Can the New Mom Continue Breastfeeding with Mastitis?

January 29, 2015 by  
Filed under New mom health

breastfeeding-during-mastitisYes, the New Mom can continue breastfeeding when she is affected with Mastitis. During Mastitis the breast will become heavy, hard like lumps and very painful. Mastitis can happen at any point while you’re breastfeeding. However, it’s most common in the first three months, particularly in the second week or third week, when you are getting used to breastfeeding.

Keep feeding your baby from the affected breast. Although this may be painful and miserable for you, it will make the mastitis worse if you stop feeding from your affected breast. Try putting towels that are dipped in warm water before every feed. This warm sponging will help you relax and you will feel less pain.

Warm cloth sponging should help feeding more bearable for you. If your baby doesn’t finish a whole feed from your inflamed breast, or if it’s too painful to breastfeed, you can use a breast pump to express your milk. You can then give it to your baby in a cup or bottle. Follow precautions associated with storing breast milk.

Also read: Can I Continue to Breastfeed my Baby when I’m Back from Work?

What is mastitis?

Mastitis is an inflammation in your breast tissues. The inflammation may quickly become an infection, which means that bacteria grow in the inflamed tissues. You may notice that areas of your breasts are red, hard, sore, swollen and hot

You may also feel a lump, called a blocked duct, though it isn’t caused by an actual blockage. It’s the build-up of milk in your breast that causes the tissue to become inflamed and your breast feels hard and heavy.

Will breast milk affect my baby during Mastitis?

Though you may be feeling unwell and uncomfortable, mastitis won’t affect your baby. It’s perfectly safe for the New Mom to feed from your affected breast, but it might taste a bit saltier than usual.

Even if you have infective mastitis, and your baby swallows bacteria in the milk, it will be killed off by the acid in her stomach. There is no risk of breastfeeding if the mother has mastitis.

Also read:  What to do when newborn baby has swollen breasts?

How to treat mastitis condition?

Continue feeding your baby from the affected breast. Although this may be painful and miserable for you, it will make the mastitis worse if you stop feeding from your affected breast.

If you feel unwell, or if continuing to feed your baby is making no difference to the inflammation, visit your doctor. If you’ve had mastitis for a few days, and it’s become infected, your doctor may prescribe antibiotics.

Here are some self-help methods you can try, whether or not you’re taking antibiotics:

  • Make sure your baby is latched on properly and is feeding well.
  • Avoid wearing tight-fitting clothing or a bra until things improves.
  • Breastfeed as often as your baby wants, aiming for eight to 12 breastfeeds a day.
  • Try different breastfeeding positions, to see if they help your baby to latch on better.
  • Remove milk by hand or with a pump, after feeds, if you feel your baby has not fed well. This can be useful if you have sore nipples.
  • The New mom has to take rest and drink plenty of fluids.
  • You may find that it helps to apply warmth to your breast. Put a flannel or compress on your skin, or have a warm bath or shower. However, you may find that cold compresses help you better.
  • Try massaging your breasts very gently while your baby is feeding to help the milk to flow. Gently stroke from where your breast feels lumpy towards your nipple. Vigorous massage can make mastitis worse, though, as it pushes the leaked milk further into your breast tissue.
  • Consult your doctor prior to taking painkillers. Safer option would be paracetamol to reduce body pains.

You can follow these self-help measures before seeing your doctor and taking antibiotics.

However, if your mastitis doesn’t start to improve, it may develop into a breast abscess. This is a collection of pus within the breast that affects about three per cent of women who have mastitis that requires antibiotics.

The new moms need not be worried. You can breastfeed your baby even with Mastitis condition. When you see your baby smile all your pain is going to wane away.

Good luck and remain healthy!!

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Can I Continue to Breastfeed my Baby when I’m Back from Work?

July 19, 2013 by  
Filed under Baby Tips

This is a common question in the mind of new moms who are planning to resume work after maternity leave or starting a job after a long break of pregnancy and childbirth.Can I breastfeed my baby when I’m back from work?

Benefits of breast feeding

can i continue to breast feed my baby when I'm back from workContinuing to breastfeed after returning to work is a real labor of love, but it is well worth the effort too. It is a big challenge to the nursing mom and the caretaker of the baby when mom is out to work. The nursing mom has to be committed to make this happen. No, it isn’t easy, and requires a great deal of commitment and work on your part. Only you can provide the best possible nourishment for your baby. Baby also goes through a transition phase. There are plenty of benefits by breastfeeding.

