It strengthens the bond between mother and baby, sustains life and boosts immunity but breast-feeding isn’t always easy.
But, there’s one common, alarming complication that even the most fervent enthusiasts are susceptible to; Mastitis.
Never heard of it? You’re not alone because despite the condition affecting up to 20 per cent of breast-feeders a year, Mastitis is rarely spoken about but one mother is on a mission to change that.
Lindsey Bliss, a birth doula and mother of six from New York has breastfeed all of her biological children, including two sets of twins but had never experienced the side-effect until nursing her youngest child.
Taking to Instagram, Bliss shared an intimate photo of herself breast-feeding her newborn, with her breast visibly inflamed in red.
“When a good boob goes bad — AGAIN!” she wrote in her caption. “I literally wanted Dan to bring me to the ER last night due to the most EPIC engorged boob, full body shakes, and a crushing headache. On the mend today from my bed. Why does this keep happening?”
Despite her training as a director at Carriage House Birth, an organisation that fosters community among birth doulas and postpartum care providers, Bliss wasn’t prepared for the impact Mastitis would have on her entire body.
In addition to her swollen breast, she also experienced milk-duct discharge, body shakes and uncontrollable teeth chattering.
“It literally feels like someone kicked me in the breast,” she told Cosmopolitan.
Breastfeeding in public controversies
Breastfeeding in public controversies
A woman has sparked a heated debate among parents after she revealed that she breastfeeds both her and her friend's son. Jessica Colletti, from Pennsylvania, said nursing Charlie Interrante's son “seemed like the natural thing to do” because she was already breastfeeding her son. Colletti told the Mama Bean parenting blog that she asked permission to nurse Interrante’s son when she began looking after him, after they met at a photoshoot for new mothers. Interrante agreed as her son had not taken to formula milk
New Hampshire State Rep. Josh Moore said on Facebook that men should be allowed to grab the nipples of breastfeeding mothers if the law banning women exposing their breasts did not pass
When Gemma Colley's photo of her son with fake tan on his fake after she breastfeed him went viral, she also saw that no parent is alone when they make a silly mistake. Over 100,000 people liked and 40,000 people shared Ms Colley’s photo of her son’s sleepy face with fake tan encircling his mouth and nose, after she posted it to the Unmumsy Mum Facebook page
A candid image of a mother breastfeeding her young child while using the toilet has divided parents online, as some argue it’s an honest depiction of parenthood, while others have labelled it “disgusting”
The exclusive Claridge’s hotel has been widely criticised for asking a woman to cover herself with a “ridiculous shroud” while breastfeeding her three-month-old daughter. Lousie Burns said she burst into tears when staff members at the five-star venue asked her to cover herself and her baby with an oversized napkin in order to avoid “causing offence” to other guests
An Australian café has been praised for sticking up for a breastfeeding mother after a customer told her to cover up. Jessica-Anne Allen, owner of Cheese and Biscuits Café in Queensland, Australia, has described how she was approached by a male customer in the café to complain that he was upset by a woman in the coffee shop breastfeeding her child nearby. The customer asked the café owner, 29, to tell the mother to cover up. When Mrs Allen refused to do so, he took matters into his own hands and challenged the woman himself. Staff at the café then asked the man to leave
A woman who claimed a Primark security guard had forcibly removed her child while she was breastfeeding has admitted to perverting the course of justice. Caroline Starmer sparked a series of headlines after claiming on Facebook that a store guard had taken her nine-month-old daughter Paige away from her. The mother from Leicester then repeated her claims in a number of interviews, before Primark denied the incident and handed CCTV over to the police to show there was no evidence to support the allegations. Appearing in Leicester Crown Court, she admitted the charge of perverting the course of justice by not telling the truth
Pope Francis has become an unlikely advocate for public breastfeeding, by encouraging mothers to feed their babies in the Sistine Chapel. During a ceremony in Vatican City on Sunday, the Pope baptised 32 babies and told their mothers: “If they are hungry, mothers, feed them, without thinking twice, because they are the most important people here”
Facebook has changed its community guidelines to allow users to post photos of breastfeeding. The change comes as the wide-ranging #FreeTheNipple online campaign has built pace in its attack against guidelines used by social media websites to regulate nudity – from photos of breastfeeding to topless photos post by singer Rihanna’s on her now defunct Instagram account. Facebook’s Community Standards, which outline what users are allowed to post, never included a outright ban on photos of breastfeeding
The manager of a public swimming pool at the Lux Park centre in Liskeardhas been forced to apologise after he told a mother to stop breastfeeding her son by the waterside. 23-year-old Rebecaa Hough of Torpoint, Cornwall, was feeding 10-month-old Max a few steps from the main pool, when the manager told her to carry on in the changing rooms in case the infant was sick into the water. She was also told that she should not to return for half an hour to ensure the milk was fully digested
A Conservative MP has claimed allowing women to breastfeed in the House of Commons chamber would expose politicians to “tabloid ridicule”. Sir Simon Burns, a former transport minister, spoke on what he called a “controversial subject” in a debate in making Westminster more family-friendly
“No one really warns you about how powerful mastitis is. Your boob can cause a full body shut down.”
So what causes Mastitis?
Often occurring in the first three months of breast-feeding, Mastitis can be the result of a blocked milk duct, bacteria build-up, stress and fatigue, missed feedings or pressure from an ill-fitting bra.
If Mastitis happens to you, emptying the affected breast can help and continuing to feed your baby won’t cause them any harm.
For the pain, you can take an anti-inflammatory or apply a warm, wet cloth for 15 to 20 minutes a few times a day.
However, if your symptoms persist for more than 12 to 24 hours, you should arrange to see your doctor.Reuse content