Mum says mastitis was stopped by a vibrator

Now, bear with us on this one....

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A mum from Queensland has told Australian parenting site Kidspot how desperate she was for something to stop the painful mastitis she’d had 4 times with her 9-month-old son.

She stumbled across a thread on a parenting site where mums shared how they were using vibrators to help unclog their milk ducts, as clogged ducts can lead to mastitis.

The woman, known only as Danielle, says: “I had tried everything – heat packs, rubbing it, pumping, hot showers – everything.

“It didn’t hurt to use the vibrator – it was the least painful of everything I had tried before.

“I am weaning my son at the moment and had blocked ducts for a day before using the vibrator for 10 minutes. I was worried I would get mastitis again but I haven’t after that and have used the vibrator again since.”

?

Now, while we find it quite a novel way to use a vibrator, we also definitely get why it could help with keeping those milk ducts unclogged.

Clogged milk ducts are just one cause of mastitis – as it can also be caused by cracked nipples.

So, if you can unblock the ducts and keep things ticking over smoothly – you might just stop the mastitis that sometimes follows.

We asked an expert on the subject to check this home remedy was all A-OK, and here’s what we found out…

Is this a safe way to unclog your milk ducts?

Dr Philippa Kaye told us: “The vibrator for blocked ducts is not unheard of, in fact it may be encouraged! It would work for engorgement too, an electric vibrator on a low setting could work as it massages the breast!”

So, in a nutshell: yes, it is ?

How do you know when a blocked duct has become mastitis?

Dr Kaye also pointed out the difference between a blocked duct and mastitis – which is important, because one can be resolved at home, and the other needs medical attention.

“Mastitis is an infection of the breast tissue which is relatively common when breastfeeding. It is important to distinguish it from a blocked milk duct,” she explained.

“If you have a blocked milk duct you may notice a small lump or swelling in the breast which may be tender.  Continuing to feed, warm compresses and massaging the breast will help relieve the blockage and the lump and pain should resolve.  

“However if it does not and then breast becomes red, hot, swollen  and very tender and painful and you feel unwell in yourself you may have developed mastitis. 

“You may also feel feverish and have aches and pains. If you develop these symptoms then see your GP who will take your history and examine your breasts and generally prescribe antibiotics. 

“You can continue to feed on the affected side, this may be uncomfortable for you but your baby will still be getting milk and the act of feeding may help any blocked ducts or engorgement to drain. 

“You may choose to express between feeds as well. Take simple painkillers such as paracetamol or ibuprofen which are safe for breastfeeding, wear comfortable, loose fitting clothes and bras and drink plenty of fluids. 

“Check that your baby is latching on well and so is draining your breast efficiently.”

To stop mastitis occurring, Dr Kaye suggests:

“Avoid very tight fitting bras and check that your baby is latched onto the breast properly (get advice from your local la leche league group, health visitor or local breast feeding groups). 

“Allow your baby to fully finish a feed, they tend to come off the breast when they are finished, so allow them to do so themselves. 

“Try not to go too long between feeds, allow your baby to feed, or express often if you feel engorged.  If you are trying to cut down or stop feeding then do so really gradually, stopping one feed at a time for several days before dropping the next. 

“If you need to stop more suddenly, then expressing and very gradually decreasing the amount you express each time can ease discomfort and engorgement and hopefully prevent mastitis.”

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