Mastitis - It's The Mother Of All Dragons. - The M Word

Mastitis – It’s The Mother Of All Dragons.

Bloody Hell! The Period Emoji has Arrived!
February 7, 2019
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February 8, 2019

I had my three kids naturally. I’m not boasting, it was not at all part of my birthing plan but alas every time I make a plan – it fails!

Point is: I would easily give birth three times over than go through what I did with mastitis.

Three months into having baby, I came down with a high fever of 40 degrees yet my body was freezing. Hubby had to give me four blankets because I felt so cold and my body started shivering uncontrollably. I had red streaks on my chest that looked as though I had been burnt with an iron rod and breast feeding made me vomit with pain.

I cried when I left my bed to go and see the GP, because of the cold. My skin was glacial and I was shaking excessively. Every cell in my body was in pain, I couldn’t think straight and I thought my breasts would implode. There was no way I was going to be able to breast feed ever again.

The GP was lovely and very sympathetic as she sat me down and kindly explained that she would give me antibiotics that would allow me to carry on feeding baby.

‘WHAT?!’ I cried, the tears flooding my face at the thought. My chest was lumpy, hard to the touch, painful, and extremely swollen.

I wept as she explained that frequent emptying of the breast prevents engorgement and clogged ducts that can only make mastitis worse.

Over the course of the week, what I found worked the best was…..drum roll… potatoes and cabbage!

  • Once the antibiotics kicked in, the nursing got easier (I promise!) but I did have to bite into a towel the first few times… but you need to nurse, nurse, nurse.
  • I am not lying, yes, medication works and take the medicine and nurofen, but I used frozen cabbage leaves and grated potatoes as a cold compress and put both inside my bra to ease the pain during the day. Believe me you will try anything when you are in this much pain and this worked for me!
  • Hot baths with a hot face cloth on your chest to ease the pain before feeding. The hotter you can bear the better to alleviate the pain and open up the ducts.
  • Drink as much water as you can to avoid getting dehydrated.
  • Bulk up on electrolytes for energy. I was drained and felt very tired.
  • Try and get family and friends to come around and help around the house, help with other siblings and bring food because I was physically unable to get out of bed in between feedings and I had no energy except to focus on my baby.

Then after a few days, the pain left and I was back to my usual self. I just felt relieved that I had gotten through it!

Aedin Fiel
Aedin Fiel
Laugher, expert fly killer and Jaffa cake devourer. Presently juggling a job, three kids, a husband and a dog. Working off three diaries and constantly forgetting birthday parties and play dates. Striving to be the perfect mother but to quote Robert Frost - I have miles to go before I sleep!