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Natural At Home Remedies For Mastitis

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Mastitis is an inflammation of the breast most commonly caused by breastfeeding. It usually comes on very quick with little to no warning signs. In this post I will share with you the best at home remedies for mastitis that will help you heal faster.

drawing of mother nursing an infant

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Is Mastitis Serious?

Mastitis is not generally considered a serious condition but it is very painful. It affects about 10% of all breastfeeding moms in the U.S. (source) and can usually be treated at home with natural remedies.

However, it is always best to seek medical attention if you have persistent symptoms as it could be a sign of infection requiring antibiotics, or the chance of a developing abscess in your breast.

What Does Beginning of Mastitis Feel Like?

The first time I experienced mastitis it came on suddenly in the middle of the night. I was eight weeks postpartum and still getting up with the baby every two to three hours. I woke up with a high fever and my left breast was very tender, red, hot to the touch and had a hard lump on the side.

The second time I started feeling very tired and just not myself in the middle of the day. I didn’t think much of it at first but within a few hours the tell tale signs of mastitis started……painful red breast, and a lump, this time in my right breast.

Mastitis Symptoms

  • Flu like symptoms, including fever, chills, and body aches.
  • Swollen and tender breast with redness on the skin.
  • A hard lump on the breast (clogged milk duct).
  • Fatigue

Can Mastitis Be Treated Without Antibiotics?

In most cases home remedies for mastitis are enough to help with the pain and quickly get you back on your feet. But if you experience a high fever for more than 24 hours, antibiotics may be necessary to help clear an infection.

If you develop a serious infection and have to take antibiotics, make sure to supplement with probiotics and fermented foods to lower your chances of also developing a yeast infection.

Yeast infections are very common after taking antibiotics.

Foods And Supplements To Fight Yeast Infection:

  • Avoid Sugar. Sugar feeds yeast.
  • A good probiotic and/or plain unsweetened yogurt.
  • Fermented food and drinks like sauerkraut or kimchi and Kombucha.
  • Apple cider vinegar.
  • Fermented cod liver oil.

Tried And Tested At Home Remedies For Mastitis

  1. The very first thing you need to do is get the clogged milk duct completely drained. The best way to do that, is to rent a hospital grade pump, a regular pump won’t have enough power. You can rent one from a lactation consultant, or the hospital where you delivered might rent them out as well. If you had a home birth ask your midwife if she has one available.
  2. Nurse, nurse, nurse! Continue to nurse and/or pump as much as you can so you can unclog the milk duct.
  3. Eat raw garlic. Garlic has anti inflammatory, antibacterial, anti fungal, antioxidant, and anti bacterial properties. It is nature’s antibiotic. Finely dice or crush a clove of garlic, let it sit for ten minutes and then put it on a tablespoon topped with raw honey and swallow. Do this with every meal until your symptoms subside.
  4. Put a hot compress on your breast or take a hot shower while massaging the affected breast to help sooth and release some of the pressure from the clogged duct.
  5. Take high doses of vitamin C
  6. Use essential oils. In a roller bottle add 5 drops of each lavender, tea tree (melaleuca), and wild orange essential oils and top off with a carrier oil like fractionated coconut oil. Put the lid on and shake well. Apply 3-4 times a day. I did it after I nursed.

7. Place a cabbage leaf on the affected breast. Here is a post explaining why cabbage helps with mastitis.

8. Rest and stay hydrated.

Breastfeeding and Lactation Consultant Resources

La Leche League International will answer all your questions regarding breast feeding.

To find a lactation consultant near you visit the International Lactation Consultant Association directory and fill out a short form.

How Long Does It Take For Mastitis To Clear Up?

The first 24 hours are the worst. Make sure to start these at home remedies as soon as you realize you have mastitis and do them multiple times a day.

At 48 hours you should no longer have a fever and should be feeling much better.

All your symptoms should continue to improve as the days pass but do NOT stop doing these remedies until you feel 100% back to normal.

The hard lump is the last thing to disappear usually around the 4th or 5th day.

How To Prevent Mastitis

  • The best thing you can do is take care of yourself.
  • Nourish yourself well, drink lots of bone broth.
  • Rest.
  • Get plenty of sleep.
  • Stay hydrated.
  • Frequent Nursing or pumping.
  • Do not wear a tight bra or clothing.
  • Don’t sleep on your tummy. Be aware to not put any kind of pressure on your breasts.
  • Take a Sunflower Lecithin supplement, it reduces the stickiness of breast milk and encourages milk flow.
  • Eat lots of fermented foods. Feed your gut good bacteria to avoid infections.

From One Mama To Another

I am not a healthcare professional, just a mom who wants to help other moms experiencing this painful side effect of breast feeding.

I’ve had mastitis twice and stopped it in its tracks a third time using these at home remedies.

How about you? Have you experienced mastitis? Share with us what helped you.

Save For Later: At Home Remedies For Mastitis

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6 Comments

  1. Awesome article! Thanks for sharing! I’ll be keeping it in mind for all my mama friends. Amen for cabbage. My sister brought me one as soon as I had my girl, breastfeeding went great for me so we cooked up a storm, but definitely a must to have just in case!

  2. I have treated mastitis at home too. The homeopathic remedy phytolacca decandra is amazing for it, I take it now at the first sign of a clogged duct.

    1. oooh I don’t know very much about phytolacca decandra. Thanks for sharing what helped you Dee, I’m definitely going to do some research on it!

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