It’s World Breastfeeding Week. Breastfeeding can be an amazing experience for mother and child. It can also be painful, difficult and emotionally and physically draining.
One particular potentially serious condition that can happen with breastfeeding is Mastitis, an infection in the milk ducts of the breast.
Metaphysically the cause of Mastitis can be not looking after yourself (source Louise Hay, You Can Heal Your Life). This is easy to do when you have a small person relying on you, and is sometimes why a Mum who had no issues with her first May get mastitis with a subsequent child as she is looking after everyone else and neglecting herself.
Homeopathically, for Mastitis consider
Belladonna- Mastitis comes on fast. The breast may be bright red, hot, hard and tender to touch. Everything is intense, there may be a high fever.
Phytolacca- the breast is painful and lumpy. Pain may radiate when touched. May have flu like symptoms (aches, fever) or sore, cracked nipples.
Bryonia- breast is painful and hot, but not as red as Belladonna. They may be very irritable, want to lie still and not move. They are likely to be very thirsty.
Other things you can do-
• Keep well hydrated, drink plenty of water
• Keep feeding your baby! This will help drain the breast and prevent other clots. It’s ok to feed your baby even if there is a little blood or discoloured milk in anything you express. Applying pressure and massaging the lump while feeding can help. If you cannot breastfeed you may find hand expressing helps.
• Make sure you are not wearing clothes or a bra that are too tight
• High dose Vitamin C- take this often, up to bowel tolerance.
• Massage- you can use a wide tooth comb or your hand to massage from the chest towards the nipple, helping to break up any clots in the breast
• Raw garlic, chop into small pieces and swallow three or four times a day. This acts as a natural antibiotic and can treat mastitis.
If you are concerned, have a high prolonged fever with delerium, hallucinations, serious shivers or you are otherwise concerned seek medical attention ASAP- whether it be your midwife or your GP or an after hours clinic or hospital emergency room. With an untreated, prolonged infection sepsis is a serious possibility and should not be ignored. However, if you get onto treatment quickly it should not get to that stage.
Homeopathy can support you with a range of different breastfeeding issues but it doesn’t replace hands on help with someone who can check your latch, help with positioning and check for other issues like tongue tie.
If you are struggling with breastfeeding try contacting
• Your midwife (in the first 6 weeks)
• Your local La Leche League or breastfeeding support person for peer to peer support.
• Lactation Consultants can help with issues including latch problems, pain and milk supply.
If you would like help with mastitis, especially if you have had recurring mastitis, or other breastfeeding problems such as thrush, reynauds, milk supply or the mental and emotional side of breastfeeding send me a message to discuss how Homeopathy can help.