  • The physiological benefits are baby has higher immunity and lesser illnesses.
  •  The financial benefits of breast feeding are less cost towards formula milk , fewer doctor visits .
  • The psychological benefits are the closeness, bonding and skin- to- skin nurturing that only a mother can provide.

Managing change

If your work demands you to be away from the baby for long durations then you need to attempt weaning at least 10 days in advance. The change to formula milk has to be made and associated affects to be monitored.  Baby may have indigestion problem or have watery stools due to lactose allergy. Watch out for baby’s overall health. You can then confirm that baby has adjusted to feed, bottle and nipple etc.

How long can I feed the baby?

You can continue breast feed baby till 2 years if you have sufficient quantity and your health is maintained. Breast milk has anti-infective properties. Breast milk is made from nutrients in the mother’s bloodstream and bodily stores. Breast milk has just the right amount of fat, sugar, water, and protein that is needed for a baby’s growth and development.

Good hygiene practices to be followed

It is essential that breastfeeding mothers practice good hygiene. Nursing mothers should take a shower, change clothes and then feed the baby. The background of work, the exposure to pollution externally can affect the baby’s health.  At a minimum clean your breasts with a moisturizing soap and rinse well. This has two benefits the smell goes away and the nipples remain soft. There are natural oils secreted during lactation through the Montgomery Glands (little bumps visible on the areola), which prevent bacteria from breeding. To avoid disrupting the glands gently wash the breast. Take away little milk from both breasts and then feed the baby. This way the retained milk is removed and hind milk is fed.

Switch over the baby to the other breast to avoid differ in size and pain in the other breasts due to stagnation of milk. Your milk supply may vary daily. To maximize your milk flow, try to pump at the same time each day.

To avoid leakage of milk at work place nursing pads ( thick cotton pads inside bra). If you feel your milk letting down, cross your arms across your chest and apply pressure for about ten seconds or so. Wear darker clothes or prints to avoid leakage seen. Pump milk out in between breaks to avoid heaviness and pain in breasts.

If you have to carry the baby out and you are afraid then use the baby carrier kit.

Health caution

Stress and fatigue are major reasons to suppress milk production. Stay calm and relaxed.  And remember, you’re still a nursing mom, so eat well and drink plenty of water while at work.

Keep in mind that the hormonal changes can affect your moods. Expect to feel all manner of emotions. Weaning is a psychological experience as well as physical. Allow yourself to feel whatever it is that you are feeling.

Do not pump the breasts until they are empty when you are decreasing your feeding sessions. Doing so will trigger the body to replenish the milk. Instead, drain a little bit of milk from the breast to prevent the breast from becoming engorged. Do this as often as needed if the breasts become too full. A warm shower can assist with allowing the milk to leak out a bit.

Consult a doctor if pain persists . Discuss with your colleagues who are having kids. They will be able to guide you on how to care for the baby and manage with the change. You may get some wonderful tips. Visit information on Internet and verify in case you have a doubt.

You are going thru’ several changes at your workplace after a short leave duration. You may have a new assignment  to take care of. Do not hesitate. You can make this transition happen smoothly.

Easy Methods to Treat Baby Eczema Effectively

May 24, 2013 by  
Filed under Baby Problems

easy methods to treat baby eczema effectivelyYou may have observed your baby having patches of red skin. The skin is dry, rough and always itchy. In young babies, eczema is most prominent on the cheeks, forehead, and scalp. At 6 to 12 months of age, it is often worst on the crawling surfaces, the elbows and knees.

Around the age of two the distribution changes and tends to involve the creases of the elbows and knees, the wrists, ankles, and hands. It may affect the skin around the mouth and the eyelids. Older children and adolescents may have eczema only involving the hands.

Eczema is an immune system reaction that can be triggered by certain soaps, creams, allergies, and detergents, and may worsen with stress, heat, and sweat. Heredity is a big factor for the child to have eczema problems. There are no cures for eczema, fortunately eczema can be controlled.

Factors and reasons are not common in children to have eczema. Listed below are common eczema triggers you can avoid for your baby:

  • Dry skin:  This is often caused by low humidity. During winter when homes are well-heated and the air is dry, baby’s skin becomes itchy.
  • Irritants:  Wollen clothes, perfumes, body soaps  and laundry soaps makes the baby’s skin become itchy and triggers the patches / flare ups.
  • Stress:  Major reason for increase in eczema flares. Children may react to stress by flushing, which leads to itchy, irritated skin.
  • Heat and sweat: Both heat and sweat can make the itch of infant eczema worse.
  • Allergens: Certain food items do not gel with the baby. You need to be alert and identify when the patches develop suddenly and that food needs to be excluded from diet to minimize eczema symptoms.

