Causes and signs of lactostasis in a nursing mother
Why does lactostasis develop?
The mammary glands consist of acini, in which, under the influence of hormones after birth, milk begins to be synthesized. Through the ducts, it should be removed from the breast. But sometimes there is a situation when milk remains in one or several acini. In this case, one of the ducts is blocked, that is, lactostasis develops. Unfortunately, it often causes mastitis.
There are several causes of lactostasis:
- Wrong grip of the newborn. During feeding, the baby must capture not only the nipple, but its entire areola. The wrong angle of attachment and the wrong grip do not allow the mammary gland of the nursing mother to be completely emptied. If in the process of feeding a woman holds her breast with two fingers, this leads to squeezing of some ducts, which, as in the first case, prevents the outflow of gland secretion.
- Hyperlactation, if not treated, often leads to the development of lactostasis. Standards that were applied 50 years ago recommended full pumping of milk. But at that time, doctors advised six-time feeding strictly by the hour. That is, the mammary gland was emptied only 3 times. Today, reputable experts recommend on-demand feeding. In this case, decanting "to the last drop" leads to hyperlactation. But it should be understood that irregular feeding is also a cause of milk stagnation.
- The cause of lactostasis can be overcooling of the mammary glands. In this period, young mothers should protect themselves from all negative factors.
- Bruises, injuries lead to stagnant milk and the development of mastitis, which should be remembered by women during lactation. By itself, this condition is not dangerous and occurs quite often. If you do not run this disease, the treatment will not be difficult.
Sometimes the anatomical features of a nursing mother cause lactostasis. A woman who naturally has narrow milk ducts should spend more time on the prevention of this disease in order to avoid mastitis.It is also very important to avoid nervous stress, excessive loads on the body, and irregular sleep.
A woman should consume a lot of water to protect the body from dehydration - this is a guarantee of the normal consistency of milk.
Treatment with any medication should be coordinated with the doctor to avoid not only the stagnation of milk, but also the side effects that affect the body of the baby.
Symptoms of lactostasis
Even a person without higher medical education can easily determine lactostasis - the symptoms of this condition are manifested by painful sensations and reddening of the mammary glands. On palpation, small compaction is felt. This is due to the fact that milk plugs have formed, which impede the normal outflow of secretions of a nursing mother. Sometimes you can feel not just seals, but lumps that often scare women and force them to see a doctor and undergo timely treatment.
Unlike mastitis, a young mother does not have a fever during lactostasis. This symptom is a sign that a woman needs not just home treatment, but an urgent consultation with a doctor.Of course, elevated temperature leads to a significant deterioration of health and loss of milk. Lactostasis is a precursor of these complications.
During milk stagnation, the pain can be constant, and can occur while feeding the baby. Sometimes painful conditions appear immediately after feeding, when milk begins to be actively produced in the breast. All symptoms are individual. Some mothers say they feel overcrowded, which does not go away even after pumping. In this process, the milk is decanted in an uneven stream. Sometimes some areas of the breast cannot be decanted.
Symptoms of mastitis
To distinguish lactostasis from severe inflammation of the breast, one should know what are the symptoms of mastitis.
- skin hot to the touch;
- the content of pus in milk;
- rough skin in the area of the breast;
- sharp pain;
- subcutaneous abscess formation.
What to do when lactostasis?
There is a set of measures that will help a nursing mother get rid of milk stagnation. Treatment of this condition takes place at home without the use of medication. The main thing that should be ensured is the normal outflow of the secret.
If it does not work out for you to attach the baby to the breast correctly, it is necessary to express the milk. This process is carried out manually, or with the help of a special device - a breast pump, about which, probably, all young mothers heard. But do not make this procedure "to the last drop", so as not to provoke an even greater production of a secret.
During the feeding of the baby should often be applied to the diseased breast. It is also impossible at this moment to feed him from a bottle, even if he needs complementary foods. It is necessary to look for other ways to enrich the child’s diet.
Before the procedure of decanting or feeding, you can briefly apply a dry, warm heating pad to your chest. But in any case it is impossible to overheat the mammary gland. After the procedure has been completed, a cold heating pad may be applied to the chest for 10 to 20 minutes.
Periodically it is necessary to perform a massage of the mammary glands.But all movements should be smooth, stroking. In no case can not do an intense massage and deeply palpate the chest.
It is very important to wear comfortable underwear. There are many types of bras for nursing mothers, which not only allow you to quickly prepare the breast for feeding, but do not squeeze it, unlike regular underwear.
When lactostasis should follow a free feeding schedule. If you do this by the hour, you can provoke even more stagnation of milk and, consequently, deterioration. Frequent feeding contributes to the resorption of milk plugs and outflow of secretion. If you do not have the opportunity to constantly be with the baby, use pumping.
Lactostasis is a stagnation of milk in the mammary glands, which is caused by an abnormal outflow of secretion due to disturbances during feeding.This disease requires immediate action, otherwise it causes inflammation of the mammary glands - mastitis. If you follow simple rules, such as timely decanting, monitoring the position of the baby during feeding, wearing special clothes for nursing mothers, then you can get rid of lactostasis in a short time. Every young mother should take care of her health, because now she is responsible not only for herself, but also for her baby!