Mild Mastitis and the Microbiome

By Penninsula Kids  13 September 2022 

Image courtesy of Penninsula Kids

Mastitis is a common condition for many breastfeeding mothers, and for many this means the end of breastfeeding their baby.

Some women suffer with excruciating pain in their breasts, driving a deep fear into them with the thought of their baby latching on, for yet another painful feed. For some, this may cause sadness, a feeling of failure and of course lessens the chance of baby getting the best they can receive from mother’s breast milk.

What causes Mastitis?

According to the Australian Breast Feeding Association’s website;

“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.”

Inflammation is the body’s natural immune response to incite healing to the affected area. Signs of mastitis can include breast pain, redness, swelling and heat. This is the work of your body trying to clear away the banked up milk from where it shouldn’t be.

When infection kicks in, it means pathogenic bacteria have now got involved. This is not ideal and because of this, your body’s immune response is increased, and the signs and symptoms generally become worse. Breasts may show shiny skin and red streaks throughout and the systemic symptoms of infection such as flu-like symptoms, headaches and temperature will have kicked in.

The Microbiome

One of our best protective measures we have is our microbiome.  The microbiome needs to be in a healthy balance, with more ‘good’ protective bacteria (also known as probiotics), and less pathogens (‘bad’ bacteria).

The greatest concentration of bacteria and microbes live in our gut, but breast milk and breast tissue has its own microbiome that supports the immune system, reduces local inflammation and acts as a protective army against the pathogenic bacteria that create infection.

If you have healthy and robust levels of good bacteria in your breast milk, you are less likely to get mastitis.

This is where specific probiotics can be extremely helpful. When you take specific strains of probiotics it can increase the beneficial flora in you breast milk, reduce local inflammation and kill the ‘bad bugs’ that can cause the pain and infection. 

Other potential pathways to Mastitis

Our daily diet, lifestyle and environment can also impact our gut and breastmilk microbiome, even from far back as pre-conception.

The following may contribute to compromised gut and breast milk flora, from pre-conception to feeding:

  • Poor diet
  • Moderate to high levels of stress
  • Environmental toxins
  • Regular use of medications, such as ibuprofen, steroids, contraceptive pill, and antibiotics

So then;

  • You don’t have the good bacteria to reduce local inflammation
  • Your systemic immune system is compromised as it relies on a robust microbiome to fight infection
  • Pathogenic bacteria can easily overgrow causing infection

Lactobacillus Fermentum CECT5716

The thing about probiotics is you need the right one for the job. They’re all essentially beneficial but not always effective to treat a specific condition. The single strain probiotic, Lactobacillus Fermentum CECT5716, originally isolated from healthy human breastmilk, has been specifically researched for pregnancy, breastfeeding and infants.

Clinical research has shown that this strain of probiotic directly inhibits the growth of the infective bacteria that can cause breast pain and mild mastitis. 

Taking this strain of probiotic from third trimester, you boost your beneficial microbiome levels, protect against the negative effects of antibiotics, support your immune system and reduce your chances of getting breast pain or mild mastitis, with the ultimate goal of successful continuation of breast feeding.

Qiara is a family of breastmilk isolated probiotics for pregnancy, breastfeeding, infant, kid and adult. Supporting lifelong gut health with our awarded brand, most highly rated “Vitamin and Supplement” for Mum at @TellmebabyAU 2020 and 2021. Evidence-based for 7 health outcomes including : reducing mild mastitis, restore gut flora after antibiotic recovery, restoring good bacteria after csection, supporting immunity, improve good bacteria growth and supporting gastrointestinal health. Read over 2000 brand reviews and probiotic insights @Qiaraprobiotics : Buy online