Caring for your baby’s skin is the only solution to manage baby eczema when the condition is mild. The methods are easy to adapt and make your baby’s childhood days enjoyable.

  • Moisturizers : A good moisturizer will help your baby’s skin retain its natural moisture. Apply immediately after a bath, especially when he baby’s skin is wet. Preferably select  fragrance-free cream, or ointment such as petroleum jelly,
  • A lukewarm bath: Avoid hot water for bath. Baby’ skin becomes dry by losing the natural protective oils. A lukewarm bath helps hydrate and cool the skin, and may lessen itching.
  • Topical steroids:  Consult your Pediatrician on the condition of baby eczema. The doctor may prescribe Over-the-counter steroids like hydrocortisone creams and ointments which help lessen the redness and inflammation of a baby’s eczema, when used as directed. Apply the topical steroids only on the red itchy skin area.
  • Caution regarding topical steroids: Though these creams are safe, they can lead to thinned skin and other issues if applied for too many days to the same part of the body. Do not apply more than 2 times a day at the affected areas.
  • Bleach baths: Bleach baths are safe and are similar to bathing in a chlorinated swimming pool. Bleach baths are made by pouring ¼ cup of bleach into a half-filled bathtub. For babies with eczema, 1 to 2 teaspoons of bleach may be added to 4 liters of water in a baby tub. Ensure the bleach is totally diluted in water to avoid baby’s skin coming in contact. Bleach baths can be done twice a week.

If the eczema begins to ooze pus – or small yellowish blisters appear in the eczema, consult a doctor at once. The eczema is probably infected and will need medication. It indicates baby eczema is severe in the child, skin care can be complemented with:

  • Ultraviolet light therapy
  • Antibiotics for rashes that become infected

Practices to be followed at home to minimize the baby’s eczema conditions:

  • Bathe your baby for no more than 10 minutes in warm water. Hot water  to be avoided.
  • Use mild, unscented body and laundry soaps. Perfumed, deodorant, and anti-bacterial soaps can be rough on a baby’s sensitive skin.
  • Use soap only where your baby may be dirty, such as the genitals, and hands and feet. Simply rinse off the rest of your baby’s body.
  • Pat your baby’s skin dry; don’t rub the skin.
  • Apply a moisturizer while your baby’s skin is wet.
  • To minimize the irritation of clothing rubbing on the skin, dress your baby in loose clothes made of cotton.
  • The baby itches and scratches the rashes. Therefore keep your baby’s nails clean and short so he’ll be less likely to infect any broken skin. In the nights use cotton mitten or old socks to prevent baby itching. He may dislike and pull them off when awake.
  • Always wash new clothes before putting them on your baby.
  • Use a mild, fragrance-free detergent to wash your baby’s clothes.
  • Avoid overdressing your baby as it can make your baby hot and sweaty, triggering an eczema flare.
  • Keep your child away from cigarette smoke.

Best Preventive measure for baby eczema.

Doctors advise continuing breast milk for at least up to six months (preferably one year) as you introduce your baby to solid food.

Baby eczema isn’t contagious, but because it’s intensely itchy, it is very uncomfortable, and scratching is a major problem. If untreated, the rash can be unsightly, so it may become embarrassing for the child and parents in social gatherings. Fortunately most children outgrow the itchy irritation of eczema before school age.

A key aspect is the use of emollients (moisturizers that soften the skin), particularly as substitutes for soap. In this way, the illness can sometimes be controlled. Moisturizers are classified based on their oil and water content. The more oil a moisturizer has the more effective it is in treating dry skin

Do follow the easy methods to treat your baby’s eczema and make her look like a princess.

Your Baby’s First Taste of Solids

February 5, 2013 by  
Filed under Baby Food, Baby Tips

As your baby is growing up you need to introduce suitable food at the right time in addition to mother’s milk to provide required nutrition to keep your baby bubbly and active. The systematic process of change in food is known as weaning.

first taste to solid foodIt is recommended to start with semi solid foods after baby is 4 months old. Depending upon the baby’s health and nutritional needs,  doctor may suggest to begin at 6 months also. Consult your Pediatrician prior to making any change.

