Home Remedies for Mastitis in Breastfeeding Women

Home Remedies for Mastitis in Breastfeeding Women


As soon as a baby is born, he or she will be fed with milk from their mother. This process is known as breastfeeding.

This is one of the most important things when it comes to being a mother because there is no better source of nutrients for newborns.

Nevertheless, it also raises the risks of some problems that possibly happen to the mother’s breast.

One of the most common is called “mastitis” which usually takes place in the first 3 months.

The consequences might be serious, either on the mother or on the newborn.

That’s why you need to know its symptoms and how to relieve mastitis.

What is Mastitis?

Mastitis refers to a type of breast infection and it is commonly seen in breastfeeding women (1).

After the delivery, women are more likely to suffer from it in the first 3 months. However, this does not diminish the risk for the rest of the period.

In most cases, only one breast is affected by mastitis.


The main cause for mastitis is blocked milk duct which keeps milk in the mother’s breast. As a result, infection might happen.

Another possible contributor to breast infection mastitis is bacterial infection when there is a crack or break on their nipple.

What Increases Your Risks?

Sometimes, the bacteria can go from the baby’s mouth and enter the mother’s body through a crack.


The symptoms of mastitis are various and dependent on the problem’s severity. Yet, there are some common ones that you might witness in your breast:

  • Painful feeling
  • Swelling
  • Redness
  • Inflammation

More seriously, mother might encounter chills or fever, which will completely affect her efforts to feed the baby.

Home Remedies for Mastitis

Even when mother experiences mastitis, she should still continue breastfeeding. This problem does not have negative impacts on the newborn (2).

Some experts even believe that it is a good treatment of mastitis as well.

At the same time, you should try some homeopathic remedies for mastitis in order to put an end to discomfort you deal with.

There is no need for medicine that has side effects on mother’s health. Instead, have a faith in top 15 natural home remedies for mastitis that are introduced as following.

1. Cabbage

Cabbage - Home Remedies for Mastitis

Many people have known about the use of cabbage leaves for mastitis treatment at home.

In fact, it is one of the most popular and effective home remedies for mastitis because cabbage provides sulfur compounds.

These compounds play an important role in the fight against swelling and inflammation.

Furthermore, cabbage leaves serve as a relief to help mothers escape from clogged ducts.

How to apply:

  • Put some cabbage leaves in the fridge in at least half an hour
  • Then, apply cold cabbage leaves over the breast affected by mastitis

You can repeat this method when the leaves become cool or normal.

2. Water

An important strategy on how to treat mastitis while pregnant is to have a higher intake of water on a daily basis.

Water not only improves the release of milk in your breast but also prevents bacteria from growing and causing worse conditions.

Professional experts recommend at least 2 liters per an ordinary person every day, but you can surely increase the amount.

Try some other forms of fluid, such as fruit juice, in order to diversify your diet.

3. Cold Compress

As stuck milk might be a possible cause for mastitis, cold compress seems to be one of the simplest home remedies for mastitis.

The coldness will instantly promote the milk flow inside your breast and make everything normal again.

Besides, cold compress is an effective method to prevent or treat swollen breast.

How to apply:

  • Get several ice cubes into clean and soft towel
  • Put it over affected breast for about half an hour

Do not use ice directly over your breast or any skin part because it might damage the tissue.

4. Coconut Oil

Many qualities of coconut oil are perfect for treating mastitis at home.

Its antipyretic, analgesic and anti-inflammatory qualities make it one of the best home remedies for mastitis.

Coconut oil contains acrylic acid which contributes a lot to the prevention against redness, pain and swelling.

All you need to do is to apply it and massage your breast for a few minutes before rinsing the breast.

Another way is to drink 4 tablespoons on a daily basis so that coconut oil can take effects from the inside.

5. Pineapple

Pineapple - Home Remedies for Mastitis

Bromelain present in pineapple is the deciding factor to take this fruit into the list of top natural home remedies for mastitis.

This enzyme is antiedematous, fibrinolytic, antithrombotic and anti-inflammatory. All of these properties are beneficial for natural treatment of mastitis.

Pineapple is also well-known for its effects on reducing pain and swelling.

Just try to consume pineapple juice on a daily basis to provide your body with nutrients that fight against mastitis.

6. Garlic

Working as effectively as antibiotics, garlic makes a new impression for all of us. It is a simple, but effective mastitis cure you can easily get in the kitchen.

With antibacterial quality, garlic definitely helps you stay away from infections.

Additionally, garlic has wonderful impacts on the immunity and gives a boost in the healing process.

You can try consuming 2 raw cloves before meals every day.

If you cannot bear its smell, you ought to combine garlic juice in water or orange juice to make everything easier.

Garlic supplements are a good alternative way, but you will need to ask doctors for advice in this case.

7. Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar is a wonderful anti-inflammatory and antibacterial home remedy for mastitis.

It is extremely helpful to prevent inflammation or infections. Even in case you are already infected, the vinegar will stop it from growing and treat it gradually.

This mastitis cure is claimed to raise your energy level as well.

