What you need to know about mastitis, the breastfeeding complication that sent ‘Bachelor’ alum Lauren Burnham to the hospital
Bachelor education couple Arie Luyendyk Jr. and Lauren Burnham have had a tumultuous summer. Just six weeks after Burnham gave birth to twins Senna and Lux, the 29-year-old mother was hospitalized with a severe case of mastitis. an inflammation of breast tissue that sometimes leads to infection.
On his Instagram story, Luyendyk shared updates with his followers, saying, “Not good, mastitis gets worse even with antibiotics. I hate this for her.” Fortunately, Burnham was able to leave the hospital the next day and told her fans on Instagram that she… feel much better. She is far from the first celebrity to open up about the complication of breastfeeding.
Kristen Bell shared her experience with mastitis on her Youtube Channel, to tell Scandal actor Katie Lowes that she developed the condition three times. The third round took place when she was traveling and needed the help of her husband Dax Shepard. “We couldn’t call a doctor and this was right after the baby stopped breastfeeding,” Bell said. “I said to my husband, ‘I need you to suck this out.’ Kristen Cavallari unveiled a almost identical scenario with now ex-husband Jay Cutler on her reality show in 2019.
While the condition sounds alarming, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists calls it “one of the most common breastfeeding complications.” The main way to deal with it, the organization writes, is “frequent and effective milk removal during treatment.” To get a better understanding of what mastitis is and what signs to look out for, Yahoo Life spoke to dr. Sherry Ross, an obstetrician, health expert and author of Side-ology. Here’s what you need to know.
Yahoo Life: What Causes Mastitis?
dr. Sherry Ross: Mastitis is a breast infection that occurs due to a blocked milk duct that cannot drain properly, allowing harmful bacteria to build up. Other ways to get mastitis are from bacteria on your skin or baby’s mouth entering the milk ducts and from stagnant milk which attracts dangerous bacteria. Mastitis can also occur in women who are not breast-feeding or breastfeeding due to breast trauma, diabetes, steroid use, or excessive smoking.
What Symptoms Should New Mothers Look For When Breastfeeding?
If you’ve ever had mastitis while breastfeeding, it’s an unforgettable experience. Symptoms of mastitis include fever, muscle aches and fatigue – similar to the flu. The affected breast will be extremely tender, painful, and swollen. A warm red rash, often in a wedge-shaped pattern, may also be seen on the affected chest. Breastfeeding mastitis affects only one breast.
Are there any recommendations to lower the risk of infection?
Ways to prevent mastitis include avoiding breast engorgement and long intervals between feedings or pumping. Learn the best techniques to empty your breasts, avoid cracked nipples, wear a supportive and form-fitting bra, eat healthy, drink plenty of water, avoid stress and get plenty of rest.
What is the typical prognosis for this condition?
Once mastitis is diagnosed, the prognosis is excellent! Treatment involves using a warm compress on the affected chest, pumping regularly, and taking an effective antibiotic. The good news is that you can still breastfeed with mastitis as long as the antibiotic is safe when breastfeeding.
Is antibiotic-resistant mastitis a growing problem in the ob-gyn world?
Once antibiotics and ibuprofen are started, the signs and symptoms of mastitis will improve within 24 hours. It is not common for a woman to be hospitalized to treat a typical or uncomplicated mastitis. If the mastitis is not treated properly, do it in time or a breast abscess will develop, surgical drainage and intravenous antibiotics may be necessary. When any of the above symptoms occur, it is best to notify your health care provider as soon as possible.