As any breastfeeding mom who has come down with a case of mastitis can tell you, the painful breast infection can make nursing extremely uncomfortable. Symptoms may include pain, redness, fever, and chills. Add those to the exhaustion of sleepless nights to begin with, and mastitis can make for some pretty miserable days. Treatment is usually done with antibiotics. Warm compresses and continued breastfeeding on the infected side can also help relieve some of the pain and shorten the duration of the infection.
But one study out of Spain has looked at the prevention of mastitis, and it starts before the baby is even born. Mothers starting around 30 weeks pregnant were given the probiotic Lactobacillus salivarius PS2 daily. Compared to the control group of women not receiving any probiotic supplements, the L. salivarius PS2 group had significantly lower rates of mastitis after delivering.
Clearly, more research may need to be done on this topic, but it's an interesting possibility to start preventative care when it comes to mastitis in the breastfeeding mom before baby even arrives!
Would you consider taking probiotics during pregnancy if you thought it could help prevent mastitis after?