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Motherhood

Top Tips for Treating Mastitis without Antibiotics

Unfortunately in trying to wean my son off breastfeeding, I have been suffering with mastitis. Here are my top tips for treating this painful condition, without having to resort to antibiotics.

A few months after giving birth to my son I was diagnosed with an underactive thyroid. I was feeling dizzy, irritable and losing a lot of weight. My GP, health visitor and consultant at the hospital all told me I should cut down breastfeeding, as this would also be contributing to my weight loss. As my condition worsened, I decided that I would need to cut down my feeds and unfortunately in doing so mastitis struck, and boy did it hurt!

Mastitis is a very painful condition, leaving your breasts feeling inflamed and extremely painful. I have had it three times now and luckily each time I have managed to treat it without antibiotics. My symptoms were a fever and a burning sensation in my breast whilst feeding. My breasts were also really hard and lumpy.

I wanted to share my tips and remedies for beating mastitis without having to resort to antibiotics, in the hope that they can help other mums who might also be suffering from the condition.

  • Feed Feed Feed
    Unfortunately this isn’t helpful if you are trying to wean your baby off breastfeeding, but when mastitis strikes, having your child feed off the affected breast is one of the best ways to treat the condition. Don’t get me wrong, it hurts like hell, but it really does help in removing any blockages and emptying your breast of milk. Your other option is to express. When I had mastitis, I increased the amount of feeds to try and drain my breast fully and also got my son to feed off the affected breast first. Also make sure your baby has a good latch, as this can make a huge difference in ensuring your milk is drained properly.
  • Turn up the heat
    Applying heat to the affected breast can also help treat blocked milk ducts. I found warming a flannel and placing it on to the breast before and after a feed really helped.
  • Massage
    When you’re in the shower, massage your breast. Again, this will hurt, but it will really help in clearing the blocked ducts. I highly recommend buying a wide toothed comb and using this to massage the breast using shower gel. Massage down towards the nipple when using this method, focusing on any lumps. You really will feel instant relief!
  • Try different positions
    In order to beat mastitis I tried lots of different breastfeeding positions to try and make sure my affected breast was emptied. The best one I found for treating mastitis is the ‘Dangle Feed’ position. It is probably the most uncomfortable of all positions, and the one you really won’t feel like doing when you’re suffering with a fever, but it definitely works in helping to treat mastitis. Basically, you position yourself over your baby so they are looking up at you. Gravity really does work wonders in dislodging the blocked milk ducts.
  • Keep hydrated
    Make sure you drink plenty of water when you have mastitis as the condition really does take it out of you, and as you need to continue to breastfeed or express, it’s really important to keep hydrated as this will help fight the infection.
  • Wear loose clothing
    When I had mastitis, I wore very loose clothing and ditched the bra as I found it was contributing to the pain in my breast.
  • Take pain relief
    Before resorting to antibiotics, try over the counter painkillers like paracetamol and ibuprofen to reduce the pain, inflammation and fever.
  • Rest
    I know rest is a foreign word to us mums, but when you have mastitis it really does knock you for six, so if you can get someone to watch your baby so you can take some time out, it really will help speed up your recovery.

If the above tips don’t help, or you can see that your nipple is infected, go and see your GP as you may have to take a course of antibiotics to kill the bacteria responsible.

Lifestyle, Motherhood, Reviews

Micralite SmartFold Buggy – Review

The award-winning Micralite SmartFold is a fantastic all-terrain buggy, perfect for families on the go!

Micralite SmartFold Buggy

I was lucky enough to test the award-winning Micralite SmartFold from Bournemouth Baby Centre and I was not disappointed. I had heard that the pushchair is meant to fare well on all terrains and so I took it down to Bournemouth Beach to see if the hype was true!

I was so impressed with the Micralite SmartFold on Bournemouth beach. The air-filled back tyres meant I could easily pull it on to the sand without any effort and the mud guards prevent wheel clogging, which can really slow you down on some buggies I have used on the beach.

I was so impressed with the pushchair on the sand, perfect for our family trips to Bournemouth beach!

I am not the most muscly of mums and so when looking for a pushchair weight is a huge factor. What’s great about the Micralite SmartFold is that it’s light and easy to push and manoeuvre with one hand – ideal if like me you have a dog to walk and buggy to push! It features a unique shaped handle bar too, which is fully adjustable.

I tested the buggy with my 8 month old baby boy, but it’s suitable from newborn right up to 22kg (around 4 years old), so you certainly would get a lot of use out of it. Jack seemed to enjoy the ride and slept for an hour as we walked along Bournemouth promenade and up across the clifftop. It was a sunny day and the hood provided good coverage.

The Micralite SmartFold looks the part too. It’s very stylish and features weatherproof fabrics along with UPF50 protection, so it is perfect for holidays home or abroad, come rain or shine! It even comes with a storm cover for really bad weather, which there is always a high chance of in England!

Micralite Smartfold Buggy Review
If like us you enjoy walking and exploring then this buggy is a great choice!

The buggy is compact once folded, but it does take a few attempts to get the hang of it, so I would suggest watching a YouTube video so you know what you’re doing!

