Rest, rest and more rest. This could really count for all three ways to get rid of mastitis. If you think back through the week prior to getting mastitis I'll bet you did one thing too many. You can probably pin point exactly when pushed through that aching tiredness to get just one more thing done. Stop now! If you've had mastitis once you are likely to get it again if you keep on keeping on. Resting is the single best way to avoid a recurrence of mastitis.
Massage out the lumps. It hurts, but it's worth it. Massage out the lumps whilst you feed your baby, or when you are in a hot shower for some pain relief. Your mastitis will clear up much quicker if you can unblock that duct. Using a hot water bottle directly on the lump prior to massaging it out will be easier and less painful.
Feeling hot, hot, hot! A fever is your bodies natural way of fighting an infection. You don't need to bring down your fever unless advised by your doctor. In fact, you can help your body win the battle by having a really hot bath, or going to bed with a hot water bottle or by wearing extra layers of clothes.
And a bonus tip from Dr Jack Newman on when it is safe to avoid antibiotics
"If you have had symptoms consistent with mastitis for less than 24 hours, we would give you a prescription for an antibiotic, but suggest you wait before starting to take the medication.
- If, over the next 8 to 12 hours, your symptoms are worsening (more pain, more spreading of the redness or enlarging of the painful lump), start the antibiotics.
- If over the next 24 hours, your symptoms are not worse but not better, start the antibiotics.
- If over the next 24 hours, your symptoms are lessening, then they will almost always continue to lessen and disappear without your needing to take the antibiotics. In this case, the symptoms will continue to lessen and will have disappeared over the next 2 to 7 days. Fever is often gone by 24 hours, the pain within 24 to 72 hours and the breast lump disappears over the next 5 to 7 days. Occasionally the lump takes longer than 7 days to disappear completely, but as long as it’s getting small, this is a good thing.
If you have had symptoms consistent with mastitis for more 24 hours and the symptoms have not improved, you should start the antibiotics straight away."