‘This Is Mastitis,’ Painful Photo Shows What Hard Work Breastfeeding Really Is ‘This Is Mastitis,’ Painful Photo Shows What Hard Work Breastfeeding Really Is
Breastfeeding is beautiful and natural and it’s free and has loads of benefits for mother and baby, but it’s also really, really hard work,... ‘This Is Mastitis,’ Painful Photo Shows What Hard Work Breastfeeding Really Is

Breastfeeding is beautiful and natural and it’s free and has loads of benefits for mother and baby, but it’s also really, really hard work, and a lot of women aren’t prepared for just how difficult it really is. U.K. mother Remi Peers managed to nurse for more than a year after some really hard starts, and she recently posted a photo of herself suffering from severe mastitis to raise awareness of how tough breastfeeding can be and the fact that women need more support and resources to help them nurse if they want to.

Writing on Instagram as “mamaclog,” Peers wrote that her milk didn’t come in for five days, and she didn’t even know what “milk coming in” meant, because nobody had told her about that, and she’d been so sold on breastfeeding as a natural thing to do that it didn’t occur to her that she’d need help or books or more information.

Like many mothers, Peers assumed that if she wanted to breastfeed, she just had to put the baby on her boob and everything would start working.

Peers’ hospital doesn’t seem to have helped much, either. She says she was the only woman on her ward even attempting to breastfeed. One other mother tried at first, but after 12 hours stopped and switched to formula because she “had no milk,” because she didn’t know what “milk coming in” meant either.

Lack of breastfeeding education was a serious problem for Peers, because, for example, she didn’t know what a good latch looked like. Nursing with the baby latched on well is great. Nursing with a bad latch is painful and can lead to cracked nipples, bleeding and pus, and basically feeling like your adorable little baby is a giant hamster trying to gnaw your nipples off. Nobody had even told Peers that breastfeeding can hurt. She just heard that it was natural, so she figured it’d be easy and painless, and when it hurt she didn’t know if she was doing anything wrong or what to do about it.

Like many mothers, Peers was nervous about nursing in public and afraid of being confronted or shamed for public breastfeeding–which is not an unreasonable fear, because it happens all the time. But her reticence to nurse in public meant that she would nurse in bathrooms or pump at home and use a bottle in public, which lead to engorgement and clogged milk ducts, which in turn led to mastitis.

Mastitis is what happens when a blocked milk duct gets infected, and it’s excruciatingly painful.  Peers’ mastitis was so bad she developed sepsis, and she was rushed to the hospital and given morphine and the strongest antibiotics they had.  She had to spend two nights away from her baby, and it was terrible.

Peers says she’s sharing the photo to help spread the word that breastfeeding can be very difficult, in the hopes that it will encourage women to seek out help, either from books, Internet fora, or prenatal breastfeeding classes. Because breastfeeding is natural, but that doesn’t mean it’s easy, and a little help can go a long way.

Did you have trouble with breastfeeding? Let us know in the comments.

Henry Okafor

  • Tina Santos

    2017-06-09 #1 Author

    Warm compress and unlimited latching really helps in relieving mastitis, but it’s much better that you seek professional advice.


  • Alexus Milligan

    2017-06-09 #2 Author

    Omg thats got to be painful. The worst at that .while I was pregnant with my son he latched on pretty great but had those moment where my milk came in alot pretty quickly & was squirting strangers in the eye left me with a wet shirts & embarrassing look like I’m sorry I really didn’t do it on purpose 😥 boobs felt like rocks & it was awfully painful. Breastfeeding takes a toll on you I didn’t let my son out of my sight in the hospital idk how she did it. I didn’t get any sleep but my mom had to put him in the nursery for the last night and she had to watch him cus I didn’t trust no one else. But I’m so sorry she had to go thru this…


  • Alesha

    2017-06-09 #3 Author

    The only problem I have with breastfeeding is the initial latch. It takes time for the milk to come in. I started breastfeeding my baby as soon as she was delivered, my milk wasn’t developed but colostrum was what was coming out. My milk didn’t come in for another two days, but I never gave up on breastfeeding even tho I felt my milk wasn’t coming in. With the right support from a lactation consultant, they helped me figure out what I was doing wrong and helped me to breastfeed in a way that me and my baby could work with.


  • JANEE Scott

    2017-06-09 #4 Author

    It was at first but once he got use to it… it was down hill from dare he ain’t need no help lol


  • Da’Shae

    2017-06-09 #5 Author

    Omg that’s what I fear of breastfeeding i don’t want my daughter to latch on wrong.


  • Nikki

    2017-06-09 #6 Author

    Wow I wanted to breastfeed but I that it really hurts


  • DeKayla

    2017-06-09 #7 Author

    My daughter is a month she had no problem latching on or getting enough milk she just sucked extremely hard n caused my nipples to bleed it hurted so bad but after they healed n we tried again it was perfect


  • Pasha Jackson

    2017-06-09 #8 Author

    I didnt know how hard it really was until I watched my sister do it , her nipples swelled , leaked like crazy , and even blistered .


  • Cheyanne

    2017-06-09 #9 Author

    That’s so sad … I breastfed my son for only a solid month. I was so stuck on breastfeeding that when my baby stopped latching & I felt like I wasn’t producing enough it got hard. He constantly wanted to be on me eating and I didn’t know if he had eaten enough. I was overly tired & turned to pumping. Pumping was so hard for me , barely any milk was coming out and when it was it took forever. I wish I knew how hard breastfeeding really was. Now my baby boy is on soy formula.


  • Amanda

    2017-06-09 #10 Author

    Don’t give up one it. It will get easlier


  • Ashley Martin

    2017-06-09 #11 Author

    I Am A First Time mommy And I Was So Scared My Baby Girl Wouldn’t Latch. It Was Difficult For Us Both But My Milk Came In In 2 Days & Now Its So Much Easier For Her To Latch. It Hurts But Its Totally Worth It.


  • Dianna Holmes

    2017-06-09 #12 Author

    Omg I remember I went through this with my daughter. I thought I had the flu because of the chills and high fever til I realized my right breast was in so much pain


  • Miranda

    2017-06-09 #13 Author

    Mastitis is probably one of the most difficult thing to go through as a mother that’s feeding. It discourages you to continue to go through feeding, but the pain and everything is so worth it because the bond that breastfeeding creates is irreplaceable. I had so many lumps and my whole breast looked bruised. But with proper care, and antibiotics it went away.


  • Kadeja

    2017-06-09 #14 Author

    I breastfed my first child (4) for 19 months no problems. My second child (3 weeks) I’m breastfeeding now seems like I’m not producing enough so she constantly cluster feeds and idk if she’s getting enough…. but when I pump I pump at least 4-5 oz together from both breast … so I’m about to pump more to see if that satisfy her.


  • Nicole milton

    2017-06-09 #15 Author

    My biggest fear about breastfeeding.


  • Mariam

    2017-06-15 #16 Author

    It is very difficult really😥


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