Monday, March 9, 2009

Mastitis and natural remedies

I woke up on Saturday, and noticed I was feeling a little fluish and my breasts felt rather full and hot. The day went badly, with the bunnies dying and all, and by the end of the day I was feeling really horrible.

I missed church on Sunday and got progressively worse through the day. Fever of 104, aches, chills, worse headache than I've ever ever had (and I've had some bad ones), double vision, an area of blurred vision, my right breast red, sore with a blockage and a lump, stiff neck, and just generally feeling completely miserable. I tried taking hot baths, but I cried as I got in and out, just walking to the bathroom, and being wet while having the chills, it was not a fun feeling. I've never felt so ill, ever. My whole body felt bruised, like I'd had a beating. By this point I was certain I had mastitis.

Antibiotics supposedly clear this right up, but I didn't want to go that route for a number of reasons, not least of all that I couldn't stand to even get in the car never mind wait in a waiting room or fill in paperwork. I couldn't leave bed.

So after some internet research we found that raw garlic is a powerful antibiotic, without the side effects prescription antibiotics carry. So I've been taking two cloves at a time, chopped into about 5 pieces each, swallowed like pills with orange juice and followed up with a banana, to help with the taste. I don't even like garlic. They're easy enough to swallow, without gagging, but I do smell of garlic now. Even my milk smells of garlic. I'm sweating a lot with the fever and my sweat smells of garlic. It's pretty gross.

I'm also using hot compresses and massage and a breast pump to try to clear the blockage. Turtle is my 5th baby and this is my first real case of mastitis so I'm pretty lucky.

I've read that another good thing is to nurse your baby on all fours (called the cow position); it's a little awkward and undignified, but it makes use of gravity to help drain the breast. Just try to resist the urge to say "mooo". I tried but my body was too achy to stay in that position for long.

I've broken my fever now, I think the garlic really has helped with that. And as the fever left, so did the double and blurred vision and the dizziness. But the blockage is still there. I'm going to keep working on it. But yay for (stinky) garlic.


Snobound said...

Hope you get to feeling better soon.

DJ said...

Hi, Niecey - sorry you're feeling so crap!! When I had mastitis I fed Rory 'across' - that is, I'd lie on my side in bed with him and let him feed from the opposite breast i.e. the one on top! Gravity helping, this really relieved the tenderness for me. I think for a similar reason to the 'cow' position. And don't forget the old tip about cold cabbage leaves tucked into your bra cup for relief.
Hope you get better soon!

Herb of Grace said...

Garlic is an awesome antibiotic, but just be sure to follow up with some probiotics so you don't set yourself up for a yeast infection next! Those are pretty lousy,too. Here's hoping you feel better really soon :)

The Talley Family said...

Hello. I just stumbled upon this post because I was searching for more information on mastitis. I had it 3-4 times with my second & just got it with my 2 month old. There is a great herbal remedy for it. It's called Mastitix. If you can catch it before it gets bad then this stuff will clear it up really quickly in fact it won't get bad at all. I sadly didn't catch it in time this time but I'm continuing to take the stuff because it helps clear it up. Just thought I'd share! =) Here's a link to it: