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breastmilk taste | mastitis and milk

Does mastitis affect milk taste?

Yes it can! We know that mastitis occurs due to the congestion of milk resulting in irritation and inflammation in the surrounding breast tissue, but we also know that inflammation leads to an influx of sodium and chloride1. And yep, sodium chloride means salt. That means that lovely sweet taste of breast milk becomes salty as the body works through its inflammatory response. This can be such an issue for some mums when the baby is rejecting their milk but it is temporary. There are many mums that go through the same issue given mastitis affect up to 30% of breastfeeding mothers at some point in their breastfeeding journey.

Is mastitis milk ok for baby?

Yes! Bub is going to be the first person to notice this change in flavour of the breast milk and it is common for them to be fussy as their once sweet and tasty milk has taken a salty turn. But as far as quality goes, it is still good to go!

Research actually states that the rise in inflammatory cells in the milk can help stimulate bub’s immunity2!

Can I feed my baby from a mastitis affected breast?

Yes you can. Even though you have mastitis the milk is safe for baby. One thing to note is that a mastitis affected breast often produces less milk because it is ‘sick’, and your body will reduce the milk supply until you are well enough to produce the quantity of milk again.

How long will the salty milk last for?

Don’t worry, they won’t be fussy forever. But it can take around a week after the inflammation has gone for the salty flavour of the milk to subside and return to its usual sweet taste. So continue to feed as you can and be patient with your bub. If you need to supplement because they are not taking the milk, that’s ok. As your breast returns to health, the milk supply generally returns to the level it was before.

Finished reading this? You may also like to read Will Mastitis Go Away on it’s Own?

 

References:
  1. Betzold, C. M. (2007). An update on the recognition and management of lactational breast inflammation. Journal of midwifery & women’s health, 52(6), 595-605.
  2. Wöckel, A., Abou-Dakn, M., Beggel, A., & Arck, P. (2008). Inflammatory breast diseases during lactation: health effects on the newborn—a literature review. Mediators of inflammation, 2008.

Our clinic is in Melbourne Australia where we treat women experiencing mastitis. You can book in via the button below or call 9859 5059.

However, if you are elsewhere in the world we have our online strategies in video Masterclasses on the website of our sister company Your Two Jugs. Click the logo to go straight to the Your Two Jugs website to check it out.

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