Aside from seeking out advice from educated friends, I also went to my trusty web browser to google for natural remedies*. Of the things I found, here is what I did to take care of my mastitis.
- Rest: Fortunately, my husband was able to come home early that Friday night, and then we had all day Saturday and Sunday. What a relief! I was able to sleep a lot and lay around and do nothing. I felt horrible, so I doubt I would have done a good job at anything I did anyways. I also called on some amazing people to help me once James went back to work. My mom, friend Krystle, and dad’s wife Laurie all came over to help with the boys and the house. I am blessed by their help and it was huge in helping me heal.
- Nurse: I kept nursing despite how painful it was. And made sure to do it extra on the infected side. I even tried different, weird positions with him so he could pull the milk out. With the help of my husband that Sunday morning, we put him in a different position than we normally do. It was AWFUL; the most pain I have ever been in while nursing, but once he was done I felt such relief. It almost felt good.
- Pumping: After I would nurse, or on occasion when he refused to nurse on that side, I would pump to pull the milk out.
- Garlic: A nurse friend of mine, recommended cutting up garlic cloves in to small pieces and swallowing. It was not fun, but not as bad as you may think. Garlic is a natural anti-biotic! I now keep this on hand and take the pills daily.
- Echinacea: I started taking these pills because they are an immune booster, and take them daily now, too. After another week, I will stop taking it for a while because I’ve heard Echinacea should be taken in cycles; once your system is used to it, it won’t help much, so you have to take a break from it for a while.
- Hot Shower: I took very hot showers and would massage the infected breast to get the milk out and unplug the ducts.
- Heating Pad: My husband bought me a heating pad to place on the breast right before I was going to nurse. This helps with getting the milk to flow.
- Cold Cabbage Leaves: Cabbage leaves are an anti-inflammatory. The cold helps bring the swelling down.
- No Bra, Just a T-Shirt: Nothing else to say :). I didn’t leave the house, just laid around braless.
- Drinking Lots of Water
I was also reminded not to give up, and encouraged that it will take 7-10 days. During this time, we watched my temperature and made sure I was never running a fever. If the symptoms continued past this time then I knew I should get an antibiotic.
*Websites I referenced:
Have you had mastitis? What natural things did you do to cure your mastitis?