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Jewel Mische Opens Up About Having Breast Surgery Due to Mastitis
PHOTO BY @mischejewel/Instagram
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  • Former actress Jewel Mische, now based in the U.S., re-emerged in local showbiz news last year when she announced that she and husband Alex Kurzer were expecting their first child three years into the marriage. That she sported a tiny baby bump when she was already eight months pregnant was another beautiful aspect of her pregnancy journey. 

    On July 13, Jewel gave birth to her first child, a baby girl whom they have named Aislah Rose. After birth, their little angel had to stay in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) to undergo phototherapy due to jaundice, but it wasn't long before the new mom and baby were allowed to go home, well and healthy. 

    Six weeks after welcoming her first child, however, Jewel was up against yet another challenge; this time, involving breastfeeding. The first-time mom shared on Instagram that she experienced clogged ducts and mastitis, and needed surgery to resolve the condition. 

    "I’ve been in straight mommy mode the past six weeks. Diapers, breastfeeding, not a lot of sleep, soothing, recovering from natural birth and now healing from surgery," Jewel wrote on August 23. "It blows my mind God gave us the gift of breastfeeding! But... what a pain to get clogged milk ducts," she added. 

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    Jewel briefly explained that because of sleep deprivation or having little to no sleep, she became inconsistent with pumping breast milk. This eventually led to having clogged milk ducts that escalated to mastitis, for which Jewel needed surgery. 

    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 could get excruciatingly painful. Pumping breast milk could 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, by trying other nursing positions from time to time, not missing a feeding session, avoiding tight-fitting bras or undue pressure on the breast, and eating a healthy diet and having plenty of rest.

    What other parents are reading

    "I get why women give up on this. Motherhood is beautiful, but breastfeeding is something else!! Grabe," Jewel said. The new mom also shared that the past few weeks have been "super challenging... emotionally and physically" for her.

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    "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!" Jewel described in an Instagram post on October 3.  

    Still, Jewel is happy to report that she's back home after the surgery. Her first after-surgery checkup showed that her affected breast had healed "fantastically" and fast, too. "Just after six weeks, you can’t even tell I had the incision," the new mom wrote. She didn't get any stitches so the inch-sized incision can heal from the inside out. 

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    Having had breast surgery, Jewel had another issue brewing in her mind. 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?"


    "Breastfeeding makes me feel supernatural but also used to make me just wanna cry out of frustration!" Jewel wrote on Instagram on October 5. "The episodes I had with mastitis was awful, and then I was told that my one breast most probably won’t produce milk anymore," she added.

    "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," the new mom continued. 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 daughter, now three months old, even if it means they "will both suffer for a few days" as one of her breasts produces more milk to compensate for the other. 

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    "To everyone’s amazement, Aislah had enough milk with one breast that same day!" the new mom happily shared the answer to her constant worry since the surgery. "She was unbothered and even slept throughout the night," Jewel added. 


    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," she wrote. "I will be able to nurse from both sides again!" the new mom added. 

    What other parents are reading

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