It was Violet's (my oldest daughter) fourth birthday. Regina was around 5 weeks old. We had just moved. Mastitis came knocking on my door. This is my experience with mastitis and how I helped my body work it out.
The day before my daughter’s birthday I woke up in the middle of the night feeling pain in my right breast. It felt bruised. I did not have any sort of breastfeeding issues with my first and never felt this type of pain. It triggered my memory from two days before when we finished moving things into our new home. I had worn a nursing tank top that was too tight and was bothering me for a majority of the day. I wanted to get it off asap, but alas, our carpets were still wet so we spent some time at a friends house and I neglected to ask for a different shirt to wear at her house. (hindsight-it’s so lovely).
The pain was exactly where the shirt was bothering me. I tried to ignore it for the first part of the day but did start taking echinacea. When I took a shower in the middle of the day I looked in the mirror and had my suspicion of mastitis confirmed from the visual appearance of my breast. I then amped up my vitamin C intake and made sure to take echinacea a couple more times throughout the day.
Later that evening I decided I better start some garlic. I wanted to kick this and kick this fast! It is imperative that I also immediately put myself to ‘as best as possible’ bed rest. Now I mean that very literally. I was in bed the entire time aside from when I absolutely had to stand up with Regina, or had to pee or something very necessary. Of course this was terrible news with the timing of everything. I mean who wants to continue living among boxes not getting anything done? But it was worth it for healing my being comes first. It’s the only way I can take care of all of these lovely people in my life!
Another very important thing to point out is that I nursed like a crazy person from that side-to get it all to drain properly. I also took warm showers.
The next day was Violet's birthday. Now I did had a plugged duct/mastitis symptoms in my left breast, again exactly where the tightness of that shirt was (time to nurse rampantly on both sides)! We were suppose to go to the zoo for birthday day. Super frowny face inserted here! I was probably more bummed than she was that we were not going; which I am grateful for. Instead it was a movie and lego day for us. I was able to lay on the couch, aside from getting us fed, all day. Day two for bed rest success. (and a pretty awesome birthday for us-it flowed and was full of joy).
OK back to the garlic....
I had a raw clove chopped up finely on a spoon with some broth as a chaser-that worked well! In the past I’ve simply done the raw chopped garlic mixed with honey but I wanted to try something different and I’ve gotta say, I like it better because I was able to swallow more of it and taste it less. Later I had chopped raw garlic on tomatoes with some basil and balsamic-think bruchetta with out the bread. Two cloves down. For that night that was enough. On the birthday day I did another clove with broth. I then took a
day off and the following day I did more with the broth. It is often recommended to do six cloves a day but I have been sensitive to garlic in the past so even a clove knocks me out-literally. I napped for an hour after the first clove. I felt like I was going to puke, laid down and felt it working throughout my entire body like fire traveling along a path of kindling.
So guess what, after all of that, I felt great! I still decided to take it easy the next couple of days. I also decided to be aware of how much I was doing in general for the week after that simply because I want to maintain my health. I am also grateful for the experience to know how painful it is for when I help clients that are going through their own mastitis journey.
I say, give it a whirl. At least try to kick mastitis naturally by giving yourself some tlc. Here are the specifics broken down:
breastfeed breastfeed breastfeed
garlic: 2+ cloves raw
echinacea: 1 dropper full of tincture 3x a day
vitamin C with bioflavinoids: 1200-2400mg a day
in addition or on days of lower vitamin C intake I drank orange juice, hot lemonade, and rose hips water for extra vitamin C.
Also good to know:
Not everyone has visual signals of mastitis.
You may have a fever, in which case you really want to get on the garlic and pay attention.
If natural remedies aren;t giving Any results in 48hrs you want to contact your caregiver to possibly begin antibiotics or determine other treatment. If you are having slow improvements, listen to your body--Always!