Former actress Jewel Mische has been in "straight mommy mode" since her daughter Aislah Rose was born.
In an Instagram post last August 23, the new celebrity mom opened up about her first challenge as a mom—breastfeeding.
"It blows my mind God gave us the gift of breastfeeding! But... what a pain to get clogged milk ducts," she revealed in the post.
"No sleep + lazy pumping led to mastitis ... No sleep + lazy pumping + IGNORANCE led to surgery (for incision and drainage).
"I get why women give up on this. Motherhood is beautiful but breastfeeding is something else!! Grabe."
In an Instagram post dated October 3, Jewel gave an update on her condition.
"The mastitis I had was that bad, I was completely clogged on the one side, and a simple aspiration would’ve not been enough. I must say, it was quite devastating and was even more painful than labor and childbirth!" she described.
Mastitis is a painful condition that happens when breast tissues get infected and inflamed due to engorgement and clogged milk ducts. It commonly occurs during the first three months of nursing.
Signs that a nursing mom has mastitis include:
- breasts that are tender and/or warm to the touch
- swelling of the breast
- pain or burning sensation while breastfeeding
- skin redness, often in a wedge-shaped pattern, on the breast
- fever at 38.3 degree-Celcius or higher
- tiredness, aches and pain
The quickest way to treat mastitis is to fully empty the breasts of milk by nursing the baby even if it can get excruciatingly painful.
Pumping breast milk can do the trick, too.
Applying warm compress also helps loosen milk ducts.
Doctors may prescribe medication for the pain and, in some cases, antibiotics to fight bacteria.
Surgery is also sometimes needed to open the ducts and drain abscess or pus.
The condition can be prevented by making sure your baby is latching correctly every time you breastfeed. Try other nursing positions from time to time.
Do not miss a feeding session and avoid tight-fitting bras to prevent undue pressure on the breast.
Eat a healthy diet and have plenty of rest.
Jewel continued in her post, "It’s been super challenging for me emotionally and physically this past few weeks between Aislah being hospitalized, then myself!
"Not to mention the sleep deprivation plus just being a first time mom! — Happy to report that I’m back home.. and Aislah is as perfect as can be!!!
"I have a wound in my breast (this was the last photo captured where I can hold Aislah this way.. chest still hurts atm) and docs said I most likely won’t be able to breastfeed on this side anymore...
"BUT this too, SHALL TURN INTO A TESTIMONY!!! Because #ourGODisgreater, I don’t have sad stories, only testimonies—I salute all the mamas out there breastfeeding away!
"And in case you don’t have anyone to remind you.. You are not alone when you’re struggling. No matter what it’s about.
"We got this!"
THE GOOD NEWS IS...
Her first after-surgery checkup showed that her affected breast had healed "fantastically" and fast, too.
But her surgery raised another concern for Jewel. She had a wound in her chest that needed to heal, and doctors told her that she would most likely only be able to nurse her daughter on one side, the unaffected breast.
This prompted the breastfeeding momma to ask: "Will my baby get enough milk?"
Later on, Jewel gave another update on her Instagram post dated October 5.
"Breastfeeding makes me feel supernatural but also used to make me just wanna cry out of frustration!" she wrote.
"The episodes I had with mastitis was awful, and then I was told that my one breast most probably won’t produce milk anymore
"Despite all that I just couldn’t give up. Especially after watching the hole in my breast fill up with new flesh and heal itself."
Jewel trusted that God will heal her body so she can better nourish and care for her daughter.
One day, Jewel just decided to stop pumping and supplementing, and just nurse her three-month-old daughter.
"To everyone's amazement, Aislah had enough milk with one breast that same day!" the new mom revealed.
"She was unbothered and even slept throughout the night."
Another good news: After thinking that she might not produce milk or nurse on the affected breast, Jewel had breast milk flowing from it again.
Even though doctors warned her that she might continue to have nursing issues on the affected breast, she's taken it as a good sign.
The first-time mom remains optimistic about her and daughter Aislah's breastfeeding journey together.
"I am not sure how long our breastfeeding journey will continue, but one thing I do know is this type of feeding is temporary for us.
"I will be able to nurse from both sides again!"
This story originally appeared on SmartParenting.com.ph.
*Minor edits have been made by the PEP.ph editors.