Breast infections are very common among women, especially when you are lactating. Mastitis or clogged milk ducts can affect any breastfeeding mother and if not treated promptly, the infection can proceed further to form an abscess which will have to be drained. Prompt treatment of breast infections will prevent advancement.
The symptoms of a breast infection are a lump that is painful which can be anywhere in the breast, redness and tenderness in the infected spot. It will be accompanied by fever, chills, tiredness and general malaise. Severe cases will have swollen glands under the armpits and a difficulty in raising arms. Below are certain ways to treat breast infection and prevent it from getting worse.
Adequate Rest For Breast Infection
Adequate rest is important when you have infections and diseases. Rest gives enough time and energy for the body to repair itself. In fact, taking adequate rest and drinking plenty of water will help in removing the bacteria from the body and removing the infection completely.
Hot Compress For Breast Infection
Application of heat on the area of swelling will release the plugged milk ducts and remove any chance of infection setting in. For this you can fill a basin with hot water and soak the swollen breast for 10-15 minutes. This can be done three to four times a day. You can also take warm showers or use hot compress on the affected area. Apply some pressure on the affected area while you do this. This could sometimes release the plugged milk ducts.
Nurse The Baby Frequently For Breast Infection
Many women tend to stop nursing altogether when they have pain and swelling in the affected breast. This will only aggravate the problem and cause the infection to advance and cause more complications. Nursing frequently will empty the milk from the breast and prevent the advancement of infection. The infection will also clear fast without medications when you breastfeed often from the infected breast.
Some mothers have the apprehension that the bacteria can enter the baby’s body and cause infection. But mother’s milk consists of antibodies that shield the baby from the harsh bacteria that could be present in the milk. While you breastfeed, it is also important to massage the breast from top to down which will help the clogged duct from opening.
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Cold Compress For Breast Infection
Just as hot compress can help to release the milk from the ducts, cold compress can be useful after breast feeding in order to prevent clogging. Apply a cold compress after every feed to prevent pain and also to prevent further episodes of infection.
Cleanliness For Breast Infection
Breast infections can happen when you are not lactating as well. These kinds of infections happen when there is ill hygiene and also when cracks develop on the nipples due to dryness. Care must be taken to keep the nipples free from cracks. You may apply lanolin during the time of breastfeeding to prevent cracks and infections. It is also important to keep the breast well moisturised and clean even otherwise.
If breast infection does not go on its own within a few days, make sure that you consult a doctor and take antibiotics to prevent the infection from turning into an abscess.