I can’t tell you how sore it was, my boob, that day I got mastitis. Ouch! It felt incredibly tender and bruised. Fortunately we were at Korin’s home for afternoon tea (Korin’s our friend as well as our doula, and is a wealth of information). She said I should feed him with his chin pressing into the sore bit. OMG. So I lay down on the bed on my back and Joshi lay facedown with his chin on the sore area of my boob. It must have looked pretty funny, like we were in some weird mums and bubs yoga pose, but it was so painful I just lay there crying. It did help though (the position and the crying), a bit. Placing your baby’s chin on the area which is blocked is apparently one if the best ways to unblock the ducts. Of course it’s the last thing you feel like doing, coz it really hurts, but it helps. I also massaged the sore boob with oil which brought some relief.
I didn’t think I had mastitis at the time. I thought I just had blocked ducts, but on the way home a few hours later I very suddenly felt really achy all over my body … and cold. I’d read about mastitis before and so when the aches came on I immediately thought I might have it. Thank God for my iPhone – immediately I did a search on mastitis and Dr Google confirmed my thoughts. Although I had no fever and no headaches I had a lot of the other symptoms.
At 4:45pm on a Saturday afternoon the best I could think of was to call the herbalist at Taste Organic, this organic food store in Crows Nest. Thank God they were still open. She was really helpful. She recommended I alkalize my system by drinking Slippery Elm Bark or a quarter teaspoon of bicarb in water or a bit of apple cider vinegar in a glass of water. I also bought a pH test kit, which comes with a roll of litmus paper which you spit onto to test how acidic or alkaline your system is. She suggested that ideally I should be 7.0 and that anything below that indicates my system is too acidic. And it was. I measured 6.4 when I tested it. She also suggested I eat millet and buckwheat, (both alkalize your system). By the way that slippery elm bark didn’t taste so good. I made it the strongest strength that the package recommended. It made me gag and almost throw up. I would definitely recommend not making it too strong. The millet was lovely though. I continued having it every morning for a few days after, even though my symptoms had gone. I just boiled it up in water and added a bit of rice milk, salt, ghee, honey and pecan nuts. Yum.
Additionally, my homeopath suggested I take Blackmore’s PCIP tablets, two-three times a day. They’re good for anti-infective and anti-inflammatory and great for the lymphatic system. I also continued taking the herbal mixture that I was already taking for my boobs. It’s a combination of echinacea, red clover, calendula and poke root that she made up for me.
And all the Dr Googles suggested taking lots of rest. So I did just that. By 7pm Joshi and I were in bed. Of course I fed and took care of him through the night, but I only got out of bed after 7am the next morning. Good move. Although my sore boob was red the next morning (another symptom of mastitis], within 28 hours all the symptoms had disappeared.
All you wise mammas out there … do you know of any other effective natural remedies for mastitis?