Treating mastitis

Wendy Haldeman, Lactation Specialist, explains the treatments for mastitis.
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Treating mastitis

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In the old days, Mastitis was treated by resting the breast, which is, ironically, the worst thing you can do. What a mother needs to do is get that milk moving in that breast as soon as possible. What seems to help that is for the mom to apply warm, moist compresses over the affected area, and then you get the baby to breastfeed on that side; which can be really painful, but we need to get through this. Then we need for the mom to followup nursing with pumping. Another thing that may help is vibration over the plugged duct while she's pumping which is easy if the mom has something in the house like a sonicare toothbrush. If she can hold the handle over that mass while she's pumping, that may help move it. Moms tend to feel better if they take something like Motrin or Ibuprofen or Advil; which is a great drug because very little gets to the baby. Those things tend to help clear it. As far as antibiotics are concerned, the research has shown that about 50 percent of mastitises will clear on their own. About half of women need to take antibiotics to get better. That antibiotic is appropriate for the baby. That mother can take her antibiotic, continue to nurse, and get better.

Wendy Haldeman, Lactation Specialist, explains the treatments for mastitis.

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Wendy Haldeman, RN, MN, IBCLC

Lactation Specialist

Wendy Haldeman, MN, RN, IBCLC is a co-founder of the Pump Station and Nurtury. She received both her nursing and lactation education at UCLA, is an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC), and a certified Happiest Baby on the Block instructor. She lectures frequently on human lactation at medical and nursing schools and has been identified by publications, such as Fit Pregnancy, as an expert in her field. Wendy facilitates the New Mother Support groups, and teaches the prenatal Breastfeeding and Baby Care Classes at The Pump Station. She and her husband Tim are proud of their two grown daughters and their 15 month old granddaughter.

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