Before I launch into this post I just want to say that I’m an advocate for Fed is Best. I’ve bottle fed 2 babies and breastfed 2 babies. All 4 kids are just as healthy, smart, crazy as each other. So regardless of how you fed your babies, yay for you for being an awesome Mum!
This time around I have been breastfeeding babies continuously for 3 1/2 years and still going strong. During that time I’ve cried, I’ve laughed, I’ve breastfed during pregnancy (painful!), I breastfed during the early stages of labour – best thing I’ve ever done as I cherish those last few moments with B3 and I and I’ve tandem fed a toddler and a newborn. I’ve gotten my boobs out in more places than I care to remember and accidentally flashed more people than I ever dreamed!
For any Mums to be reading this – breastfeeding is hard and takes time to establish. Even if it comes natural to you, it’s still rocky to start off with.
Then when you finally feel like you’ve got it, along comes breastfeeding’s psychotic sister – MASTITIS. Seriously. What. The. Actual. F#ck!
The first time I had mastitis I thought I had contracted some lethal virus that was going to be the end of me. Hand on heart I have never, ever, EVER, been that sick before. It’s hard to explain – think being hit by a truck, getting up and then getting hit by a bus and that’s just a small snippet of mastitis. As I didn’t recognise the symptoms, the first time I ended up on antibiotics which still took several days to work, I was out for the count for about a week and that was the end of my breastfeeding journey with B2 (he was about 3 weeks old).
The second time I kind of recognised the symptoms but wasn’t sure and left it too long to do anything and again ended up on antibiotics and out of action for a week. I persisted through and kept feeding B3.
The 3rd time, well I was an expert by then. Feed, pump, feed, pump, feed, pump! And then feed and pump some more!!!!
As hard as it is with a baby and possibly other children you also need to rest. You learn very quickly that you are no good to anyone sick or running on empty and mastitis leaves you so drained that you have no choice but to rest.
You can still continue to breastfeed while you have mastitis but it is painful. Continuing to feed, or pumping as often as you can on that side will help clear the blockage and lead to a quicker recovery.
So for anyone reading this who’s just starting on their breastfeeding journey – recognising the signs early will lead to a quick diagnosis and recovery. If you feel fluey and achy, have a fever, pain or just feel out of sorts head to your Dr immediately.
Drink plenty of water.
Remember to always look after yourself as well as your baby Mumma and enjoy the journey x