The breast feeding side effect no one talks about
The breast-feeding health problem no one talks about
It strengthens the bond between mother and baby, sustains life and boosts immunity but breast-feeding isn’t always easy.
But, there’s one common, alarming complication that even the most fervent enthusiasts are susceptible to; Mastitis.
Never heard of it? You’re not alone because despite the condition affecting up to 20 per cent of breast-feeders a year, Mastitis is rarely spoken about but one mother is on a mission to change that.
Lindsey Bliss, a birth doula and mother of six from New York has breastfeed all of her biological children, including two sets of twins but had never experienced the side-effect until nursing her youngest child.
Taking to Instagram, Bliss shared an intimate photo of herself breast-feeding her newborn, with her breast visibly inflamed in red.
“When a good boob goes bad — AGAIN!” she wrote in her caption. “I literally wanted Dan to bring me to the ER last night due to the most EPIC engorged boob, full body shakes, and a crushing headache. On the mend today from my bed. Why does this keep happening?”
Despite her training as a director at Carriage House Birth, an organisation that fosters community among birth doulas and postpartum care providers, Bliss wasn’t prepared for the impact Mastitis would have on her entire body.
In addition to her swollen breast, she also experienced milk-duct discharge, body shakes and uncontrollable teeth chattering.
“It literally feels like someone kicked me in the breast,” she told Cosmopolitan.
“No one really warns you about how powerful mastitis is. Your boob can cause a full body shut down.”
So what causes Mastitis?
Often occurring in the first three months of breast-feeding, Mastitis can be the result of a blocked milk duct, bacteria build-up, stress and fatigue, missed feedings or pressure from an ill-fitting bra.
If Mastitis happens to you, emptying the affected breast can help and continuing to feed your baby won’t cause them any harm.
For the pain, you can take an anti-inflammatory or apply a warm, wet cloth for 15 to 20 minutes a few times a day.
However, if your symptoms persist for more than 12 to 24 hours, you should arrange to see your doctor.