckles, my mother recommended doing it with a comb).

When you notice the symptoms, you should see a doctor since poorly treated mastitis can further aggravate the problem, compromising the continuation of breastfeeding.

Many mastitis can be solved only with probiotics, without the need for antibiotics, or to complement treatment with antibiotics, since being living microorganisms they contribute to reducing the mechanisms that produce inflammation.

Although it is not usually done and it is common to give a broad-spectrum antibiotic, the correct method of treatment for an infection is to take a sample of breast milk and analyze it to determine which bacteria are causing the infection and prescribe the most appropriate antibiotic.

Via | WomansDay
Photos | @mamaclog (Instagram)
In Babies and more | How to relieve and prevent mastitis when it starts to appear (my experience)

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