If there’s anything breastfeeding mothers fear (besides teeth, that is) it’s plugged milk ducts and mastitis. Mothers ask about plugs and mastitis prior to the baby being born. Just because you’re breastfeeding, doesn’t mean that these things are a guarantee. Some mothers will go their whole breastfeeding relationship without ever experiencing either one of these things. But what happens if you do?
There are many ways to help with plugged ducts. Heat, massage, feeds is usually the mantra. If that doesn’t do it, more intensive action will help. Mastitis CAN come from plugged milk ducts, but not always. Mastitis is an infection, and just like any other infection, when your resistance is low, your body is tired and your stress level is high, you may be more susceptible to symptoms. No one wants to be sick when taking care of a baby. However, having a plug doesn’t guarantee mastitis, so don’t jump to antibiotics unless the fever is hovering close by.
Don’t let the fear of plugs or mastitis keep you from developing the most amazing relationship with your baby. It is not a rite of passage to develop one of these ailments, and you may never experience it. But if you do, don’t let it discourage you from continuing with breastfeeding. It’s just too important.
For more information about plugs and mastitis, including more suggestions for healing, comfort measures and staying healthy, check into the Badass Breastfeeding Podcast and get all the details.