Breast pads are good accessories for breastfeeding mums. Most breastfeeding mums experience leaks and wearing breast pads is one way to deal with this. Wearing them prevents milk from getting into your wardrobe so you can totally avoid embarrassing moments.
Many breastfeeding mums know how useful breast pads are but for others especially new mums, are still hesitant about wearing them. One of their main concerns is wearing breast pads can cause mastitis.
What is mastitis?
Mastitis is a common breast infection that affects nursing mums. Breakage in the skin of the breast and around the nipple can progress into mastitis. Breastfeeding mums can get mastitis from an infection which can occur when bacteria enters the body through cracked nipples or any opening in the skin and find its way into the breasts.
There are many factors that can cause mastitis which include weaning babies too quickly, poor latch, overabundant of breast milk, not breastfeeding enough and many others. Plugged milk ducts and breast engorgement could also be a cause of concerns because these conditions could lead to mastitis.
Symptoms of mastitis include but are not limited to, pain in the breasts, swollen breasts and redness in the location of the swelling, fatigue and fever.
If you experience the above or suspect that you have mastitis, you should notify your doctor. Your doctor will determine if you have mastitis and will prescribe appropriate medications.
Does wearing breast pads cause mastitis?
No, wearing breast pads does not cause mastitis. However there are few things you need to do to prevent developing mastitis when using breast pads.
Bacterial growth is the biggest potential risk and leading cause of mastitis. They thrive in moist and warm environments like those around the nipples especially if you are wearing breast pads. This is one of the primary reasons why you should change breast pads frequently. How often you need to change depends entirely on your body. If you are somehow leaky, you might need to change them as often as necessary. You can change them as soon as you feel that they are wet to avoid moisture build up around the nipple especially if you have sore nippes with broken skin.
Nurse your baby, use a breast pump or hand express your breast milk as often as you could to prevent breast engorgement and plugged milk ducts.
Do not wear tight bras because they confine and put pressure on your breast. Eat healthy, stay hydrated and get enough calories and rest.
Using proper breastfeeding techniques can help prevent mastitis.. Make sure your baby is latched on correctly so she is less likely to cause damage to your nipples. You can also try different feeding positions to drain different areas of the breast to prevent breast milk from clogging in certain areas.
If you are a new mum, talk to veteran mums, do your own research or consult your doctor to obtain the relevant information you need.