So you are a newly breast-feeding mum (probably!) and you have felt THE lump that you are concerned about with mastitis.
It’s tender and now you don’t quite know what is the best course of action.
Number “1”…you are not alone…that’s why I am writing this blog. So many women end up in your position, it could be 3am and your on the net trying to work out what to do.
Here is what we recommend our Mastitis clients do:
1. Please don’t press hard into your breast thinking that the firmer the pressure, the better. Breast tissue is so sensitive and you can easily cause it damage and further pain.2.The lumps you feel may not actually be in the duct, but in the breast tissue. To drain this away, massage towards your armpit! I know right, you think you should head towards the nipple. I will show you why it’s not the most effective option. Below is a diagram of the Lymphatic System of the breast. So what is Lymphatic Drainage?
2. The lymphatic system is a network of tissues and organs that help rid the body of toxins, waste and other unwanted materials. The primary function of the lymphatic system is to transport lymph, a fluid containing infection-fighting white blood cells, throughout the body. It returns the fluid back into the bloodstream right near the heart.
So looking at this picture, you can see the direction of the arrows showing you where the flow of lymph goes. So any milk that has penetrated your breast tissue needs to go back the bloodstream. To do this, get some cream for lubrication, and gently and slowly massage in the direction of the arrows. The reason it’s mostly towards the armpit if most women get Mastitis symptoms in the upper and outside part of the breast. But if you have it towards the middle then massage towards your midline.
3. The shower is another good place to massage, heat tends to be soothing and the water, lubricating.
4. It’s also worth trying to open up your chest area with stretches such as this. Please only do it if you are comfortable.
If you have any concerns, ensure you speak to your GP or lactation consultant, even your maternal Health Nurse.
Our service provides therapeutic ultrasound which has been shown to reduce inflammation and pain for women suffering Mastitis. If you want to know more about our service, click the link below