Fitness + Well-being

Mom shares photos of painful breast-feeding infection in viral Facebook post

Breast-feeding has some potentially big benefits for Mom and Baby, including better immune function and fewer illnesses for your little one. But as many moms know, breast-feeding isn’t always easy.

In a Wednesday Facebook post that has since gone viral, mom Jessica Martin-Weber writes about a painful bout with mastitis, a breast tissue infection that sometimes occurs while breast-feeding. The condition can lead to swelling, tenderness, redness and warmth, and in her post Martin-Weber shares photos in which she’s on her knees with her newborn underneath her to help drain the milk from her breast.

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“These photos are of me trying to survive,” Martin-Weber, who maintains the website The Leaky Boob, writes. “My temp here was over 103 and I was in agony. Complete and utter agony.”

Mastitis can be caused by bacteria entering the milk duct through a crack in the skin on the nipple, as well as from a blocked milk duct, according to the Mayo Clinic. In Martin-Weber’s case, a too-tight bra with a skipped feeding was “the perfect storm” that caused the condition, she shares.

“This was my 5th baby and only my 2nd time with mastitis. I knew what had caused it,” she writes.

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According to the Mayo Clinic, women with mastitis may begin to exhibit flu-like symptoms before noticing physical signs on their breasts. While the antibacterial properties of milk protect babies from the infection, women with mastitis should call their doctor if they suspect they are infected. Not receiving prompt treatment can lead to an abscess that may need to be surgically drained, according to the Mayo Clinic.

As for Martin-Weber, the mom of six’s honest post is garnering support from thousands of moms across the web. As of Monday afternoon, her post had garnered over 2,000 reactions, about 330 shares, and nearly 400 comments.

“Parenting isn't all sun spotted mother goddess moments or white drenched stock photography families,” she writes. “There are these moments too with fevers and pain and unflattering positions as Netflix (sic) blares in the background and kids devour every goldfish in the house. And we survive.”

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