  • Go slow… when you start new food.
  • Pick a time of the day when the baby is active. You need to ensure that the baby is hungry, there is a good time gap for the next frequency of meal. If the baby is fed with formula or breast milk and the gap is less she will refuse to taste even.
  • Make the baby sit in a comfortable position i.e in your lap or the baby chair, with good support.
  • Normally the baby’s first food is a cereal cooked along with formula or milk. Initially the baby is given very little quantity and gradually based on acceptance level and appetite the quantity is increased.
  • You can start with vegetable soups.
  • When a baby is on breast milk additional water will not be required. If the baby is on formula milk additional water should be given in small quantities. Try to slowly stop the baby having from a milk bottle as the upper and lower teeth will be protruding forward as baby grows.
  • You can give fruit juices, filter all fibrous material and seeds as it may choke and baby will vomit what she had previously also. It is painful to see the little one cough and the eyes become watery.
  • Burp the baby after feeds . A good practice for ensuring baby food will not be wasted.
  • Keep a towel handy for cleaning all spills. The baby’s lips should be wiped with wet cloth to avoid darkening. The baby should be wet sponged after meals. If baby is not cleaned, the food substances will dry up and could be chance for attracting insects. In India we observe a trail of ants on the baby’s cot due to the sweet smell.
  • first taste to solid foodDip all baby clothes in Dettol antiseptic liquid (follow label instructions for dilution). This will prevent rashes and foul smell from the clothes.
  • Preferably dry baby clothes in sunlight.
  • While feeding the baby be close by , do not leave the baby unattended.

General watch outs based on my experience:

  • When you are planning to go out with the baby take extra set of diapers, towel, formula milk, water, poly bags to dump in soiled items.
  • If weather is cold ensure baby is nicely tucked in warm clothes. Cover ear, head, legs and hands as baby will catch cold if exposed to cold
  • If you are out on a hot day, be extremely careful of the scorching heat. Use an umbrella or a nice sunlight protection.
  • Ensure medication of baby is kept in a cool place, away from sunlight. Ensure proper labeling.
  • I’ve observed mothers carrying small babies and sipping hot tea, the baby will be attracted to the cup or coffee mug in your hand and will want to grab it. Accidently  it may spill also. Beware of such incidents.
  • Do not carry baby in the midst of your home chores. For example if you are chopping onion and carry the baby with the same hands, gradually baby will develop a nausea feeling to the smell. I know children who have grown up and detest onions in the food they eat.

Bringing up a baby is a huge responsibility and you can manage it wonderfully with the support of your family.

Constipation in baby- Home remedies

January 23, 2013 by  
Filed under Baby Problems

Motherhood is a great joy and to have a smooth transition you need to know few essentials of baby care. One common problem observed with new moms is constipation in babies. You cannot see your little one writhing with pain and you certainly need help. I’ve collated a few points to make it an easy experience for you.


  • You can understand the baby has constipation when baby cries and keeps the legs upwards. Baby’s face turns red crying in pain.
  • The stomach becomes larger due to no passage of stools and will vomit if fed in addition.
  • The baby will be gasing too. At times the baby will pass hard stools , and will be restless due to no relief.

Why does constipation happen

  • For the first few days the baby will pass meconium, which is a dark green or black substance. Only by the third day, regular bowel movements will begin. If your baby’s stools don’t get regular, or if he or she is still passing meconium, this could be a sign that your baby may not be getting enough to eat. You need to increase supplement for feeding the baby.
  • Insufficient water intake when you switch over to new supplements vs breast milk
  • Change in formula or weaning. Diets low in fiber

 Home remedies suggested

  • If your baby is on external milk feeds then increase water consumption for the baby. Give water that is pre-boiled and brought to room temperature after cooling. Increase baby’s water consumption to increase fluid in bowels.
  • When you plan to change the baby’s food, consult the doctor .
  • If baby is struggling with pain you can feed prune juice. Best recommended is prune juice. Prunes should be soaked overnight and the water can be given in a bottle. The baby will by natural reflex start sucking the liquid.constipation in baby
  • You can add ¼ tspn of castor oil in breast milk or supplement and feed the baby , it will act as a laxative.
  • If baby has not passed stool give a warm bath. In a wide tub, take warm water such that baby can be placed into it. Massage the tummy gently downwards and the crying baby become silent due to the effect of warm water and massage.
  • Try cycling method that is gently shift the baby’s feet towards the stomach and back down just like pedalling a cycle in sleeping position. The posture will enable the baby pass stool after few attempts.
  • You can apply Vaseline to the baby at that area to ensure smoothness and skin does not cut when hard stools are passed.
  • You get medicines like Milk of Magnesia that is taken orally. Give ¼ tspn of Milk of Magnesia with 2 spoons of milk. You need to wait for some time and alas … baby has cleared his tummy. Remember to keep lot of cleaning material close by and a room freshener to clear the air.
  • Glycerin suppositories are sold over the counter in medical shops. Affix one suppository when the baby indicates signs for the need to pass stools. Laxatives and Suppositories are not recommended in the long run as the natural bowel movement is not going to work. Baby will find this convenient. Basically a problem of mind set when the baby grows.
  • If the problem is to do medically then the doctor will prescribe medicines for short term relief.

