Information about breastfeeding problems and breast inflammation.
The "SuSe" study, carried out for the German Federal Ministry of Health and published by the German Nutrition Society (DGE) in their Nutrition Report 2000, found that 91% of women attempt to breastfeed immediately after birth. After 14 days, however, the proportion falls to just 60%, and after two months only 42% are still breastfeeding exclusively. The WHO and the National Breastfeeding Commission in Germany recommend six months of exclusive breastfeeding.
According to the SuSe study, 60% of the mothers surveyed had breastfeeding problems even after 14 days. The most common problem reported, with a figure of 34%, was sore nipples. Not only are sore nipples very painful and therefore often the reason for premature weaning, Germany's Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR) also states that they pose an increased risk of infection, frequently leading to mastitis (inflammation of the mammary glands).
How can breast inflammation be prevented?
The following hygienic and therapeutic measures can be taken to combat mastitis during breastfeeding:
- Wash the nipple daily with plain water (without soap)
- Do not use soap or other cleansers in the area of the breast as these can irritate the skin
- Between individual feeds, cover the nipple with a clean and dry nursing pad
- Be sure to latch your baby on properly (it's best to ask a midwife to show you how)
- Prevent plugged milk ducts by latching your baby on regularly
- Low-level laser treatment or LED light therapy
LED light therapy
Laser treatments are offered from time to time by hospitals and lactation consultants. Low-level laser therapy (LLLT) is very effective, but it requires safety measures such as the wearing of laser goggles and can only be carried out by specialists.
LED light therapy is based on a similar technology to LLLT, but as the light intensity is lower, there is no need to wear protective goggles and it can be performed without specialist knowledge. When used close to the surface of the skin, the monochromatic light emitting diode (LED) used in LumiFem light therapy is virtually identical in its effects to a laser diode of similar wavelength. LumiFem light therapy is therefore ideal for use on sore nipples and mastitis in its initial stages.
- Deutsche Gesellschaft für Ernährung e.V., DGE aktuell 4/2001
- Regine Gresens, Stillen soll nicht schmerzhaft sein (Breastfeeding is not meant to be painful), Deutsche Hebammenzeitschrift 1/2007
- Stillen und Muttermilchernährung. Grundlagen, Erfahrungen und Empfehlungen (Breastfeeding and breastmilk nutrition: foundations, evidence, and recommendations), Bundeszentrale für gesundheitliche Aufklärung, Köln 2001
- In the Comparative Literature Review for approval of the LumiFem device, you can find further scientific information regarding low-level laser therapy and LED phototherapy (light therapy) and how they work.
Legal notice from the German Advertising of Medicines Law
For legal reasons we hereby advise that none of the information given is intended to create the impression that a cure is promised here or that alleviation or improvement in afflictions and diseases are guaranteed or promised.