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When it comes to breastfeeding, it is normal that many doubts arise about how to do it in the best way for both the baby and the mother. In addition, there are many myths that are passed from generation to generation and that, in many cases, are not true. Guiainfantil has received a question from a nursing mother who wants to know if the rise in breast milk can cause fever in the mother.
To answer this question, at Guiainfantil Responds we have contacted Pilar Martínez. She is an International Breastfeeding Consultant, pharmacist and mother of two girls.
The message from this newly released mother that has reached Guiainfantil says the following:
Hello Pilar! I am starting to breastfeed and I have a fever.
Could it be because my milk is rising?
What medications can I take? Thank you!
You may have heard on occasion that the rise of breast milk it can cause a rise in body temperature in the mother. But is the fever really due to the fact that milk is starting to be produced?
So is. This breastfeeding consultant explains that, indeed, on certain occasions there may be some fever and discomfort when the milk begins to rise to the breast. However, it must be taken into account that this does not always happen, that is, it's not normal. Therefore, just because a mother does not have those tenths of a fever does not mean that she is not producing breast milk.
As Pilar Martínez explains, sometimes this fever during the rise in milk is related to highly medicalized deliveriesduring which it is necessary to resort to the administration of different drugs to the mother, as well as the administration of many serums when deliveries tend to be very long.
All of this can lead to inflammation in the chest, known as engorgement.
There is talk of engorgement when the mother's breast swells, tends to be harder and has a turgid appearance, even with certain red and shiny parts.
- Cause aches and pains in the mother's chest area.
- Cause a fever rise in women.
As suggested in the document on Breastfeeding proposed by the Government of La Rioja (Spain), it is necessary to differentiate between the breast that is swollen, hot and hard because there has been an increase in blood flow or milk has accumulated, from that engorged chest that tends to be edematous, shiny, and red.
Engorgement becomes one of the first problems that can occur when we start breastfeeding. And also because of it, many families decide to stop breastfeeding and opt for artificial breastfeeding.
When engorgement occurs in the chest, the baby may find it more difficult to latch onto the nipple, since the breast is harder and it can even become more stretched. For this reason, it is recommended that the mother herself 'release' the breast by expressing this breast milk. To do this, you can use a breast pump of the model that is most comfortable for you. In this way, it will be softer and the baby will not have so much trouble sucking.
Thanks to this, we will achieve that in approximately one or two days the engorgement will disappear and with it the fever and the mother's discomfort.
Despite the fever that rising milk can cause, the mother can continue to breastfeed normally. In fact, as we have just seen, expressing the milk and putting the baby to breastfeed are the best recommendations to end engorgement.
To end the fever, the nursing mother can take antipyretics prescribed by your doctor. To find out which medications are compatible with breastfeeding, it is best to ask our doctor, although we can also consult the portal elactancia.org. Here the different drugs can be searched to find out if they are very low, low, high or very high risk for the baby who is breastfeeding.
In the case of acetaminophen and ibuprofen, two of the most commonly used drugs as a treatment for fever, the risk to the baby or the mother during breastfeeding is very low. Thus, both are safe for that mother who has a fever and is breastfeeding.
As this lactation consultant points out, there is a belief that mothers can hardly take medication while breastfeeding. However, the number of drugs not compatible with breastfeeding is much more limited than we usually think, since few pass into breast milk in high concentrations. Yes, we must take precautions with anti-depression drugs, anxiolytics, some antihistamines or chemotherapy drugs. If in doubt, it is best to consult with a health specialist.
You can read more articles similar to The rise in breast milk can give a mother a fever, yes or no?, in the category of On-site Breastfeeding.