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{Note from Jessica: Today’s post is shared by my sweet friend Jess Kuh. Jess is a fellow real food lover with a passion for natural living, herbs, and anything that keeps her family and home healthy.}


October is breast health awareness month and I wanted to offer women healthy alternatives for breast health. Today, my friend Jessica brings us some natural ways to treat mastitis. I hope this info is helpful to you, or someone you love. Please share this article with your friends and family, so that others can gain the benefit of this important information!

Natural Ways to Treat Mastitis 

There are so many new things to look forward to after the birth of your baby — the new baby snuggles, the way they gaze at you, and that sweet new baby smell.

However, there are things that no one seems to warn you about and if you’ve ever nursed a baby and gotten mastitis, you know what I’m talking about.

Mastitis happens when a clogged milk duct gets infected.

Ouch, right?

If you go the typical medical route, your doctor is going to prescribe antibiotics to you. However, not only is this unnecessary most of the time (there is a time and a place!), but there are things you can do at home to beat the infection before resorting to antibiotics.

Home remedies can be very effective for infection without cleaning out your supply of good bacteria. The herbs and tips I will share with you are not only easy but are not toxic to you or your sweet baby.

8 Home Remedies for Mastitis

1.) Rest, rest and more rest

One of the biggest causes of mastitis is the lack of rest for mama. I know it’s hard. It’s hard when you feel good and want to be on the go, or you have other kids that need you or you are headed back to work but mastitis a huge blinking sign that says REST!

2.) Drink water

You need to make sure you are getting enough water. Water will not only help keep your milk supply up but it will also help flush out the infection.

TIP: My midwife says if you are sitting to nurse the baby, you should be drinking a glass of water at the same time.

3.) Nurse the baby

That sounds silly, doesn’t it? When your breast is sore and tender the last thing you want to do is have baby latch on but that is also one of the most effective ways to unclog the duct.

Tip: If you can, try to get the baby as close to the ‘knot’ (where the plug is) as you can.

4.) Massage

Massaging the breast to help move the plug can help bring relief to the soreness. Massage towards the nipple and do this between nursing sessions.

Tip: Warm compresses before and after will help the clog to unplug and help soothe tenderness in the breast.

5.) Soak in epsom salts

Get in the bath and add a cup or two of epsom salts. Submerge the infected breast. Not only will the warm help bring some relief, epsoms salts help draw out infection.

Tip: You deserve (and NEED) a hot relaxing bath. If you want to pamper yourself a bit more, you can make your own herbal bath salts (it’s super easy!).

6.) Herbal poultices

Herbs are going to be your ace in the hole at beating mastitis. I found the combination of lobelia and mullein to be great for this infection. Make a poultice of two parts mullein and one part lobelia and place on your breast.

Here’s how to make the poultice:

  1. Add hot water to the dryer herbs and let soak for about 10 minutes.
  2. When the herbs are cool enough, wrap them in cheese cloth and apply to area of your breast that is infected.
  3. Leave the poultice on for at least an hour.
  4. Tip: I like to put a piece of plastic wrap over the herbs to keep them wet and then top with a hot water bottle to help keep them warm.

This combination can bring fast relief. It’s also good for ear infection, you can find more information here.

7.) Cabbage Leaves

Cool cabbage leaves can help relieve the pain of the infection. You can do this a few times a day. However, watch your milk as cabbage leaves can diminish your supply if used too often.

8.) Take herbs, food, and supplements that fight infection.

You need to be careful as you don’t want to tank your milk supply but there are plenty of herbs that will help kick your immune system into high gear and help you beat this infection.

  • Garlic and elderberries are two that I would highly recommend.
  • Up your dose of vitamin C, as this will help get rid of the infection and help it  from reoccurring.

If all else fails, don’t hesitate to call your doctor but know that you have a natural arsenal at the tips of your fingers to beat out the infection.

Natural ways to treat mastitis

So tell me nursing mamas, what has been your go to for help with mastitis? 

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