Wilbur had spent the past couple of days with a cold, so when I started feeling tired and achey, I assumed I'd caught his sniffle. Very quickly I started to feel worse and worse: shivers, chills, aching all over, the worst headache. So I took us both to bed. Then when I woke up my right breast was swollen and sore: it felt like I'd been punched in the boob! That's when I realised I had mastitis.
Two hours later (my doctor is amazingly efficient and always fits us in) I had been given antibiotics and sent home to rest. I couldn't believe how quickly it had come on. Thankfully, today I am starting to feel a lot better, but it's been a pretty miserable 48 hours!
Here are a few of the tricks I tried to ease the pain (thanks to my mum and Doctor Google) that seemed to help me feel better faster, and at the very least make me feel like I was doing something proactive to help myself:
1. A long hot bath with hot compresses. I jumped in the bath and placed a roasting hot flannel over my boob. The heat helped to ease the pain, but also encouraged let down, meaning some of the milk the baby wasn't drinking was released: hopefully helping to unclog everything!
2. Keep feeding. This is the most painful of all the tips, but apparently the most essential. If you don't keep feeding from the affected boob then the blockage will only get worse, you will get more engorged, and the pain will keep getting worse. So yes. Grit your teeth and feed your baby! But as my doctor said, still feed from the other boob too, or you'll end up with mastitis in that boob as well!
3. If you can bear to touch it, massage the sore part of the breast gently.
4. Take something to ease the pain. Ibuprofen and paracetamol are both safe to take whilst breastfeeding (Aspirin is NOT) so take something to help with the other symptoms: if you can get rid of that headache, then you're one step closer to feeling human again!
Have you suffered with the horrible pain of mastitis? How long did it take until you felt back to normal again? And do you have any other tips to have to help with the pain? They'll all be gratefully received!
Love Tor x