Mastitis: The burning boob

Mastitis can easily be mistaken or missed, so please consult an appropriate medical practitioner such as an IBCLC, midwife, or doctor, if you experience any of the following symptoms:

  • red, itchy rash on your breast

  • a burning sensation

  • headache

  • flu-like symptoms, such as fever and fatigue

Mastitis is caused by a milk duct that is clogged with a buildup of milk, which becomes infected. Releasing clogged ducts and regularly expressing milk at least to comfort is crucial to preventing it. Here are some self-care tools you can use for comfort alongside treatment from your health professional:

  • Rest, and sleep! Treat it like you have the flu, get a babysitter or doula if necessary.

  • Drinking fluids, keeping hydrated

  • Regular breastfeeding and expression of milk

  • Hand expressing in a warm bath or shower

  • Light massage around the areola and the sore spot(s)

  • Cool compress for pain relief (some people like to use cabbage leaves). You can add high quality therapeutic-grade geranium essential oil and/or lavender (not spanish lavender) in a 1-2% dilution to the compress.

  • if you wish to help slow or stop milk production: high quality therapeutic-grade peppermint essential oil, diluted to a 1-2% dilution, placed on the breast and massaged towards the areola. Remove with a wet cloth before breastfeeding.

  • If necessary, an antibiotic prescription from your doctor.