What’s that? Sorry, it’s hard to hear you over the one-woman party I’m having for myself, celebrating the fact that I don’t have mastitis (anymore). If you’ve ever been afflicted, or know someone who has, perhaps you’re familiar with how uncomfortable and frustrating and even debilitating it can be. If not? Well, sit back, dust the mental confetti I’ve been throwing off yourself, and get comfortable (which hopefully won’t that hard, especially if you’re currently breastfeeding), because I’m going to tell you a few things about mastitis that no one else will.
When I think of mastitis, I think of my couch, because that’s where I spent the majority of my day. I also think of my son as a tiny newborn, because that’s when my ongoing breastfeeding problems (that usually included mastitis) started. For those who aren’t familiar (and I am oh-so jealous of you all, by the way), mastitis is defined as a breast inflammation typically caused by infection, which frequently happens to breastfeeding moms when bacteria from their baby's (or babies') mouth gets inside the cracks in a woman's nipples. It’s a pain, you guys. Literal and frequent pain.
Add mastitis to the postpartum hormones and emotions and fatigue that every new mom experiences on an ongoing basis, and it’s a recipe for stress and disaster and self-doubt and exhaustion and the list can (and usually does) go on and on and on. So, since knowledge is power and usually manifests into solidarity, it’s time to shed some light on the mastitis experience, because knowing will help you get through it, and remind yourself that if you're experiencing mastitis, you're not alone.