Mastitis occurs when bacteria enters the breast of a newly lactating mother through tiny abrasions in the breast or nipple, creating an infection that can multiply in the milk ducts. Symptoms include high fever, inflammation and swelling of the breasts, redness and nipple discharge; considering these symptoms, it is easy to appreciate how mastitis can make nursing very difficult.

Indeed, mastitis can prevail when a mother experiences difficulty with breastfeeding. Learning proper latching-on and feeding techniques is essential to preventing mastitis: when the breast is not fully drained during a session, the milk duct is at an elevated risk for infection. But mastitis can occur through no fault of the mother: the strenuous process of birth can leave her immune system weak and vulnerable to any infection. Additionally, if the baby is in poor health, they are more likely to harbor bacteria in the mouth and throat, which can find its way into the mother’s breast.

While Western medicine is effective at treating mastitis through the use of antibiotics and painkillers, some new mothers worry that the medication can be passed on through breastfeeding, adversely affecting the developing child. Traditional Chinese Medicine offers a drug-free, natural treatment option for preventing and treating mastitis. Our treatment at Community Chiropractic & Acupuncture in Park Slope treats mastitis by boosting your immune function to fight infection.

For new mother’s suffering from mastitis, acupuncture needling can provide instant relief from the pain of infection by releasing endorphins. Needling is also effective at reducing inflammation in the breast and clearing out blocked ducts. We recommend the use of herbs specific to nursing mothers, and consult on lifestyle adjustments that may be worsening your condition. Traditional Chinese Medicine is an effective approach to preventing infection or encouraging your recovery from mastitis. For new mothers in Brooklyn, our office is a resource for the natural treatment of postpartum issues. Call us today at (718) 398-3100.

Dr. Karen Thomas, D.C. L.Ac