Breast infections which arise as a result of breast feeding can be extremely painful. Some women are able to go through life nursing several babies, without ever experiencing any kind of breast infection, while there are women who have to combat recurrent breast infection while breast feeding.
One to three percent of all women who breast feed their infants contract some kind of breast infection. Repeated and painful breast infection can even affect the breastfeeding relationship that is established between a young mother and her infant. Women who suffer from frequent painful episodes of severe breast infection are forced to switch from breastfeeding to bottle feeding their infant.
Avoid Breast Infection While Breast Feeding
An Insight Into Breast Infections
Mastitis is a common breast infection which arises during breastfeeding. Mastitis, a bacterial infection, occurs when bacteria (staphylococcus or streptococcus bacteria) from the infants mouth travels to the breast tissue via cracks in the nipple.
These bacteria can cause inflammation of the breast tissues. Mastitis infection can cause excruciating pain in the breasts. Breast infections can also arise as a result of milk ducts becoming clogged. Hormonal fluctuations are primarily responsible for milk ducts getting plugged.
Ways To Avoid Breast Infection While Breastfeeding
Breast feeding infections can scare off any new mother. A severe breast infection can deplete the already low energy levels of a brand new mother. There are numerous simple yet effective measures to prevent breast infections while breast feeding.
Every woman who is breast feeding or is likely to breast an infant should keep these vital tips in mind to avoid recurrent episodes of breast infections. To know more about how to avoid painful breast infections, read on.
Wear Comfortable Nursing Bras / Clothes
Women who have opted to breast feed their infants should purchase comfortable nursing bras. Ideally, a woman should choose a nursing bra that is non restrictive. Similarly, it is advisable to purchase clothes which are loose and constructed from natural breathable fabrics.
Stay away from constricting tops and clothes made from fabrics like nylon or rayon. Tight tops can restrict milk flow. This can cause milk ducts to become plugged. Plugged milk ducts can unleash a host of painful and unpleasant symptoms.
Avoid Putting Undue Pressure On Breasts
The problem of plugged milk ducts is rampant among women who apply undue pressure on their breasts. Women who carry heavy laptop or other kind of bags on their shoulders are inadvertently putting too much pressure on their breasts.
The straps of heavy shoulder bags can push down the breast. When any kind of heavy weight is applied on the breast, there are greater chances for the milk ducts to become clogged. This in turn can affect the normal flow of breast milk.
Nurse Your Infant Regularly
If you have decided to breast feed your infant plan out a regular breast feeding schedule. Try not to substitute breast feeding sessions with bottle milk.
Skipping regular breast feeding sessions can lead to excessive storage of breast milk. This in turn can trigger excruciating pain inside the breasts besides giving rise to infections.
Check Baby’s Latch
When it comes to breast feeding, there is a right way and a wrong way for the infant to latch onto the breast. The key to happy breastfeeding and a healthy baby is to ensure that the baby latches onto the nipple properly.
Improper latching can lead to breast milk buildup. This can give rise to the problem of plugged milk ducts and painful breast infections. The infant is also affected as he or she does not get enough milk for his or her sustenance.
Get Plenty Of Rest
New mothers should make it a point to get plenty of rest. Looking after a new born infant is no easy task. A woman’s energy levels are depleted because of taking care of the infant round the clock.
This can take a massive toll on her health. A weakened immune system can give rise to several infections. Women who get adequate amounts of rest and have a strong immune system are able to fight off a variety of infections including breast infections.
Vary Nursing Positions
Allowing your infant to nurse from only one breast is an incorrect breast feeding practice. Allow your infant to suckle from both breasts. Similarly, change the breast feeding position regularly. These simple practices can prevent the problem of engorged breasts and numerous breast infections as well.
Approach A Doctor
If you experience pain while breast feeding your infant or you notice your breasts becoming red and painfully inflamed, approach a doctor or lactation specialist post haste. Putting off a visit to the doctor can actually aggravate your breast infection.