Clearing Mastitis W/O Antibiotics? - Mothering Forums
Breastfeeding Challenges > Clearing Mastitis W/O Antibiotics?
mollyshaw02's Avatar mollyshaw02 12:23 PM 02-28-2012



I'm new here, so hoping Im' doing this all correctly. I'm new at a lot of things actually, like being a mom and breastfeeding and the whole nine yards. So I have an almost 3 week old baby (WOAH!) who is a nursing champion (as well as a cuteness champion). He eats very often, is growing big and chubby and I am sooo happy nursing is going well. Well until yesterday. I got a breast infection. :(


My midwife recommended all kinds of herbs and vitamins and homeopathics (but I don't believe in, homeopathics, honestly), and I'm wondering if anyone else has had any luck curing one of these buggers without antibiotics.


Currently I'm:


Drinking tons of water

Consuming ridiculous quantities of Vitamin C

Taking an immune booster with echinacea and shittake or something

Doing hot compresses

Resting like crazy

Monitoring my temperature and taking advil if it goes up again 


I am feeling better than I did last night, but I guess here's my concern: I had symptoms of it two nights ago and did nothing and thought nothing of it and it went away on it's own until the next night when I had it again in the other breast. Then I took my temperature and put all the pieces together (achiness, warm, very full, painful breasts, etc...)


Has this natural approach worked for anybody else? All I can find online is to go straight to antibiotics. 



THANK YOU! SOrry that was so long!!

3girls1boy's Avatar 3girls1boy 09:56 AM 03-01-2012

I never did have masitis, but it sounds like you are doing lots of things right.  It is like any other illness, and can go away without antibiotics.  Keep in touch with your midwife if things get worse.  Take care.


Jeanne, mom to 4

Imakcerka 10:21 AM 03-01-2012

You can clear it... but honestly when I had mastitis everything I tried just to get me through the night before my next day appointment did nothing but cause me more pain.  And when I say pain I mean crying through it all pain.  I would not throw the idea of antibiotics out the window.

mollyshaw02's Avatar mollyshaw02 07:18 PM 03-05-2012

I must have had a seriously mild case! (It went away in no time!) 

katelove's Avatar katelove 08:26 PM 03-05-2012

I have heard that acupuncture works well but I havent tried it myself. I have only had 

mastitis once and I used antibiotics.

sraplayas's Avatar sraplayas 12:16 PM 03-14-2012

Mama, big hugs to you!!!


I am in my 3rd trimester now, but with DS I had mastitis at 3 days postpartum (I also had several cases with DD and one other infection after DS's birth). Yes, it is awful! Mine started on one side and spread to both.


What we did (it was a team effort with DH):

Liters upon liters of water

Tea (elderberry, I believe for anti-inflammatory but there might be something better)

Fresh-squeezed orange and grapefruit juice (several oz. per day)



Hot (tea kettle) compress for 10-15min every hour or so before nursing


When I went to the midwife/lactation consultant she said the protocol we used probably kept it from going into a full-fledged infection. To me, it was bad but I guess it could have been worse. The infection took about 10 days from start to finish to clear up.


Bless you, mama. I hope you find help and support during this tough time. I don't know that I have much else to offer, but I've been through this alot and if you would like to PM me feel free to do so.

fruitfulmomma's Avatar fruitfulmomma 12:41 PM 03-14-2012

I did antibiotics when I had my oldest because I got really sick, really fast, like fever, couldn't get out of bed, etc... but since then I've been able to catch it fast enough that garlic pills and massage to release plugged ducts works well enough. Make sure you continue to breastfeed from that side and if you are getting plugged up in a specific area, maybe try different positioning so it is getting cleared out.

purplerose's Avatar purplerose 02:19 PM 03-18-2012

if it is early/mild enough i can clear it with cabbage leaves. i put one on the breast until the leaf gets warm, then feed baby and the leaves reduce the swelling and pain some. if it goes on too long or is unbearable though i'd go straight for antibiotics! we shouldn't have to suffer!

Asiago's Avatar Asiago 03:50 PM 03-18-2012

I was able to clear it a couple of times within a day or two (flu-like symptoms and all) by nursing frequently while hanging over baby. You could nurse on all fours or hang over a changing table. Either way, empty the breast frequently. If baby is sleeping longer stretches that could be problematic, if not feeding very frequently.

Hot compresses and hanging the breast in a bowl of very warm water to increase the blood circulation helped clear the infection for me.

Also pointing baby's nose, and therefore latch, in direction of the painful spot on breast in order to empty those ducts was helpful.

Please try to rest too.


Best to you.

~adorkable~'s Avatar ~adorkable~ 09:06 PM 03-23-2012

im wondering if what you experienced was actually a simple,( but none the less horrible) clogged duct? they are often the first stage of what turned in to an infection but by themselves not one.  i have had many, some getting resolved in hours, others tang 2-3 days. if left too long the risk of mastitis goes way up.  
if what you had was in fact an infection i would think it would not clear up very fast with no help, but either way i am so glad you are feeling better.  here is the info i found very helpful when i had my first really bad blocked duct.

Tags: Breastfeeding Challenges