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Lactostasis in a nursing mother: symptoms and treatment, prevention

Almost every breastfeeding mother, especially after the first birth, faces a very annoying problem - lactostasis. The painful condition is fraught with not only unpleasant symptoms, lactostasis leads to a violation of the feeding regime of the baby and quite serious consequences for the woman herself.

That is why every woman during pregnancy should know the symptoms and methods of treatment for lactostasis during breastfeeding.


What is lactostasis?

Lactostasis in a nursing mother

Breast lactostasis is an incomplete emptying of one or more milk synthesizing zones of the breast. Lactostasis can develop in one or at the same time in both mammary glands. With the influence of factors often associated with improper breastfeeding tactics, stagnation in the breast develops.

The non-emptying of the congestive lobe within a few days leads to the formation of a cork of condensed milk in the milky duct. The accumulation of milk leads to an increase in pressure inside the lobules, which provokes an inflammatory reaction and inhibition of its further production. Milk through the branched vascular system is absorbed into the bloodstream and causes a "milk fever".

Causes of lactostasis

Lactostasis occurs when there is a discrepancy between the volumes of milk production and its outflow. Often, congestion in the breast occurs after the birth of the first child: the milky ducts are not sufficiently developed, and the woman has not yet gained the skills to properly attach the baby to the breast. Symptoms of lactostasis in a nursing mother occur for the following reasons:

  • Nipple pathology - flat nipple and fissures that impede feeding;
  • Insufficient emptying of some lobules due to improper attachment of the baby to the breast;
  • Improper feeding tactics - a “bad” habit of squeezing with the fingers of the areola of the type of “scissors” to remove the breast from the nose of the newborn;
  • Incorrect position of the breast during feeding - difficulty emptying the lower lobes with a large sagging breast;
  • Hyper-lactation, sometimes triggered by too frequent decanting - the child cannot suck all the milk;
  • Irregular breastfeeding;
  • Going to the bottle of lure, from which the nutrient mixture flows out with less effort - often in such cases the child is just lazy to suck the breast;
  • Insufficient fluid intake, leading to milk condensation;
  • Crushing close bra in a dream, lying on his stomach;
  • Breast injury, hypothermia;
  • Stress, lack of sleep, disproportionate position physical exertion.

Symptoms of breast lactostasis

Symptoms of breast lactostasis

The disease after 2-3 days makes itself felt the unpleasant symptoms of lactostasis. The first signs of a developing stagnant milk:

  • Localized swelling of the chest - probing the sealed lesions;
  • The venous pattern on the skin of the glands becomes more pronounced;

With further deterioration of the situation:

  • Bursting pain when palpating, aggravated after feeding (sucking a baby gives a signal to even greater milk production);
  • "Milk" fever - the temperature during lactostasis rises to 38 ° C;
  • Sometimes the skin over the congestive area turns red, but often the hyperemia indicates a worsening of the situation and the development of mastitis.

Treatment of lactostasis in a nursing mother at home

Treatment of lactostasis in a nursing mother at home

Without missing the first symptoms, lactostasis is fairly easy to cure at home. The basic rule is to start eliminating congestion immediately after the first painful symptoms appear.

What can you do at home?

  • Properly attach the newborn to the breast. With a weak sucking reflex, it is necessary to decant the remaining milk.
  • Frequently feed overfilled breast. Apply the baby so that his chin or nose is directed toward the stagnant focus.
  • Breast massage during lactostasis - careful circular movements directed to the center (sternum). Special attention is paid to compacted areas. Strong pressure is prohibited!
  • Milk outflow improves with the pre-application of dry heat (not hot) to the breast, taking a warm bath / shower. It is impossible when the temperature rises!
  • After 20 minutes after feeding, apply cold to reduce the inflammatory response. Duration - no more than 15 min.
  • Adequate water regime. Excessive fluid intake can provoke hyperlactic, insufficient (less than 1 l), on the contrary, will cause condensation of milk. Greater fluid intake is needed for hyperthermia.
  • After decanting “to the last drop”, it is necessary to attach a newborn. A special type of breastfeeding by a small child is the best way to evacuate the remaining stagnant milk particles.
  • Drugs for lactostasis - Traumel ointment (consisting of only safe for the child medicinal plants), solution Malavit. Slight rubbing with ointment quickly levels inflammatory manifestations (puffiness, redness), has anesthetic effect. These remedies are the best prevention of mastitis during lactostasis.
  • Tablets No-shpy for relieving spasm - safe during breastfeeding drug.

Special rules

Lactostasis treatment

  1. You can not refuse breastfeeding. This will only worsen the situation and provoke mastitis .
  2. One, high-quality decanting can completely eliminate stagnation in the breast.
  3. Temperature of 38 ° C and the lack of improvement for several days is a serious reason to urgently consult a doctor in order to avoid the development of mastitis.
  4. за счет блокировки синтеза окситоцина — гормона, отвечающего за эвакуацию молока. Alcohol compresses usually relieve symptoms initially, but later provoke even stronger lactostasis by blocking the synthesis of oxytocin, a hormone responsible for evacuating milk.
  5. ! Camphor ointment is strictly prohibited ! Camphor strongly inhibits lactation.
  6. Traumel, taken as pills and injections, is absorbed into the bloodstream and can be dangerous for the newborn. . In such dosage forms, the drug is used only as directed by a physician .

If you follow all recommendations for the treatment of lactostasis at home, the pain stops already for 2-3 days, at the same time, the pumping should be stopped. The redness of the skin can last for several days until all the processes of milk formation and outflow are normalized.

Lactostasis treatment by a doctor

Lactostasis treatment by a doctor

Only a qualified specialist, a gynecologist or a mammologist, can determine the line between lactostasis and the onset of mastitis. Often, for this conduct ultrasound examination of the mammary glands.

To eliminate milk stagnation in the chest can be assigned:

  • Ultrasonic massage - gives an excellent result.
  • Intramuscular injections of Oxytocin for 30 min. before feeding, it reduces postpartum hemorrhage, but can cause colic pains in the uterus;
  • Antibiotics - only if serious mastitis is diagnosed. The priority indicator when choosing a drug - the minimum impact on the newborn.

Lactostasis complications

  • Uninfected mastitis - more pronounced signs of stagnant milk. Temperature above 38ºС.
  • Infected mastitis, especially in case of nipple cracks, is intoxication, hyperthermia up to 39.5 ° C, pulsating chest pain, diffuse skin hyperemia.
  • Abscess - the formation of a purulent bag, requires surgical treatment with the installation of a drainage system.
  • Breast cysts - can be diagnosed several years after incorrectly cured mastitis. Old cysts are accompanied by glandular fibrosis.

Prevention of lactostasis

  • The study of the rules of feeding, the first symptoms of lactostasis in a nursing mother and their methods of elimination at the stage of pregnancy.
  • Free feeding - putting the baby on demand. You can not take the baby from the breast early.
  • The correct position of the child during feeding, breast support with a hand without a squeeze.
  • A nursing mother should sleep on her side or back.
  • Loose underwear, no squeezing pits in the bra.
  • Exclusion of injuries and hypothermia.
  • Introduction of feeding with a spoon during normal lactation.
  • Squeezing milk residues every 2-3 days.
  • Treatment of cracked nipples.
  • Full nutrition and drinking regime.
  • Sufficient rest - lack of sleep and accumulated fatigue leads to hypolactation.

Lactostasis itself does not threaten the health of a nursing mother and is easily eliminated on its own. However, delay in stagnation is fraught with mastitis, which is often treated surgically. That is why it is easier to prevent the development of inflammation and prevent the stagnation of milk.


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