Mastitis, Breastfeeding Obstacles that Mothers Need to Know

Breastfeeding during the Golden Period is a precious moment for mother and baby. However, there are times when mothers face obstacles in the breastfeeding process and this can disrupt the natural interaction process with their baby. One problem that often occurs is Mastitis.

What is Mastitis?

Mastitis is an inflammatory condition of the breast that can occur at any time during breastfeeding. This condition can cause symptoms of high fever, pain and swelling of the breasts. If not treated properly it can develop into an abscess.

How can a mother experience Mastitis? Mastitis generally occurs due to blockage in the milk ducts or incomplete emptying of the breast. In a small number of cases, Mastitis can occur when bacteria enter the breast tissue through abrasions on the nipple, causing infection.

There are several factors that can increase the risk of Mastitis in breastfeeding mothers, namely:

  1. Poor breastfeeding position and attachment, resulting in incomplete breast emptying.
  2. The distance between breastfeeding or emptying the breasts is too far. Usually this often happens to mothers who are busy working.
  3. Blockage in the breast ducts can occur if the mother supports the breast with her fingers in a scissor-like position, pressing on the breast to protect the baby's nose from being covered by the breast.
  4. Wearing underwear that is too tight.
  5. Production of too much breast milk (mother over pumping ).
  6. Trauma or impact to the breast.
  7. Mastitis accompanied by sore nipples.

Mastitis symptoms can appear quickly and make the mother uncomfortable and interfere with the breastfeeding process. Some common symptoms of Mastitis. are as follows:

  1. High fever over 38'C
  2. Pain in the breast
  3. Lumps and redness that appear only in the breast area
  4. Clots can still be felt even if the breast milk has been expressed
  5. Usually occurs on one side of the breast only
  6. Breasts feel warm
  7. Some babies refuse to breastfeed, because the taste of breast milk changes to become saltier

So, how is Mastitis handled and treated?

If you experience symptoms of Mastitis, immediately contact a doctor to get early treatment and treat the cause of Mastitis and prevent it from becoming an abscess. Apart from that, there are several steps that can be taken to treat this disease, such as:

  1. Breastfeed as often as possible and according to the baby's wishes with good position and attachment, so that milk stasis is resolved
  2. Compress with warm or cold water to make the mother comfortable
  3. Change breastfeeding positions with various breastfeeding positions (such as football position )
  4. Get enough rest and drink
  5. Administering pain-reducing and fever-reducing medication
  6. Administer appropriate antibiotics
  7. Don't force yourself to empty your breasts while the mother is experiencing mastitis, for example by pumping breast milk

If you are a mother who experiences this problem, it is important to recognize the symptoms and immediately consult a doctor to get the right treatment. Together with EMC Hospital, we provide the best and most integrated services so that we always guarantee excellent and prosperous maternal and child health. With proper care and good support, mothers can continue to breastfeed their babies comfortably and happily.

Article written by dr. Erlina Masniari Napitupulu, M.Ked(Ped), Sp.A (Children's Specialist and Lactation Counselor at EMC Sentul Hospital).