Preventing mastitis

What can breastfeeding mums do to avoid developing mastitis in the first place?

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Though breastfeeding increases your likelihood of coming down with mastitis, only 10% of breastfeeding mums will actually develop it. There are some daily steps you can take to reduce your likelihood of suffering from mastitis – these are general good practice for keeping you healthy and your baby well fed.

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Steps to help prevent mastitis

  • Feed regularly and try not to put a time limit on the length of feeds.
  • Relieve engorgement as quickly as you can. Try expressing with a breast pump if your baby doesn’t want to feed when you need to.
  • If you feel your breasts are full, try to initiate feeding. You don’t have to wait for your baby to make signs that she’s hungry.
  • Avoid sleeping on your breasts. Arrange your pillows to prevent you from rolling onto your front in your sleep.
  • Keep to a feeding routine. Try and feed at regular intervals and avoid skipping feeds.
  • Opt for a comfortable, purpose-made nursing bra. At night you may want to try sleeping without a bra.
  • Eat well and make sure you’re getting all the essential vitamins and minerals you need to keep your immune system healthy and fight any potential infections.
  • Care for cracked nipples to prevent them becoming inflamed or infected.

Do you already have mastitis?

Try these articles for help on soothing your sore breasts:

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