Anyone who has suffered from the painful effects of mastitis knows how truly debilitating it can be. About one in ten breastfeeding women experience the condition, which is an infection of the breast that typically occurs as the result of a blocked milk duct.
There are many recommendations for the treatment of mastitis, including breastfeeding frequently, heat applications, and massage. There are also some less-conventional treatments including the use of cabbage leaves, potatoes, fenugreek compresses, and now, vibrators.
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A 21-year-old woman from Queensland named Danielle was suffering from her fourth bout of mastitis since her 9-month-old son was born. She said that she had exhausted all of her options to try to cure it, including hot showers, heat backs, and rubbing it. It was then that she remembered a brilliant idea that was suggested in an online mom's group.
Danielle placed a vibrator on her breast for ten minutes in an attempt to relieve the discomfort. "I am weaning my son at the moment and had blocked ducts for a day before using the vibrator for 10 minutes. I was worried I would get mastitis again but I haven't after that and have used the vibrator again since," Danielle told Kidspot. "It didn't hurt to use it. It was the least painful of everything that I had tried before.
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Women who experience mastitis often initially mistake it for the flu, as the symptoms are so similar. It usually presents with a fever of 101 or higher, chills, body aches, and a general feeling of malaise. There is often pain, heat, swelling, or tenderness in the affected breast as well. However, as many new moms experience breast discomfort, some do not realize that they have an infection.
KellyMom recommends that one treat mastitis with increasing breastfeeds, as it's crucial to continue draining milk from the breast. In addition to increasing fluid and rest, moms can use heat and gentle massage. If symptoms do not improve in 12-24 hours, mothers should seek medical advice as antibiotics may be necessary.
While a vibrator is not a typical treatment choice, it can't hurt to try.