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The Hidden Meaning of Mastitis and a Natural Treatment

Updated: Jul 1, 2020

The first time I got mastitis, I had only been a mother for four months. I thought I had a really bad case of the flu, until I noticed a big red splotch on my left breast. I went to my doctor and she diagnosed the mastitis, gave me a prescription for antibiotics, and also told me about a natural treatment protocol. Luckily, my dad was in town, and he was able to get me the homeopathics I needed and take care of my baby while I slept the afternoon away. By the next day, I felt almost normal.

Having mastitis is absolute misery. Achy and feverish, your body is not where you want to hang out. It is easy to feel desperate and rush to fill a prescription for antibiotics. Because of the way they disrupt the microbiome, I avoid taking antibiotics whenever possible! In my own experience antibiotics and the natural protocol work at the same rate. I went on to have mastitis four more times during my second child’s infancy, treating it each time with the protocol below.

How did this happen to me? I wanted to know. I thought I was doing everything - right, resting a lot, eating and drinking often. So, what causes mastitis? The first time I got it I believe it was caused by a plugged duct in my breast where my son habitually laid his head when we napped together. That duct got infected. The subsequent times I got mastitis, it was because I was pushing myself too hard.

Postpartum Expert and Ayurvedic Practitioner Julia Jones says:

"Doing too much is a sure way to bring on mastitis. Think back through the week prior to getting mastitis: did you push through aching tiredness just to get one more thing done? Stop now and rest, rest, rest. Get a cleaner, ask your friends and family to cook and go to bed with your baby.

Manda agni, or low digestion, can result in kapha (water and earth) build up in breast milk. This sticky, heavy milk can block the ducts. If your appetite is low, try putting a few drops of breastmilk into a glass of water; if it sinks in strands, it is high in kapha. in this case, you need help rekindling your digestion with lighter foods and more spices. 

Clothing can also physically obstruct milk ducts. Wear comfortable clothes appropriate for breastfeeding and a well fitted maternity bra." 

Mastitis is a powerful messenger; it knocks you down and MAKES YOU REST.

Mastitis reminds us that postpartum is a vulnerable and special time. Take good care of yourself, mama! If you do succumb to mastitis, find a way to rest and slow down. You'll feel better within 18-24 hours by sleeping and nursing as much as possible, and following the protocol below. 

Natural Mastitis Protocol

{Disclaimer: I’m sharing this as a folk remedy that has helped me and many of my clients. I am not a medical professional. Use this protocol at your own risk or under the supervision of a medical professional.}

What you'll need: One head of cabbage, green or red Rice sock, hot water bottle, or heating pad Vitamin C, capsules of 1000 mg Ibuprofen, Tylenol, or your fever-reducer of choice One vial of phytolacca dechandra homeopathic pellets 30 C

What to do: 1. Breastfeed/pump as much as possible on the breast that is infected. Massage out the lumps in a hot shower or while feeding. Keep the milk flowing to unplug the clogged duct. It is recommended to point you baby's chin towards the clogged duct, which can make for some contorted positions.  2. Alternate hot ( rice sock, hot water bottle, etc.) and cold (cabbage leaf) compresses on infected breast/ducts. Change every few hours or when the cabbage is wilted or hot pack is cool. 3. Whenever you think of it in your fevered state, take 2000 mg of Vitamin C and then place a few phytolacca pellets under your tongue. Average about every 2 hours. (This high dose of Vitamin C may cause loose stools). 4. Take fever reducer as needed to stay comfortable 5. Drink lots of warm liquids and eat warm, cooked food regularly 6. Sleep as much as possible and let your body work its magic as you allow it to rest!

Note: Sunflower Lecithin is helpful in preventing ducts from getting clogged in the first place. If you keep getting clogged ducts, you may want to add in a daily dose.


Life Beyond Birth provides support for expectant parents, and new babies & their families, online and in-person. Find a class or contact Molly at

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