Wife, Mummy, Nurse: Mastitis {#BFBlogHop}

24 August 2012

Mastitis {#BFBlogHop}



I remember it like it was yesterday.  2:30 AM August 25, 2010.  I had just finished nursing my daughter.  The whole time I was having chills and could not seem to be getting myself warm.  I took my temperature it was 99.9 degrees, never mind that I had been drinking ice water a few moments before.  I decided to wait 20 minutes to take it again.  This time it was 102+ degrees.  I felt horrible, like a truck had hit me.  My body was achy, I had chills and a fever, and my left breast was painful.  I decided to call the doctor on call shortly after 3:00 AM.  I told him my symptoms, and he thought it was mastitis and told me to schedule an appointment first thing in the morning.  My husband took me to the doctor that morning and I was given a prescription for antibiotics.

Mastitis is a breast infection that can be caused by a plugged duct or broken skin on the nipple.  Symptoms include {but are not limited to}:

  • Breast pain
  • Fever/Chills
  • Achy, flu-like symptoms
  • Tender, red, warm breast
  • Red streaks on breast
If you have these symptoms and are breastfeeding, call your health care provider.  

Treatment includes:
  • Rest, rest, rest, and even more rest.  If you need help, don't be afraid to ask a friend.  One of the blessings about my husband not having a job after giving birth, is he was able to be home and help me during this time.  The ladies at church also made meals for us the first few weeks after Charis was born.
  • Drink fluids.  I tried to drink a glass every time I sat down to nurse Charis.
  • Moist heat applied to your breast and nurse shortly after applying the heat.  I warmed a wash cloth and put it on my breast.  Charis would nurse 3-5 minutes after I put the wash cloth on.
  • Continue to breastfeed.  If you stop breastfeeding, you are at increased risk for complications, such as an abscess, which would need to be surgically drained.
  • Antibiotics.  Take as prescribed for the whole duration.
Have you had mastitis?  Or any other complications while breastfeeding?

28 comments:

  1. i had this with ashton and it was horrible so horrible that i just gave up on bf. i hope to be able to bf new baby on the way. hear you out sarah

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  2. So sorry you had mastitis, but great that you were able to start treating it so quickly!

    My own bout with mastitis was similar and I hope to never experience it again.

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  3. I struggled with blocked ducts every week for about 3-4 weeks and they would last a few days. Then I got mastitis on the 4th of July. I'd been on the verge of it every week with a low grade fever, but I knew when I was outside on the 4th of July in the FL heat and I was wearing a SWEATER that I better take my temp. It was 103. Called the on call OBGYN and got an Rx for antibiotics that night!

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  4. I've not had mastitis, but I did have a blocked duct for a day or two. That hurt so much...I can't even imagine it getting worse!

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  5. wow thanks for posting... I have not had the big M... knock on wood

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  6. My sister had mastitis and I remember how horrible it was for her. Thank you for the tips. I also learned from her that massaging your breasts prior to breastfeeding can also help avoid it

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  7. Sorry you had to go thru that but glad you had a lot of help to get thru it it sounds like! I am fortunate to have never had mastitis or thrush, both of which scare me!

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  8. That sounds awful! Hope I don't get afflicted when I start breastfeeding.

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  9. I am in fear of getting mastitis! My 6 week old sleeps for very long stretches at night -- crazy, I know! Which is great, but also horrible at the same time. I can't bring myself to wake her up in the middle of the night, so almost every morning after our first feeding I have to pump a couple minutes to relieve. I am hoping my body regulates itself very soon :(

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  10. I had a friend who had mastitis, and was quite miserable. I hope to avoid it entirely

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  11. i frequently get plugged ducts. I'm struggling to get rid of one now!

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  12. There is hope!! I had it 3 times in the first 3 months. I was feeding and pumping constantly. I was so concerned that I would keep getting if.

    now he's 6 months, still ebf and we are happy and healthy.

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  13. I had mastitis twice. It's miserable because of the pain, but also the fever and aches. The list you gave is exactly what my doctor had me do. It worked and we were able to continue breastfeeding, but it does take patience. Great post!

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  14. I haven't had mastitis and hoping to avoid it. My daughter was born with a tongue tie so after the first couple days I had some nice cracked and bleeding nipples. Luckily we received some help and after a week I got a nipple shield so I could heal, she had her tongue tie clipped and now things are going pretty well.

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  15. Thanks for the tips! My first is due in November, and I'm worried about things like this. Some of my friends have dealt with this, and it sounds scary and painful! :(

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  16. Oh I remember my bout with mastitis the irst time I breastfed...awful terrible! So sorry....

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  17. Hi! Thanks for visiting my blog! :)

    I am so hoping to avoid mastitis this time around. I escaped with just some really bad clogged ducts last time.

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  18. Luckily I recognized mastitis right away when I got it and was able to get antibiotics. It was awful.

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  19. I can not even tell you how many times I have gotten mastitis. Ugh it is so awful. Tho I haven't had to get antibiotics or anything for it yet, because I realized I had it every time because of the fever

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  20. I can not even tell you how many times I have gotten mastitis. Ugh it is so awful. Tho I haven't had to get antibiotics or anything for it yet, because I realized I had it every time because of the fever

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  21. Knock on wood I haven't had gotten mastitis but I used to get plugged ducts all the time. Now, I "dangle feed" and that fixes it.

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  22. I have breastfed all three of my babies and only with my last one did I get mastitis - and what an event it was! It took me a day or two to realise what it was (with the help of my midwife) and get antibiotics. The 12 hours before they kicked in were the most awful - such intense pain that I cried all night. My infection turned in to full blown cellulitis and an abscess which needed to be surgically drained. All very stressful with a 4 week old baby and two kids at home! As well as antibiotics, what helped me the most (after the surgery I had two more bouts of 'minor' mastitis) was hot cloths applied to the blocked area just before feeding and massaging the lump/s while feeding or in the shower.

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    1. Oh, another thing the lactation consultants told me was get baby to latch on with his chin pointing toward the blocked area. Sometimes the movement of the jaw can help to drain it better.

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  23. Luckily we haven't had any problems like mastitis yet. The post has been very helpful, though, because now thanks to what you wrote and some of the comments I know what to look for and how to help treat it if it should occur.

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  24. I am getting ready for my first baby and plan to breastfeed. but its interesting. My cat actually got this after kittens... and they CUT off her breast tissue to the muscle. it was terrible. She healed eventually.

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  25. Thankfullyi have never had mastitis! I cant imagine how painful it must be!

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  26. I got mastitis in the first couple of months with my daughter. I wasn't letting my pump drain me completely. It was HORRIBLE!

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  27. I'm not sure if it was actually mastitis but I had a huge lump in my left breast. It didn't hurt but I finally got it to go away by nursing my baby on that side and massaging it ...took about 5 days to go away.

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