Mastitis? Show me the cabbage!
March 28, 2013

When I was breastfeeding MF, I was constantly plagued by engorgements and mastitis.  The very first time it happened when MF was about 6 weeks old, I went to KKH to see a lactation consultant (LC) who massaged my boobs until I was in tears, and the doctor prescribed me medicine that gave me a bad diarrhea.  It also made me $100 poorer. Subsequently, whenever it happened, I would massage myself the way the LC taught me, take panadol and apply cold cabbage instead of going to see a doctor.

With MY, I was terrified of going through the pain of mastitis again, so I latched him all the way and did not pump to try to increase supply (because with MF, I pumped on top of latching to increase my supply, and ended up with oversupply which resulted in the never-ending mastitis). For 10 weeks, I was mastitis free and I was so happy.

But yesterday, out of the blue, it came! I felt feverish and my whole body ached.  I thought I was coming down with a flu, but when I saw one of my boobs had turned red, I knew mastitis was here to visit.  Being home alone with 2 kids and with my whole body feeling weak, I couldn’t go down to buy cabbage, so I just popped panadol and waited until hubby came home.  Throughout the day, I just lay in bed and nursed MY non-stop while massaging away the hard lumps.  In the meantime, MF entertained himself with the iPad all day as I simply did not have the energy to get out of bed to entertain him.

After hubby came back with the cabbage, I quickly applied it for half an hour.  After that, I went to sleep until this morning, and now I’m more or less cured! My boob still feels sore, but at least the fever is gone and I can go about my usual task.

In summary, my cheap and quick trick to dealing with mastitis is:

  • Keep nursing to keep the breast as empty as possible
  • Apply cold cabbage
  • Rest as much as possible
  • Take panadol for the fever and pain
  • Nip it in the bud asap!

Disclaimer: The above is a recount of my personal experience with home remedy of mastitis.  I am not a doctor, just a fellow nursing mum. You are advised to seek treatment from professional doctors and lactation consultations and check carefully with them that any medication you are taking is safe for breastfeeding.

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