 General tips:

  • Take the crying baby into the arms and carry him around. Keep rocking the baby in your arms. This will be soothing for the baby. If the baby is breastfed, the mother can continue to feed the baby for more times.
  • Consult the pediatrician and update the concerns and your observations . Keep a count of the diapers consumption per day and the frequency of stools passed. This data will help the doctor assess the situation and diagnose accordingly.

Why breast is best …Benefits for baby and mom

May 15, 2009 by  
Filed under Baby Tips

In the early days with a new baby, a new mother will often feel a bit daunted by the idea of breast feeding, and may struggle with the decision over when to use the bottle and when to use the breast. As the saying goes, “breast is best”. This is true in that there are more natural nutrients in breast milk than will ever be found in bottled formula, and it enables the baby to grow up in better health than would otherwise be possible. There is, it goes without saying, some drawback to this. But there are drawbacks to everything, and it is how you address them that is really important.

A baby will require feeding at regular intervals, and for a mother who is breast feeding this can present a few interesting challenges. For one, there is always the concern of whether the baby will need to be fed while you are out for one reason or another. Breast feeding in public is still frowned upon by many, and in some places you will be asked to leave if you do it. This limits where you can go and what you can do, and although you can express breast milk to be served from a bottle, this affects the temperature.

Additionally, some mothers feel that breast feeding causes unreasonable pain in the nipples. Expressing milk is a partial answer to this, but achieving the right temperature is only part of the problem there. Some people feel that feeding directly from the breast is the only way to establish the closeness that a mother and baby should have – anything less and you will have to deal with people asking you why you are not doing it, and regardless of your reasons they will keep doing so.

Breast feeding – Benefits

The mother has to be keen on hygiene practices and these days you get clothes that encourage breastfeeding. You can tailor few dresses to support feeding when you are out of home. This will not be embarrassing too. The kurta or tops can have zibs on both sides of the chest. A pattern to overlap the area can be well thought of.

Benefits for Baby

  • Breast milk is natural and readily available. Breast milk is custom made, the perfect nutrition, and therefore the best food for your baby.  Your baby can easily digest and absorb the nutrients because of its chemical makeup.
  • The antibodies found in breast milk help to fight many infections, including: respiratory, urinary tract, ear, and blood infections. Breast milk improves your child’s immune system.
  • Breast milk helps to prevent food allergies and sensitivities.
  • Breastfed babies are almost never constipated. They rarely have diarrhea or gas.
  • Breastfeeding encourages better, jaw, tooth and palate development because nursing requires more effort than sucking on a bottle. Babies who are breastfed are less likely to get cavities later in childhood.
  • Breast milk helps to prevent jaundice.
  • Breastfeeding appears to increase a child’s IQ.
  • Ensure you give the breast milk from the initial stage itself. It is very healthy and should not be wasted. The initial milk produced is often referred to as colostrum, which coats the gastrointestinal tract. This helps to protect the newborn until its own immune system is functioning properly, and creates a mild laxative effect, expelling meconium and helping to prevent the build-up of bilirubin (a contributory factor in jaundice).

Benefits for Mom

  • Breastfeeding helps to return your uterus to its normal size and it uses up fat stores.
  • Breastfeeding burns calories and helps mom to lose weight and get back into shape.
  • Breastfeeding is convenient. There is no mixing, measuring, and cleaning. There is no advanced planning or packing.
  • Breastfeeding is economical since there are no bottles, nipples, or formula to buy. And half-emptied bottles or opened cans of formula are never wasted.
  • There is less odor in baby’s spit up and bowel movements.
  • When mom breastfeeds, she experiences a decreased risk of breast cancer, ovarian cancer, and osteoporosis.
  • Breastfeeding protects iron stores because it suppresses ovulation and menstruation. But do not depend upon this factor for birth control.

Have a great bond together…