Q I’ve been breastfeeding for more than two months and have had three severe bouts of mastitis. What can I do to prevent future episodes?
A Lactation consultant Barbara Glare says: Make sure your baby drains your breasts well, but if your breasts are still uncomfortably full, express until your breasts soften and feel normal. It’s vital to avoid engorgement, so ensure your bra fits well and doesn’t cut into your breasts. If you have a blocked duct, or your breasts are engorged, use a hot compress or express some milk while having a hot shower. Feed your baby, then put on an icepack.
A mild analgesic, such as Panadol or Nurofen, can help reduce the pain and fever, but if the fever persists and you develop flu-like symptoms, see your doctor. Antibiotics prescribed for mastitis are completely compatible with breastfeeding – in fact, it is vital to keep feeding through a bout of mastitis.