Mastitis is the common infection many women suffer from during their breastfeeding journey. Symptoms of mastitis include breast tenderness, malaise, redness on the breast skin, breast pain, breast rash and a fever.
Mastitis is something I have helped many new mums with in clinic. Many people don’t know how a naturopath can help them with their mastitis, often resorting to the recurrent use of antibiotics.
While antibiotics will work in some cases and might be needed, there is a range of natural options to not only help with the prevention of mastitis but also its treatment. The huge benefit with natural alternatives is that there are no consequences on your gut health which, interestingly, could be contributing to you getting mastitis in the first place (hello gut-immune connection). As an integrative naturopath, I believe strongly in the balance between health care systems/choices so if you have been taking antibiotics or are taking them currently, I would suggest also seeking naturopathic care to help support your gut health and immunity at the same time.
Our little William is now 10 weeks old and I have been taking Qiara probiotic throughout my pregnancy and breastfeeding journey. I believe it has helped my gut and immunity immensely. I have not yet suffered from any blocked ducts or mastitis and believe taking this probiotic has been part of the reason for that. Like everything I promote in my clinical practice, prevention is better than cure. The good thing is that Qiara can also be used if you do get mastitis or breast pain – simply take Qiara at the first signs of mastitis or pain!
Clinical research conducted using the single probiotic strain found in the Qiara probitoic, shows that it may:
- reduce discomfort associated with breast pain and mastitis
- reduce the recurrence of mastitis.
Qiara achieves this by aggressively targeting and outcompeting the pathogenic bacteria in breast milk that may be causing the pain and infection. It also helps to restore and maintain a healthy balance of protective flora in the breast milk microbiome to help prevent recurrence.
We stock Qiara probiotic in our clinic and in our online shop. You can purchase it here!
Other things you can do if you get mastitis include:
- keep feeding your baby as this will help to drain the breast
- apply a cold compress. Chilled cabbage leaves are suggested.
- take probiotics (Qiara Pregnancy and Breastfeeding)
- rest your body
- drink water and stay hydrated
- take herbal medicines. Always seek individual and qualified support on this, however, one of my favourite go-to herbs is echinacea. We make custom blends with a combination of herbs in our clinic which are available via an acute mastitis appointment. Book here.
I hope you have found these suggestions beneficial. Remember, a healthy and balanced diet and lifestyle will also contribute to helping prevent infections through a healthy immune system.
Written by Karly Raven BHSc