Mastitis Complications: Prevention Tips Shared as Lauren Burnham Suffers Infection

Photo: (Photo : JOHAN ORDONEZ/AFP via Getty Images)

Lauren Burnham, who is best known for joining "The Bachelorette," has experienced the worst mastitis complications as a new mother of twins. Her husband, Arie Luyendyk Jr., revealed that Burnham had to be hospitalized for the infection in her breast.

Luyendyk shared that Burnham has been taking antibiotics for mastitis and was also scanned for an abscess or pus formation. The father also said that "so much blood" was drawn from his wife, who had to take further tests.

Burnham gave birth a month ago to the couple's twin girls, Selena and Lux. In 2019, Burnham welcomed her first child with Luyendyk, where she also revealed she had a hard time nursing the newborn, Alessi.

In an interview with Us Weekly, the mom said that no one told her about the struggles of breastfeeding, so she had to go to a lactation specialist who helped her manage her breasts' painful engorgement issues. Before the birth of the twins, Burnham admitted that she was feeling nervous about breastfeeding again, especially for two babies.

How to Deal with Mastitis Complications

The Mayo Clinic stated that mastitis develops when the milk ducts are blocked and bacteria have entered the breast. The complications occur when the mastitis starts to collect pus, which may need to be drained surgically for some mothers. Around three percent of mothers who breastfeed develop this painful condition, but some women may also experience chronic mastitis because of hormonal changes in their bodies.

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The symptoms of mastitis can develop gradually as the breast starts to swell or becomes red. It may also feel tender or warm when touched. The mom may also develop a slight fever because of the infection and feel a lot of pain and discomfort when breastfeeding. Unless there is pus, the infection will not affect the baby's health.

For some moms, experiencing pressure on the breast may block or stop the flow of breast milk, causing it to build up in the milk ducts. This may happen if the mother wears a poorly-fitted bra or straps a baby sling or carrier so tight on her chest.

According to the University of Michigan Health, regular breastfeeding is the best way to prevent mastitis, as this will "keep the milk ducts empty." The ducts need to be "unplugged." If the mother cannot nurse for the time being, as the baby could be asleep, she can express the breast milk using a specialized breast pump and store the milk in a bottle inside the refrigerator.

If the mother is nursing the baby, it will help to massage the breast to facilitate proper flow. Sometimes, placing a heating pad may also help. Taking lecithin supplements may minimize issues with plugged ducts.

When to Seek Doctor's Help

Moms may need medical attention if they experience prolonged and unbearable pain. If this interferes with the mother's ability to feed, consulting with a doctor is important to prevent the formation of pus. In some cases, cultures may have to be taken through a syringe for the doctors to determine the exact organism causing the mastitis complications.

The doctor may prescribe pain medication and antibiotics. However, no medication may be needed for mild cases, and the mother must not stress herself about baby feeding.

Related Article: CDC Updates Guidelines On Getting COVID-19 Vaccine While Pregnant or Breastfeeding

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