New Mastitis protocol?
Yes, the Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine has added a new protocol, #36, the Mastitis Protocol. Actually, it is updated but the ideas in it are so revolutionary, it may as well be new!
Dr. Katrina Mitchell was a major force behind these changes. She had noticed in her clinic as a Breastfeeding Medicine Doctor, that parents with recurrent mastitis tended to be massaging their breasts like crazy to “get out plugs”. She believed this then led to more plugs!
Go to her amazing site, The Physicians Guide to Breastfeeding to learn more.
Jessica and Barbara actually had discovered these ideas on their own several years ago with Jessica’s own experience with recurrent plugs. Did she massage like crazy? No! She used cool, Ibuprofen, and gentle touch to help resolve her plugs.
What’s going on?
Basically, inside the breast/chest, there is not a “piece” of something blocking the way like a literal plug in a bathtub. Rather the area around the milk duct becomes swollen and is pinching off the ability for the milk to flow down and out.
Think about a sprained ankle. Would we massage it to death? Or put warmth on it? No, just like mastitis, we want to reduce swelling by cool and maybe some anti-inflammatory medication if it is safe to take.
The other idea to consider, is some very gentle massaging (and I mean GENTLE) away from the breast. If you go through the area it can help to help the lymphatic system to help drain away the extra edema (the swelling).
To learn more about lactation consider one of our amazing Professional Lactation Trainings!