If the baby does not drink regularly and effectively, or if he does not drink long enough, your milk channels can become clogged. The milk that is produced stays behind in the breast and can, if the blockage does not dissolve quickly, cause inflammation.
How do I prevent breast inflammation?
- Make sure your baby is positioned correctly and drinks as much as he wants.
- Feed your baby regularly and often.
- Do not skip or delay feedings.
- Let your baby determine the duration of the feedings. And do not disconnect him earlier.
- Offer both breasts with each feed.
- Do not combine breastfeeding with artificial nutrition.
- Introduce solid food only gradually.
- If you are going to reduce breastfeeding, do so very gradually. With a maximum of one diet "less" per week.
- Feed in varying positions. This way all the milk channels are emptied. And you prevent blockages.
- Do not wear tight clothes.
- Do not wear too tight a bra.
- Do not wear a bra at night.
- Do not keep your baby's nose free by pressing your chest with your finger.
- If you have heavy breasts, support your breasts when feeding.
- If your baby is not able to drink with you for some reason, you can pump milk at normal feeding times.
- If you always have a blocked milk canal at the same spot, check your bra first. Maybe you are not wearing the right bra size. Or maybe you often carry a heavy bag or baby carrier, which always presses on the same spot on your chest.
How do I recognise breast inflammation?
The precursor of breast infection is a blocked milk canal. You may notice
- a hard, sore area in your chest that has not disappeared after feeding
- the painful area feels warm and can turn red
- the hard spot can shift from place to place
Symptoms of breast infection
- feeling like you have the flu
- sore muscles
How do I fix a blocked milk duct and chest inflammation?
- Put hot compresses, a cherry-stone pillow or warm shower water on your breasts just before feeding. Heat opens the milk channels. And makes the milk flow better.
- Feed more often. And use your painful chest first. That is what your little one sucks at the most.
- Let your brest empty properly. And do not use a nipple shield because that means your little one can not empty your breast properly.
- If your little one has not emptied your breast, then finish it off with a breast pump.
- During the pumping and feeding, gently massage in the direction of the nipple. This way you start the flow again.
- Take extra rest. Have an afternoon nap, wake up a little earlier, watch a relaxing movie or read a good book. And leave a number of chores temporarily to someone else.
- Drink plenty of fluids.
- Make sure you do not have celiac disease. This can be the cause of chronically blocked milk ducts and breast inflammation.
- Do not stop breastfeeding. That only worsens the matter.
- If the fever persists for more than 24 hours or if your symptoms worsen, consult your doctor.
- If your fever rises above 39 ° C, consult your doctor immediately.
- If your doctor prescribes antibiotics, check that it is medication that goes along with breastfeeding.
- If you regularly suffer from breast infection, consult a lactation consultant.
Breast augmentation and breast reduction
Are you planning to breastfeed and have you undergone breast enlargement or reduction in the past, always consult a lactation consultant. And have a consultation with the surgeon who performed the operation. After all, the chances of success for breastfeeding depend very much on the way the operation was performed.
If you have reduced your breasts, it may be that some of your milk ducts were damaged during surgery, especially when nipple and areola have been cut loose and moved. This can cause chronic blockage. And possibly the milk production is also limited. Mothers with breast enlargements can suffer from less elastic breasts and limited milk production.
Also see these information articles: · Breastfeeding · Benefits · Bottling · Breastfeeding diapers · Changing food · Clustering · Duration · Empty days · Let down reflex · Menstruation · Milk production · Nipples · Physical consequences · Positioning · Quickly stopping · Reasons to stop · Tandem feeding · Thrush