Melanie Kissell

Lactation “INFLAMMATION”

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When should I call my caregiver?  Call your caregiver if:

  • Your breast is very swollen and so painful that you cannot breastfeed.
  • You feel a lump or hard area in your breast.
  • You feel sick and you cannot breastfeed your child.
  • You have a fever or your nipple or areola is very painful.
  • Your nipple is bleeding or has yellow fluid coming from it.
  • Your nipple is getting blisters, cracks, or scabs on it.
  • You have more questions or concerns about breastfeeding.

To reduce pain and swelling in the breast:

  • Apply ice compresses to the affected area of your breast after breastfeeding.
  • If your mastitis is not caused by breastfeeding, consider using over-the-counter pain relievers as recommended by your doctor.
  • If your mastitis is caused by pregnancy or breastfeeding, be sure to ask your doctor what pain relievers are safe for you and your baby. Taking aspirin is not advised during pregnancy or breastfeeding.
  • Drink lots of fluids.
  • Get plenty of rest.

Strategies to help prevent mastitis include:

  • Prevent engorgement of the breast with milk by:
    • Frequent breastfeeding
    • Use of breast pump
  • Wash your hands and breast nipple before breastfeeding.
  • Avoid wearing bras or clothing that is too tight.
  • Avoid sleeping on your breasts, or allowing a baby to sleep on your breasts.
  • If your nipples crack, apply lanolin cream, olive oil, or tea bags as recommended by your caregiver or lactation consultant.

Melanie Kissell

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