Mums are superheroes in every sense of the word and have an unbelievable threshold towards pain. And no, we aren’t just talking about labour pain during childbirth. Believe it or not, but that’s just one aspect of what mums undergo during pregnancy and the post-delivery phase.
That’s why spouses need to step up and ensure that mums get all the rest they can throughout the day to help them recover quickly.
While some pain points and bruises are visible, there are many that won’t be noticeable to the naked eye.
In fact, only the mum knows what she’s going through and she may not want to communicate that to you at all times. Breastfeeding is one such pain that she happily bares. And given that she willingly does it day after day, it’s easy to ignore the pain behind it.
Now, shedding light on this issue, a mum decided to make a video to TikTok showing why mastitis can be painful for breastfeeding mums.
“Breastfeeding Is Not For The Weak”
Tiktok user Tyler Marie Oates shared the video on the social media platform that showed just one of the “many clots” she says she passed when her mastitis turned septic.
Oates captions her video as, “In case your significant other doesn’t believe you that a clogged duct hurts, show them this. I went septic from mastitis and this was one of the many clots I passed.”
Not for the fainthearted, the short TikTok video shows a chunk of clotted milk that’s turned into slime or a jelly-like substance. The mum then decides to wobble the same in her palm showing the consistency of the clotted milk.
The mum captioned the video “Breastfeeding is not for the weak,” and boy, we couldn’t agree more.
Image courtesy: TikTok/tylermarieoates.
What Is Mastitis?
If you’re wondering what caused the breast milk to clot like that. Here’s a quick explainer. You see, mastitis is an inflammation of the breast tissue that can cause an infection. It usually occurs between the first six to 12 weeks of breastfeeding.
The inflammation causes breast pain, swelling, warmth and redness. It might also cause fever and chills in the mum.
This occurs most commonly with lactating women but can also happen with those who aren’t breastfeeding. In rare cases, it can happen with men as well.
Most mums soldier through the pain during mastitis and continue to breastfeed the baby. In some cases, mastitis leads to the mother weaning her baby before the intended period.
Types Of Mastitis
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There are two types of mastitis you should know about.
- Lactation: This is specific to breastfeeding women and is also the most common type.
- Periductal: This is specific to menopausal and postmenopausal women. It’s also a problem that’s seen in women who have a history of smoking. With periductal mastitis, the milk ducts thicken and the nipple on the affected breast may turn inward and produce a milky discharge.
Signs Of Mastitis
Mastitis can be identified with several signs with your changing breasts being the most obvious one. Here are some of the signs and symptoms to look out for:
- Hard, swollen breasts
- Warm, reddened and tender breasts
- Presence of red streaks over the breast
- Milk may look slimy or like gelatin
- Fatigue and body aches
- Mucous pus or blood mixed with milk
- Pus oozing out of the nipple
- Pain during breastfeeding
Make sure to contact your gynaecologist immediately if you think you are showing signs of mastitis.
Treatment For Mastitis
Both types of mastitis are fairly easy to treat. Most doctors will write a prescription of antibiotics that should take care of the issue.
Doctors usually prescribe augmentin or amoxicillin to kill the mastitis-causing bacteria with the course lasting for a period of about two weeks.
If the swelling doesn’t go away immediately, doctors may make a small incision and drain out the pus to help relieve the pain. They may also prescribe pain relievers as well as paracetamol to ease the pain and fever.
What Can You Do Tackle Mastitis?
Mums need all the love and care during the two week period while the medication does its magic. Here are some things you can do to make this is a less painful experience
- Gently heat or massage the breast before nursing
- Improve circulation by combing the breast using a wide-tooth comb
- Apply a cold compress or cold cabbage leaves between feedings to reduce any inflammation
Make sure you speak to a lactation consultation and follow their advice during this period.
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