One of the only downsides is the basket. It’s an OK size but difficult to get to, so it isn’t the most practical if you are looking to carry a lot, which is a real shame.

If like us you enjoy walking and exploring then the Micralite SmartFold is a great choice as it really is a fantastic multi-terrain buggy.

At £495 (including a free Foot Muff) it isn’t the cheapest of buggies, but it’s high spec, sturdy and stylish, so if you have the money to spend, I would definitely recommend. However, if you like to pack a lot into the basket, this isn’t the buggy for you!

Find out more on Bournemouth Baby Centre’s website.

Lifestyle, Motherhood

Top 10 Teething Remedies and Toys for Babies to Soothe Sore Gums

Here is my list of top 10 teething saviours, which have helped soothe my baby’s sore gums, from teething toys to homeopathic remedies.

Jellystone Teething Stacker for Babies
Jack absolutely loves his Jellystone Rainbow Stackers

My little boy is nearly 8 months old and his first two teeth have started to poke through at the bottom. Unfortunately teething means an unhappy baby. We are getting through so many bibs due to lots of dribbling and Jack is chewing everything in sight. His favourite thing at the moment seems to be our television remote!

To try and help other parents get through the terrible teething stages of their child’s development I thought I would share my top teething saviours, which have really helped soothe Jack’s poorly gums.

1. Teetha Teething Granules
Teething Granules have been a life saver for Jack when he is in distress with his gums. Just before bed, or when Jack appears to be in discomfort, we pop the granules on a spoon and feed them to him and the relief is almost immediate! What I like about the granules is the fact that they are homeopathic. The Teething Granules come in little sachets so are a baby changing bag must-have!

2. Jellystone Teething Stacker
Jack absolutely loves his Jellystone Teething Stacker. These award-winning, brightly coloured rings provide relief for sore gums and also help to encourage hand eye coordination. They are also a fantastic toy for Jack when he is in his highchair, which means I can enjoy my lunch while he plays happily! Made from BPA free, non toxic silicone, your baby can chew on the Jellystone Teething Stackers happily.

3. Cucumber Batons
Hard foods are great for teething babies. I have found that cucumber batons work wonders. Jack loves to gnaw on cucumber as the cold helps soothe his gums and it is also a good way of getting water into their diet.

4. Milk Ice Lollies
Breastmilk ice lollies, or “mumsicles” as I like to call them, also provide relief for sore gums and are great for babies in hot weather. I bought some ice lolly moulds on Amazon and poured my expressed breastmilk into them, popped them in the freezer and voila, you have a healthy, soothing snack for your baby! You don’t just have to use milk, you could also make fresh fruit lollies from pureed fruit and pure fruit juice. They are specifically designed for small hands, so are good for weaning too! You can buy the Annabel Karmel Mini Ice Lolly Moulds on Amazon.

Sophie the Giraffe Teething Toy for Babies
Sophie the Giraffe is made from 100% natural rubber

5. Sophie the Giraffe
I think every child has a soft spot for Sophie the Giraffe! Jack loves Sophie and enjoys chewing on her legs to ease the pain in his gums. It’s made from 100% natural rubber so it’s a safe teething toy for your little one. It also comes in a lovely box making it a great gift for newborns and baby showers! It’s nice and light and Sophie’s spotty body and squeaker stimulate baby’s senses. Sophie the Giraffe is must-have baby toy in my opinion!

6. Teething Car Keys
This toy certainly does unlock some fun! My sister-in-law bought these for Jack and they are one of his favourite toys when he is in his pushchair. Easy to hold for small hands, the keys feature four buttons, which play car sounds to stimulate your little one’s senses and attached are plastic discs which your baby can chew on to soothe painful gums. The Teething Car Keys, available from ASDA, are another great buy for under £5!

7. The Very Hungry Caterpillar Teether Rattle
Another firm favourite is Jack’s Hungry Caterpillar teether rattle. Suitable from birth, the brightly coloured soft caterpillar crinkles when you touch it and has a soft, green textured teether tail, which really seems to help soothe Jack’s gums. The red and green colours really catch Jack’s attention and he loves to pick it up and move it around in his hands, which also stimulates his senses and encourages development. You can buy The Hungry Caterpillar Teether Rattle for under £10 on Amazon.

The Hungry Caterpillar Teething Toy for Babies
The textured tail is great for teething babies!

8. Baby Banana Teething Toothbrush
If you child loves bananas then this is a fantastic teething toy! It features peel handles so it’s easy to hold and comes with two silicone finger toothbrushes so you can brush your baby’s teeth and help soothe their gums with gentle massage. What’s more the Baby Banana Teething Toothbrush comes with a handy storage case and is BPA free and dishwasher safe.

9. Calpol
When Jack is in a lot of pain I give him Calpol and it really seems to soothe him, providing rapid relief, especially at bedtime when his teeth keep him awake.

10. Cuddles
One thing that also helps to calm Jack down is cuddles from Mummy and Daddy! He has definitely become more clingy since he started teething and extra cuddles and kisses seem to comfort him and calm him down. And cuddles are free!

I hope you find some of these useful. I have tried lots of different things and so you may find a mix and match approach is the way forward.