Breast abscesses, also known as mastitis, is every breastfeeding woman’s nightmare. Similar to other abscesses on the other parts of the body, mastitis is an infection of the tissues that involves swelling, enlargement, tenderness or lumpiness, and agonizing pain of the affected breast. The affected breast may become red and hardened, while the abscess size itself may reach the size of a kiwi. As if it is not enough, mothers suffering from mastitis may also suffer from fever and malaise. If left untreated, breast abscesses may require removal, induced drainage, or surgical procedure to extract the hardened tissues.
How to treat breast abscess naturally
As a type of inflammation, mastitis can be treated with antibiotics, which is taken orally. However, taking pills while in breastfeeding stage is controversial and for a lot of mothers, not even an option. The medications taken for this breast abscess may pass to the baby through sucked breast milk, causing antibiotic resistance to the child. Despite this, there are some solution breastfeeding mothers can do to improve their breast abscess naturally:
Although breast abscess may cause breastfeeding to be very painful and uncomfortable, keep nursing the baby is the best natural remedy the affected mother can do. To reduce the risk of mastitis, breastfeed the baby regularly and avoid skipping any session. If you skip a session, pump the breast milk into a bottle to feed the baby later.
Use cabbage leaves
Mastitis is commonly accompanied by internal inflammation that are very painful. To soothe this affected breast, stuff your bra with refrigerated cabbage leaves. This acts as a cool compress, which is essential for improving swelling. In addition, it also helps unclog the milk duct to flush the infection.
Take hot showers
This will reduce inflammation, relieve pain, and give you a quick comfort. However, be careful with the hot water, making sure it is not too hot, as it may burn the already-tenderized abscess. During the shower, avoid rubbing the area roughly, as it may aggravate the mastitis area, leading to more severe inflammation.
Get plenty of quality rest
This is important, as rest is essential for the body in fighting infection. Sufficient rest will give your body a chance to fight the infection by improving the immune system.
Eat raw garlic
Antibiotic pills may affect your breastfed baby, while natural antibiotic will not. Garlic is in fact one of the most beneficial source of antibiotic that can be taken to fight the infection. If you are suffering for breast abscess, a couple of garlic cloves will help improve the infected area, promoting faster healing. This might not taste very good, but will be useful in aiding your entire breast abscess healing process.
Do I need to wean the baby?
Abscesses on breast develop with a recurrent plug occurring in the same spot. This means, the problem is a plug of milk duct on your breast, so that it is almost always accompanied by inflammation, soreness, and other signs of infection. While some people might advise you to wean the baby once a breast abscess develops, keep nursing the baby is in fact, one of the most proper treatment for breast abscess. The baby will suck the milk out, unplugging the clogged milk ducts eventually. This process is painful, but it does improve the condition. Nursing the baby a little but often is suggested, as it is found effective in reducing inflammation from breast abscess. You can also encourage the milk duct to unplug by pumping the excess milk to reduce inflammation and enlargement.