- Kevin Rodbell, MD
Move it, move it
Mastitis is essentially a matter of milk stasis, ie. the milk isn't moving out of a particular segment. If milk stays dormant for long enough, infection sets in. A lasting solution for mastitis requires the milk from that segment to drain, and if you can can accomplish this early enough you may actually stave off infection.
There's a lot to say here, but my point tonight is about how to get the milk to move. If you're able to nurse, you probably already know that your baby is more more effective than the pump, and you've probably heard that you're supposed to try different positions (eg. use cross-cradle instead of football) and you're supposed to align your baby's chin with the involved segment. However, you may not have considered these two positions.
1) Dangle Feeding: https://kellymom.com/bf/concerns/mother/dangle-feeding/
2) Biological Nurturing: http://biologicalnurturing.com/
Dangle feeding in particular may be the most effective of them all.
If you listened closely, you probably caught my implication that early mastitis isn't infectious. That's correct: It's just a collection of milk that isn't moving. The body sends early-warning inflammatory signals to trigger the early signs of mastitis before there's an infection. Pretty clever. We'll elaborate in a future post.
Here is an excellent general (but detailed) overview about mastitis: