Natural Options for Mastitis
This isn’t a glamorous topic by any means, but a necessary one. Especially if you are that mom sitting and wondering what you can do that does not involve a prescription drug. I have a little secret…it’s kind of important to avoid chemicals when it leaches right into your bloodstream and milk that you worked so hard to make. So why do so many OB/GYN’s and pediatrician’s ONLY offer these options at the first sign of distress? There truly are many natural options for Mastitis!
There are proactive and natural ways to help this very issue, and wonderful natural solutions if it actually does happen.
When I was pregnant with my first, I was the ultimate carrier victim of mastitis. It seemed to happen at least once a month, and one of my most severe cases brought me to my knees in pain and a high fever. I relented and took the paper the Doc gave me, mostly because no one informed me there were other options, not even my OB. It was a western approach all the way back then until that pivotal moment when our son was dealing with an autism diagnosis. Fast forward to our third child and the one time I did develop clogged ducts it was quickly cleared within a few hours after using some natural remedies.
So it is my passion and intention to give you some information that you may never receive if you are solely reliant on traditional western approaches.
Prevention of Mastitis
- Regular nursing sessions! With my first I wasn’t a fan of “on demand feeding”. I was so worried about keeping a “schedule” and I didn’t have a pump on hand. Well, speed up to baby #3 and I whipped out the milk machine and nursed. It helped to regulate my milk and if I felt the slightest bit of back up I just pumped.
- The best investment you can make is a hand pump to have for cases just like mine, where getting the clog moving was important to clearing the infection.
- Eat plenty of whole foods that are nutrient dense. This can be a completely separate post on why our food supply in the US is deplete of vital minerals and vitamins, but for now, eat organic, no pasteurized cow’s milk and lots of greens. Enough said.
- Rest. The body responds even harsher with an infection when it is tired. So cut things out of your schedule that are just not pressing.
- Inquire with a lactation specialist if needed to make sure the baby has a good latch.
- For re-occurring cases there are several potent and powerful options: lecithin (found in good quality vital eggs) and essential oils like lavender, frankincense and a few more we will discuss.
The non-chemical solution
- Rest and nurse! We go back to point #1 above, clogged ducts and pain seems to be the bodies way of telling a momma to slow down and nurse.
- Hot then Cold! Apply heat before feeding to get the milk flowing and unclog the duct, and cold in between feedings to work on any swelling or pain. I might also add that these are great time to apply essential oils like frankincense, rosemary, basil or lavender. Just be sure you are using the best, not store-bought.
- Massage the breast often and start on the affected side first for those intimate nursing cuddle sessions
- I highly discourage the use of OTC fever reducers. There are several natural options you can choose instead that are not toxic to your liver, the babies liver OR alter your glutathione system.
Option One: Essential oils of oregano, lavender, basil, cypress and frankincense. When using the highest quality of oils, you can choose to take internally in a capsule or dilute and rub topically on the chest. Just be sure mixture is absorbed before baby latches on. Peppermint is a wonderful option on the bottom of the feet and spine to help combat a temperature. Be careful how much as it can reduce milk supply in high quantities. An alternative choice would be a lukewarm bath with Lemon EO and Baking Soda or Lavender EO on the breast.
Any of the listed oils by themselves or together will work in many capacities.
Basil – support milk flow and also may help boost the immune system. *If you are a momma who has difficulty producing milk Basil essential oil is an excellent option.
Cypress – supports circulation, also has properties to protect against bugs
Frankincense – huge, huge immune booster! It is a do-it-all oil that is as highly prized now as it was in biblical times.
Oregano – a major source to protect the body
Lavender – gentle, and another all purpose oil that was used in WWI by french doctors on the battle field in leu of antibiotics.
Option Two: Use raw garlic 2-3 raw cloves per day up to 4-5 if you can. Chop a clove into 5 or 6 pieces and then swallow the pieces whole like pills. Raw garlic acts as an alternative to synthetic gut-flora killing options, with zero side effects or the development of drug-resistant strains of bugs. And beware of higher amounts of yeast or thrush which are the most common female side effects of synthetics use. The health properties in garlic, allicin, is very sensitive to heat and is destroyed when cooked. In order for it to work, it needs to be raw. The strong odor of garlic is from the allicin, so the deodorized garlic capsules that many companies offer provide no healing constituents.
You can even do BOTH options above. The beauty of essential oils is that they do not contraindicate any other methods of natural or synthetic interventions. In fact, if you are faced with taking an actual OTC or synthetic, then the use of essential oils to support your body from the harmful side effects can be very effective. You would also want to help your digestive tract heavily with a good quality probiotic.
Be proactive, and reactive if needed, but think first about what you are using that may also transfer to your child. It is known that even one round of antibiotics can cause significant harm to the gut, and takes at least 18 months to restore the unique ecosystem of good flora back to normal. And that is WITH the use of probiotics.
Relax, get rest and know that there are wonderful natural choices that are safe and empower you to be the health expert in your home.
The information on this blog is for educational purposes only and it is our life story. It is not intended to prescribe, diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Please educate yourself and address any health or medical needs you may have with your physician. The essential oils described on this blog refer only to therapeutic grade essential oils, which I am very particular about. Please contact me to learn more. These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent disease.