Mum reveals her red, inflamed breast to share a common complication from breastfeeding that isn’t always talked about.

Lindsey Bliss is a mum of seven and practicing birth doula, she recently shared a picture on Instagram with the caption”When a good boob goes bad — AGAIN! I literally wanted Dan to bring me to the ER last night due to the most EPIC engorged boob, full body shakes, and a crushing headache. On the mend today from my bed. Why does this keep happening?”

She’s sharing her photo in hopes of bringing more awareness to the condition.

“You always see these flawless goddess photos of breastfeeding, and no one discusses or shows when shit gets crazy,” she told Cosmo.

“Yes, [you might think] breastfeeding is the best thing for your child, but it isn’t always unicorns and rainbows,” she says. “Sometimes it just sucks.”

The Australian Breastfeeding Assoc explains that mastitis is usually the result of a blocked milk duct that hasn’t cleared. Some of the milk banked up behind the blocked duct can be forced into nearby breast tissue, causing the tissue to become inflamed. The inflammation is called mastitis. Infection may or may not be present.

What are the symptoms?

Early symptoms of mastitis can make you feel as if you are getting the flu. You may begin to get shivers and aches.

Some mothers who do not have any early signs of a blocked duct get mastitis ‘out of the blue’.

The breast will be sore like it is with a blocked duct, only worse. It is usually red and swollen, hot and painful. The skin may be shiny and there may be red streaks. You will feel ill. It is common for the ill feeling to come on very quickly.

What can I do?
Start treatment as soon as you feel a lump or sore spot in your breast.

Drain the breast often, but gently.

It is best if you think you have mastitis to see your medical adviser.

Have you ever suffered with mastitis? What treatment did you find worked best?

Share your comments below.

Image via Instagram

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  • i also have heard that the same breast can get it as a re-occuring thing. i have had it once


  • Stories like this make me glad I wasn’t able to breastfeed for long. I’m terrified of being forced to try breastfeeding again for the next baby. I hear lots of horror stories about pains and sore boobs and mastitis etc.


  • I didn’t but my sister and friend did.


  • This sounds so painful. Just thankful I never suffered from this. Thank you for sharing as this will help a lot of Mums.


  • Aw bless, sounds very painful ! Breastfeeding isn’t always unicorns & rainbows indeed.


  • I never got mastitis, but I definitely did suffer from cracked and just plain sore nipples with my first because I didn’t know and hadn’t really been shown properly how to attach my baby. It sucked and it hurt a lot. I never realised that breast feeding would be so hard or that it didn’t all just come naturally. My second was absolutely fine because I knew what to do, but with your first it really can be a struggle and I think that is the big cause of a lot of mothers just giving up.


  • There is so much awareness about mastitis and the treatment. It is painful, but there is relief.


  • I know one Mum who suffered what they thought was flu (she had a deifnite respiritory infection with breathing problems at the same time) who literally could not get out of bed unassisted. The Dr. suggested supplementary feeding if she didn’t recover from the infection if she had to resort to antibiotics. She kept breastfeeding – her baby was a big feeder – sometimes drank all the milk from one breast and some from the other one. She recorded feeds to ensure both breasts we drained in turns. A few days later she also developed Mastitis. Because of chest infection the Dr. had no option to put her on antibiotics, the baby be bottle fed while the ducts were drained and she expressed for a few days until after she finished antibiotics and her body no longer retained any.


  • I can only imagine! After a few days, I was unable to breastfeed at all, so that was most challenging in its own way.


  • Ouch! What a brave woman to share it. And what a superstar to stick to it!


  • Luckily I never did but a neighbour had the misfortune to succumb to it. She actually used the old remedy of a cold cabbage leaf on the breast as one cure.


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