Common Risk Factors of Mastitis that every Mother should Know

Although mastitis is not a new condition among breastfeeding women, many mothers are not aware about its major risk factors. Mastitis is a breast infection common among breastfeeding mothers, which causes swelling, redness and breast pain. In rare occasions, the condition also occurs among women who are not breastfeeding. Mastitis can cause fever and chills to mothers making it difficult for them to take good care of their babies. The following are the mastitis common risk factors that every mother should know.

Breastfeeding during the first weeks after giving birth

Newborns are unlikely to suck all the milk from their mothers letting some milk remain in the glands. Accumulation of milk in the breast for a long time causes infection that could result to mastitis. It is therefore important to ensure that your baby has sucked all the milk or you get rid of excess milk yourself using a breast pump.mastitis

Sore or cracked nipples

The presence of sores and cracks on nipples can lead to mastitis when milk and baby saliva get in contact with open sores and cracks. Breastfeeding mothers with cracked nipples are at a high risk of getting mastitis. It is therefore important to ensure there are no sores and cracks on the nipples; if there are, you shouldn’t make light of them but treat them promptly.

Using one position to breastfeed your child

Many mothers are weak and less active first days after giving birth. Consequently, many mothers tend to breastfeed their babies using only one position making it a bit difficult for the newborn to drain the breasts. The milk remains in the breasts for too long and the mother could have breast infection and mastitis. It is therefore important for mothers to breastfeed their newborns in different positions so that it is easier for them to drain all the milk from the breasts.

Restricting normal milk flow

Breastfeeding mothers can restrict normal milk flow by wearing a tight bra, a tight safety belt or carrying a heavy bag. Interference with the normal flow of milk among breastfeeding mothers can result in mastitis among some other complications. Therefore, breastfeeding mothers have to wear loose comfortable bras and avoid carrying heavy bags with straps passing over their breasts. It is even recommendable to stay without a bra at all during your first days after giving birth if you can.

Previous breast infection and mastitis cases

Mothers who had breast infections or mastitis during their previous lactation are at a higher risk of having mastitis in future. So if you have experienced mastitis at some point in the past, remember that you can be liable to this complication and take all possible precautions to avoid a relapse.