Learning how to naturally treat mastitis allows a nursing mother to avoid antibiotics and other medications that may harm her baby. Mastitis, caused by plugged milk ducts, commonly causes flu-like symptoms such as fever, chills and fatigue. Herbal remedies and other natural treatments have been around for thousands of years. One or more of the below treatments may be used to ease the discomfort of this all-too-common ailment.
Nurse frequently. Rest as much as possible and nurse as often as the baby will allow. In between nursing sessions, apply a cold compress to ease the swelling and discomfort.
Chill a head of cabbage in the refrigerator, then peel off a cabbage leaf and place it on the affected side. Its shape makes it a very convenient cold compress. While no one really knows why this remedy works so well, anyone who has tried it will tell you that it makes a definite difference and aids in easing discomfort.
Eat raw garlic, a natural antibiotic that does not have the side effects associated with pharmaceutical antibiotics. If the mastitis is accompanied by a fever, take a minimum of two to three cloves of garlic per day. Simply chop the cloves into small pieces and swallow with a glass of water.
Take a hot shower. Run a shower as hot as you can stand and let the hot water flow over the affected breast. This will ease the swelling as well as help to dissolve the plugged ducts. It is especially helpful to massage your breast under the hot water to aid in clearing the ducts.
Take a large dose of vitamin C daily while the mastitis is present. Taking 3,000 to 5,000 mg per day will help to boost your immune system and help your body fight the infection.
Massage the affected breast often, both during and between feedings, to loosen the plugged duct.
If your mastitis does not improve or becomes worse, see your physician.