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.
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: