This article has great info about treatment, both conventional and otherwise:http://www.kellymom.com/bf/concerns/mom/mastitis.html
* No: If symptoms are mild and have been present for less than 24 hours.
* Yes: If symptoms are not improving in 12-24 hours, or if mom is acutely ill.
* Most common pathogen is penicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus.
* Typical antibiotics used for mastitis:
- Dicloxacillin, flucloxacillin, cloxacillin, amoxycillin-clavulinic acid
- Cephalexin, erythromycin, clindamycin, ciprofloxacin, nafcillin
* Most recommend 10-14 day treatment to prevent relapse. Do not discontinue treatment earlier than prescribed.
* Consider probiotic to reduce thrush risk.
* Some mothers also use natural treatments.
* Nurse frequently & empty the breasts thoroughly.
Aim for nursing at least every 2 hrs. Keep the affected breast as empty as possible, but don’t neglect the other breast.
* When unable to breastfeed, mom should express milk frequently and thoroughly (with a breast pump or by hand).
* Use heat & gentle massage before nursing
- Warm compress. Try using a disposable diaper: fill the diaper with hot water (try the temperature on your wrist first to avoid burns), squeeze the diaper out a bit, then put the inside of the diaper toward the breast. This will stay warm much longer than a wet cloth.
- Basin soak. Fill sink or bowl with hot water and submerge breast in water while massaging the plugged area toward the nipple. Some report better results when epsom salts are added to the water -- add a handful of epsom salts per 2 quarts (2 liters) of water. Rinse with fresh water before nursing, as baby may object to the taste.
- Hot Shower. It can be helpful to massage in the shower with a large-toothed comb. The comb should be drawn through a bar of soap until it is very soapy and then used to gently massage over the affected area in the direction of the nipple.
* Loosen bra & any constrictive clothing to aid milk flow.
* Nurse on the affected breast first; if it hurts too much to do this, switch to the affected breast directly after let-down.
* Ensure good positioning & latch. Use whatever positioning is most comfortable and/or allows the plugged area to be massaged.
Note: Advice to point baby's chin (or nose) toward the plugged area is outdated and was based on the idea that the milk ducts take a nice, direct route to the nipple - recent research tells us that this is not true, and that a particular duct might begin in one area of the breast but can "wander" in many different directions before terminating in any area of the nipple.
* Use breast compressions.
* Massage gently but firmly from the plugged area toward the nipple.
* Try nursing while leaning over baby so that gravity aids in dislodging the plug.
* Pump or hand express after nursing to aid milk drainage and speed healing.
* Use cold compresses between feedings for pain & inflammation.
* See also How do you treat a milk blister?"
This article has specific alternative treatments:http://www.kellymom.com/herbal/natur....html#mastitis
" * Take mom's and baby's clothes off, get into bed and nurse, nurse, nurse (mastitis appears to be the body's way of telling mom to SLOW DOWN). Get as much rest as possible.
* Between feedings, use a cold compress on the breast to help with any inflammation. Some moms use hot compresses directly before nursing, but others prefer to stick to the cold. Compresses/poultices that can be helpful:
o Make a rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis) infusion: to make an infusion, add 2-4 teaspoons of fresh or dried rosemary to a cup of boiling water. Infuse (steep) for 10 minutes, then strain.
o Use a fenugreek seed poultice;
o Make a dandelion (Taraxacum officinale) compress: boil about an ounce of minced dandelion root in two to three cups of water until only half the liquid remains; use compresses of the resulting brew.
* When your baby nurses on the affected side (use that side first), massage the breast towards the nipple. Massage the breast often during feedings and between feedings to help loosen the plugged area.
* If there is a fever, mom can take
o Raw garlic - At least 2-3 raw cloves per day, 4-5 cloves a day if possible. Chop a clove into 5 or 6 pieces and then swallow the pieces whole like pills.
Raw garlic acts as a broad-spectrum antibiotic, without the added antibiotic side effects of the development of antibiotic-resistant strains of bacteria, or the development of yeast infections or thrush. The antimicrobial property in garlic, allicin, is very sensitive to heat and is destroyed when cooked. In order for it to work, it needs to be raw. Swallowing the cloves with orange juice helps with the taste for some. Allicin is also what gives garlic its pungent odor, so the deodorized garlic capsules that some companies offer are essentially useless, if they are being taken for the antimicrobial properties. However, deodorized garlic is still beneficial for its blood pressure reducing properties and for stimulating the immune system.
o Tincture of echinacea, 3-4 times/day
o Tincture of Oregon grape root, 3-4 times a day
o Vitamin C (3000-5000 mg/day megadose)
o Another option: Mix a dropperful of echinacea tincture, three cloves of raw garlic and four to six ounces of carrot juice in a blender and drink the mixture every two hours.
* A very warm shower can help - let the water just run over your breast.
* You can also take ibuprofen, which will help with inflammation and pain.
* If the mastitis does not improve or gets worse after using this treatment for 24-48 hours, contact your doctor - you may need antibiotic treatment."
And here's one more article that should help (has some homeopathic remedy suggestions):http://www.kellymom.com/bf/concerns/...-mastitis.html
HTH! Good luck!