If you've ever suffered from symptoms of mastitis, you know it's no minor ordeal.
If you've ever suffered from symptoms of mastitis, you know it's no minor ordeal. After breastfeeding three babies, I have felt mastitis symptoms only twice. Both times, the natural remedies I tried resolved the issue within a few hours.

Mastitis is inflammation of the breast caused by infection. It is often caused by clogged ducts or restricted milk flow.

With my first baby, I had several clogged ducts but never felt mastitis symptoms. With my second and third babies, I rarely had clogged ducts but felt mastitis symptoms once with each of them. So obviously, one does not necessarily indicate the other.

A clogged duct can present as a sore, swollen, hard spot on the breast, often tender to the touch and sometimes shows visible red streaks. Any of these symptoms may be missing and a woman may not be able to tell exactly where the plugged duct is located. Mastitis can present in the same way, but may also include a fever, chills, aches and flu-like symptoms. Both times I had mastitis, I did not notice a clogged duct. I felt the chills and aches without any soreness or tenderness.

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There are several ways to prevent both clogged ducts and mastitis. Nursing on-demand helps prevent engorgement, a major risk factor for both. Resolving issues with tongue or lip ties and working on good, productive latches can help keep milk flowing well through the ducts. Avoiding tight clothing and going braless for at least parts of the day also help prevent clogged ducts from unnecessary pressure on the nipples. But some risk factors like stress, fatigue or babies occasionally sleeping longer than expected may be unavoidable.

Antibiotics can be necessary for serious infections, but if you catch it early enough, you may be able to avoid needing a prescription.

During the times I felt a clogged duct, there were a few things that worked to get the milk moving again: I took a hot shower and massaged the area where I felt the clog. Then I would dangle feed my baby (hover over him on all fours while he nursed so that gravity helped pull the clog down) and keep him skin to skin to encourage as much nursing as possible. Within a few (painful) hours, the clog would dislodge.

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The first time I felt mastitis symptoms, I got the chills just as I was getting into bed for the night. I had no breast soreness, so I did not even suspect an infection. I put on extra layers and socks, but I could never fully fall asleep for the night- I was shivering most of the night. When my alarm went off in the morning, I stood up and saw stars. My vision started fading and I almost passed out! Finally, I realized these were symptoms of mastitis.

I laid back in bed and asked my husband to bring me a clove of garlic, the bottle of apple cider vinegar and a spoon of colloidal silver. I took a bite of garlic, a swig of ACV and downed the silver. I laid next to my baby and just dream-fed her for the next three hours and sipped lots of water while I tried to get rest. Thankfully, she stayed there with me without protesting. Every hour, I took the same remedies again. By noon, I was symptom-free.

The second time, the symptoms started in the evening. I was cleaning up the dinner dishes and started shivering. I asked my husband to check the thermostat and when he reported it was 72 degrees in the house and he felt fine, I knew this was an early sign of infection. So I started the same regiment again: garlic, ACV, and silver. This time, I was symptom-free before I went to bed.

I now keep these remedies on hand and recommend the same to anyone who asks me.