The model, actress and mother-of-two detailed her experience with the breast infection, which caused a 104-degree fever
Brooklyn Decker opened up about motherhood and her postpartum experience in a new interview, detailing her “horribly painful” case of mastitis.
The 34-year-old model and actress, who has two children with husband Andy Roddick, detailed her mastitis diagnosis on the People podcast Me Becoming Mom. Decker was eight months postpartum and breastfeeding when she wore an underwire bra while filming on set, which she believes caused an infection and led to a 104-degree fever.
“It was horrible,” she told host Zoë Ruderman. “What I didn’t realize, which I should’ve known, is that underwire bras can cause mastitis and can affect milk production and letdown and all of that.”
Decker’s doctor confirmed that tight undergarments can cause inflammation of the breast tissue as they can restrict milk flow. Wearing a seat belt or carrying a heavy bag can reportedly put pressure on ducts, too.
The actress said her case of mastitis was terrible and almost felt like “a fever dream” because she avoided her symptoms for too long.
“I was so loopy from such a high fever and I was having so much pain and I couldn’t put my arm down and it was so hot,” she explained. “I just didn’t give my pain any credit at all. I didn’t know what was going on with me.”
According to Mayo Clinic, mastitis, common among breastfeeding mothers, is caused by improper nursing technique, a blocked milk duct or bacteria entering the breast through cracked nipples. Symptoms can include redness, swelling and pain in one or both breasts, and a high fever and chills. Antibiotics are usually required to treat the infection, which can affect milk production or lead women to wean their babies early.
Thankfully, there are companies that sell comfortable nursing bras specifically made to aid mothers in their breastfeeding journeys. Decker herself has teamed up with Bodily — a resource for women and maternal health — to create her own set of bras, underwear and and socks for postpartum mothers.
“As moms, you always put the needs of everyone before your own, which I think is instinct and also what I would want to do,” Decker said. “But then all of the sudden you hit a wall, like, ‘Oh my God, I can’t get through the day without a nap. I’m exhausted.’ I just was really depleted and I think it took probably two years for my body to fully recover from two childbirths that were two years apart.”
Moms, take note and acknowledge your pain.