What is Mastitis? My experience.

Mastitis is one of the most painful things I am yet to experience in this jourey of motherhood.

It is caused by milk ducts being blocked and not being cleared. It can be treated if is has not become infected already, but you can still breastfeed your newborn as it does not pass through the milk before infection stage. (Read my story below for more information on my journey)

Treatments in the early stages:

  1. Pain Relief – Like Ibuprofen.
  2. Breastfeeding – It can help you heal quicker.
  3. Warm compress – Can relieve the engorgement and help release the milk with gentle press.
  4. Rest – Your body needs the extra love when you are not at your best.

If the pain continues please go to your nearest docter and get anti-biotics.

My story

Eight years ago my journey of motherhood had just begun and I struggled to find breastfeeding a ‘beautiful experience’. Yes when she was born and we first connected it was magical, but as the weeks progressed and the reality of cracked and sensitive nipples, stressing daily about trying to get enough milk in and worrying about leaking boobs out in public if you feed a little late became a reality, it ended up becoming a scary thought every time I needed to feed.

Yet through my fears I ended up carrying on the journey because I wanted her to get the best nutrients I could give, so I pushed as far as I could go until my daughter was 3 months old…

At the time my one breast would always fill up more than the other which is a normal thing. But it started to get more tender than it normally was. I thought well the milk is still coming through so let me just carry on, it must be normal. A few days later…. It started to get swollen as the milk was being supplied but there was no easy pasage for it to come through. Panic!!

Went to see a GP got medication (Anti-biotics). I took those for another few days on time like clock work and still tried to breastfeed (I was not prepared to give up yet!) even though it hurt like a motha and i cried tears like my breast was being torn and ripped from the inside tears! Gives me shivers even when I think about it now.

Fast forwarding to me crying like this on my mothers bathroom floor, cabbage on the breast, my mom trying to unblock the breast, aunties flocking in to try to soothe me, my husband in panic mode because he doesnt know how to help, then being driven to my family GP to only get told;

There is no more joy for medication, I am booking you in with the surgeon tommorow. You have a cyst that will need to be drained.

The end result was this. I went in for surgery, 500ml of puss was drained out, the wound was left open to heal and covered with gauze ( I got told they cannot stitch the breast from that vertical position it has to heal on it own, WTH!) and i ended up giving up the breastfeeding for a bottle.

The sad reality of life is that as much as I and many other woman also want to breastfeed their children, sometimes there are many different situations we are put in that we cannot control and a bottle is introduced in place of breast. On the bright side I managed to breastfeed all three of my kids for a certain amount of time after this episode.

Three very healthy, happy and strong children!

PS: I am not a docter or professional but this is my advice and knowledge on what i experienced with my kids and with family and friends.

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