Prevention is the most important aspect for nursing care. To prevent the development of mastitis, encourage frequent unrestricted nursing. The infant should be observed while nursing for techniques related to latching on, placement, positions, and suck. At the end of the feeding, evaluate the breast for emptiness. Instruct the woman to rotate feeding position of the infant to promote effective emptying of all lobes and to palpate her breast to evaluate emptiness after each feeding. If clogged ducts are noted, she should massage the area before the feeding and assess the area following subsequent feedings to see that it is completely emptied.

If mastitis has developed, encourage the woman to go to bed and stay there. She should only provide care for her infant, with a focus on frequent feeding and complete rest for her. Encourage the mother to continue breastfeeding frequently. If the infected breast is too sore to allow breastfeeding, gently pumping is recommended; emptying the breasts is an important intervention in preventing an abscess. Recommend that the woman massage her breasts before breastfeeding when she feels that her breasts are overly full or were not completely emptied at the previous feeding. In addition, instruct the woman to apply heat to the affected area, followed by gentle massage with the palm of the hand, immediately before feeding the infant to promote drainage. Encourage the woman to remove her brassiere during feedings so that constriction of the ducts does not occur from pressure. Tell the mother that some infants will not nurse on an inflamed breast. This is due to engorgement and edema, which makes the areola harder to grip; pumping may alleviate this.

Infant position during feeding is critical for effective drainage of the breast. Teach the woman to turn the infant fully on her or his side with the head placed at the mother's breast. The head should face the areola without turning. One or more inches of the areola should be in infant's mouth, and the baby's chin and nose should rest lightly on the breast. In addition, the infant's lips should be flared during nursing. As the infant nurses, the mother should hear swallowing. Encourage the mother to vary the infant's position (cradle, cross-cradle, football, side-lying) at feedings so that all ducts of the breast are effectively emptied. Feeding should always begin on the affected breast.

Teach the mother that she needs to nurse the infant a minimum of every 2 to 3 hours around the clock. Frequent feedings may mean that the mother needs to wake the infant during the night. Pain is managed through the use of ice packs or warm packs applied to the breast. A supportive, well-fitting brassiere may also reduce pain if it does not apply pressure to the infected area. In addition, over-the-counter analgesics may be used. Encourage the mother to drink at least 3000 mL of fluid per day; light straw-colored urine is an indication of adequate hydration. The mother's diet should meet the nutritional requirements for lactation.

New Mothers Guide to Breast Feeding

New Mothers Guide to Breast Feeding

For many years, scientists have been playing out the ingredients that make breast milk the perfect food for babies. They've discovered to day over 200 close compounds to fight infection, help the immune system mature, aid in digestion, and support brain growth - nature made properties that science simply cannot copy. The important long term benefits of breast feeding include reduced risk of asthma, allergies, obesity, and some forms of childhood cancer. The more that scientists continue to learn, the better breast milk looks.

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