How to apply:

  • Mix apple cider vinegar and warm water with the ratio 1:2
  • Dip a cotton ball into the mixture and place it over your breast
  • 15 minutes later, take warm water to clean it

This method should be followed 2-3 times every day.

8. Calendula

For years, calendula has been used to deal with swelling and pain. Therefore, you can make use of this herb to have another home remedy for mastitis.

It will easily help you cope with painful feeling caused by mastitis.

How to apply:

  • Prepare powdered calendula flowers by grating it well
  • Do the same for comfrey leaves
  • Mix them in the same amounts and warm the paste
  • Then, apply it over your breast for about 20 minutes
  • Finally, take lukewarm water to clean your breast

It is important to have a clean breast before you feed your baby.

9. Honey

Honey - Home Remedies for Mastitis

Undoubtedly, honey has many health benefits that wait for us to discover.

It is sweet in not only the taste but also the effectiveness as a mastitis relief.

With a number of antibacterial compounds, honey gives us the strength to eradicate bacteria that might worsen the situation.

The recommendation is to eat raw honey (2-3 teaspoons) a few times per day.

10. Aloe Vera

Its natural healing ability has been useful for ages. That’s why we cannot skip aloe vera in the list of top natural home remedies for mastitis.

Aloe vera has wonderful effects on the healing process by removing symptoms of mastitis and repairing damaged tissues.

How to apply:

  • Rub fresh aloe vera gel over your breast
  • Wait for a few minutes until it is dry
  • Then, use warm water to rinse your breast

It should be applied a few times per day and you always need to remember to wash it before letting your baby touch your breast.

11. Echinacea

Even though echinacea is not suggested to be used regularly, it is still one of the most effective home remedies for mastitis.

This herb strengthens our immune system that protects us from infections.

It also provides a huge number of flavonoids which are anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial and antibiotic.

Simply apply its tincture over the breast affected by mastitis several times on a daily basis and like other mastitis cures, you have to clean it after that.

Note: Echinacea is effective in the treatment of mastitis, but do not use it in the long term.

12. Fenugreek Seeds

Fenugreek seeds have been believed to have stimulating effects on women’s milk-producing glands.

In addition, flavonoids in fenugreek seeds are able to prevent infections and inflammation.

Therefore, it is undeniably one of the best home remedies for mastitis.

How to apply:

  • Get some fenugreek seeds into water and leave them overnight
  • In the morning, they should be grinded
  • Use a clean cloth to keep the paste and put in the microwave
  • Place the cloth over your breast affected by mastitis

Besides, you are recommended to consume its tea regularly every day to get the best results.

13. Tea Tree Oil

There are many types of essential oil that can serve as home remedies for mastitis. We have already examined an example – coconut oil. Now it is time to discover some others!

Tea tree oil possesses a lot of medicinal applications because of its anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial qualities.

You can take advantage of them to relieve mastitis and its symptoms.

This oil can be applied directly over breast affected by mastitis, but you must clean your breast after that.

It is not a good idea when your baby contacts with this oil.

14. Oregano Oil

The next essential oil has many surprising qualities that fit the mastitis treatment at home. To name some, it is analgesic, antifungal, antibacterial and antiviral.

Additionally, oregano oil plays an essential role in the elimination of S. aureus which results in a series of related problems.

Besides, oregano can promote our immune system, which is important for mothers because they are quite vulnerable during this period.

Experts suggest taking its capsule twice per day and not using it for over 5 days.

15. Lavender Oil

Lavender Oil - Home Remedies for Mastitis

Last but not least, lavender oil is a wonderful and aromatic mastitis relief.

In our history, people have used lavender oil to deal with various problems, from pain to minor burns.

It is certain that this oil can help women prevent swollen and painful breast.

You just need to rub it over the breast and massage this area for several minutes per day. The risk of inflammation will be reduced significantly.

What to Avoid

When you have to face mastitis, there are some rules that you need to remember.

Avoid using tight bra that only makes it harder for the blood to flow.

Besides, you should stay away from untidy nursing pads. Even though they might work for mastitis treatment, untidy ones will only worsen everything.

Some positions can actually raise the risk of breast infection mastitis, such as lying on the stomach.

When to See Doctor

You can try these home remedies for mastitis first.

As swelling or pain only gets worse, you should visit doctors for the best suggestion.

How to Prevent Mastitis

Before treating mastitis at home, mothers should prepare themselves in the prevention against mastitis.

First, guarantee you get enough water every day because dehydration is bad for not only mother but also baby.

Secondly, you should change the breastfeeding positions regularly to avoid ducts.

Thirdly, vitamin C is vital to the fight against breast infections.

You should include as many vitamin C-rich foods as possible in the daily diet to minimize the risk of mastitis. Some good examples are strawberries, lemons, broccoli or papaya

All mothers should be aware of mastitis and its treatment so as to prevent problems happending to the breastfeeding process. Let the baby get the best from you without interruption. If you like it, please share this article to others! Share with us your experience by commenting on the box!

Disclaim: The effectiveness from using these foods on certain problems and diseases will be depended on the body condition of the applicant.

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Home Remedies for Mastitis in Breastfeeding Women
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