I met a mum at Basger's Pharmacy, my usual Wednesday morning venue at Bondi. She'd come in with a story of a recent bout of mastitis.
Very painful and had left her a bit drained. She'd had the antibiotics and mentioned a white spot on her nipple. I had one of my aha! moments.
Often, an unresolved white spot on the nipple can lead to mastitis if it's not removed.
It blocks the duct and can be resistant to being removed by normal baby sucking at the breast. It can harden and skin over and crust around it.
Here's a pic of what it looks like.
So what is a white spot? It's milk that has dried and skin has crusted over it.
And what should you do if you have one?
Try and remove with warm water and a facecloth/sponge. If it still won't budge it may need medical attention and a sterile needle to remove it. I have removed several in my career. I know it sounds awful but I know which I'd prefer and it's not the mastitis.
Often white spots can re-occur. We don't know why.
If you're not sure what to do speak to a midwife, lactation or child and family health nurse or your GP. I'm sure they'll have seen them before and will know what to do. It's so important to sort them out before you get mastitis.
I'm just so glad that the lady I saw today mentioned it. As soon as I saw it I knew exactly what it was and what to do.