Most people experience mastitis in the first 6 week postpartum. If you have a sore, red breast and start feeling flu-like, you can avoid antibiotics if you catch it fast enough. Here are a few things that you can do:
- Pump or feed your baby from the infected breast every 2-3 hours. Note: Feeding through the infection is the best thing you can do. It does not affect your baby because he/she is getting antibodies from you.
- Prior to pumping or feeding, put a hot compress on the infected area for 10 minutes.
- While feeding or pumping, massage the area. I won't lie, it feels awful. It feels like you're massaging a bad bruise but this is the quickest way to get rid of the infection.
- Sleep LOTS! When you've had the flu, wasn't sleep the best medicine? Yes, you have a baby(ies) to care for, but if you don't take care of yourself first, you won't be able to care for the little ones. Get help from family and friends.
- Take 1000mg of vitamin C every 1-2 hours. Echinacea is also a great immune booster.
- Advil helps with the body aches so that you can sleep more soundly.
I think of illness and your body's way of telling you to slow down. I've been saying for a while that I feel like a hamster on a wheel. I have my routine with the babies and was scared of slowing down because I'd fall off the wheel. Well, my body did it for me this time. Listen to your body! I know that's hard to do when you have kids at home, but without our health, we have nothing. If you're exhausted, try to get someone to watch the kids for an hour while you squeeze in a nap.