Mastitis is a breast infection that typically presents itself as a painful, hard, red area on the breast, along with a fever and flu-like symptoms. It can also often follow engorgement. Cracked nipples may increase your risk, as broken skin allows germs to penetrate the breast and can lead to infection of the breast tissue. Seek medical treatment from your healthcare provider immediately if you are experiencing symptoms of mastitis.
HOW TO HELP
In addition to treatment from your healthcare provider, it is recommended to:
• Heat, rest, and empty breast.
• Use a warm compress before a feeding.
• Get extra rest.
• Continue pumping or breastfeeding; emptying the breast reduces inflammation. If this hurts, detach baby and try again.
Thrush is caused by a yeast fungus, and symptoms can include:
• Itchy or burning nipples that appear fiery red, shiny, flaky, and/or have a rash with tiny blisters
• Cracked nipples
• Shooting pains in the breast during or after feedings
• Intense nipple or breast pain that does not improve with better latch-on and/or positioning
HOW TO HELP
It is important to see your healthcare provider for treatment, and it is necessary for both you and your baby to be treated since it is contagious and spreads easily. This fungus thrives in warm, moist environments, such as your baby’s mouth. A baby may also have yeast rashes in the diaper area.
This can be a sign of waiting too long between feedings. The more milk that is stored in the breast, the more pressure there is, making letdown more forceful.
HOW TO HELP
To manage a forceful letdown, you can press on the breast near the nipple just before latching your baby, and spray the initial streams into a cloth, bottle, cup, etc. Trying different positions such as laid back or side lying may also help slow things down.
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