Mastitis

I was hoping to be able to post some pictures and a bit of a recap of the party, but Iwoke up in the middle of the night with a raging case of mastitis. The lack of sleep + stress at the end of last week stopped my supply and/or let down so much so that I was only able to let down three times out of a normal 6. I guess there was really milk in there that the stress wouldn’t let out because milk back up causes mastitis. (Of course the stress of my milk not flowing just made me even more stressed which turned into a bit of a downward stress spiral!)

I’ve never actually HAD mastitis before¬† and I feel like crap. My left breast is red, hot, swollen and painful and I have a fever though I can’t find the thermometer to know how much. I woke up shivering severely in the middle of the night.

I am about to call the lactation consultant to see at what point I may need antibiotics (or hopefully not at all?) but if anyone has any advice on how to treat mastitis I’d love to hear it!

I hope I’ll be able to put together a recap of the party today or tonight, but it did go well –¬† after a bit of a rocky start! Even the cake came out well which was a pleasant surprise to me.

Hope you all had a great weekend..

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Christina says:

I would definitely get on the antibiotics as soon as possible. I had mastitis early on and the first antibiotics didn’t work. It turned into an abscess and I had to have a tube put into my breast to drain it. I had to have that in for 2 weeks – not fun at all. I hope it clears up soon for you!

Connie says:

So sorry to hear you’re going through this! It sounds awful! I hope it clears up quickly!!!

I’m 5 months pregnant with my first, and I’ve never even heard this could happen! I’m now reading up on it so I can learn how to avoid this from happening and what I can do in case it does. Thanks so much for sharing! So sorry to hear you’re so uncomfortable though! Get well soon!!!

ariana says:

Thanks everyone for the excellent advice..can you believe how many of us have had these issues? I love breastfeeding, but god, sometimes it really takes it’s toll!

One thing I wanted to mention that my lactation consultant said is that for mastitis (as opposed to clogged duct) that you should use cold compresses more than hot except for 20 minutes before feeding/pumping at which point you CAN use hot but don’t have to (according to her). I still feel a bunch of clogged ducts in there, so I am using the hot because I want to get those damn things out!

Kelsey says:

ABC Mama is right on the mark. I’ve had three bad cases of mastitis and one milder case. They have all coincided with major stress incidents, so there’s no question that stress matters if you ask me! Take a day off work and SLEEP. It will do wonders.

Marcia says:

Oh no, poor you! never had mastitis but I can only imagine the stress, I thought for sure my supply would tank after the b-day party. Can’t wait to see pics of the party, we had ours over the weekend too!

Farah says:

for a clogged duct – warm up a bowl/or sink or warm salt water (as warm as you can stand it water and painfully massage your breast until you just can’t stand it anymore. Hopefully milk will start to come out.

Hoping you feel better soon

Farah says:

I had it a few times also – I used the Gential Violet (turns stuff purple for a while but much better than antibiotic route)

Natalie says:

Ouch, ouch, ouch! There’s nothing worse. I never had mastitis, but I certainly had my fair share of clogged ducts. Poor thing! :(

Allison Johnson says:

The best thing I used for a warm compress was a diaper! Just fill the diaper with water and you can zap it in the microwave. Fits the boob perfect.

I had clogged ducts, but didnt get to mastitis. I took hot showers, hot compress and massaging the boob. If you have a fever though, you will probably require antibitoitcs. Call your OB!

Ava says:

I’m so sorry. Sounds like you’ve gotten some good advice. Hope it feels better soon,

Kimberly says:

Oh no… I’m so sorry. The last thing you need! I’m sorry I cannot commiserate with you on this one… but it sounds like you’ve been given lots of great advice. Take good care of yourself and feel all better soon!!!

I’m looking forward to the party post! :)

Anh says:

Never got mastitis but heard it is terribly painful. You poor thing. I hope you can get some rest and maybe some antibiotics to clear up the infection.

I got frequent clogs when I was nursing and the only way I could get rid of it was to apply a hot compress and afterward massage while pumping/nursing. For the hot compress, I’d take a diaper and pour in some hot water. Diapers can hold a ton of the warm liquid and won’t leak all over you. And when I say massage, I’m talking about a firm kneading of the engorged spot — none of that gentle massaging would work.

kari says:

agree w/ all pp’s on treating.
i had it once – it was horrible.
what helped me the most was hot shower/ massage / pumping often / cabbage leaf trick.
mostly – if you can… REST!!! (i know, easier said than done.. but try if you can!)

Joelle says:

Cabbage – Yes
Drink a beer – Yes
Warm compress – Yes
Massage – Yes
When you feed or pump – massage the tender/red spot – and point Jasper’s nose at the red spot. Supposedly it draws from that duct that it clogged

jbhat says:

Oh my goodness. Good luck and good riddance. At least your sense of humor is with you. The coleslaw comment cracked me up.

Stephanie says:

I agree with the other posters – if you’ve already got the fever and chills, it’s pretty unlikely that you can avoid the antibiotics. The concern is that if the infection is allowed to continue, it could form an abcess and they often need to be removed surgically – ugh!

I had mastitis twice – no fun. One thing my lactation consultant recommended at the time was massaging the hard spot to break up the clog. That, and pumping or nursing afterwards to try to loosen it. Good luck – sorry you’re feeling yucky! :(

ABC Mama says:

After getting a mastitis that required antibiotics I’ve been able to stop the next infections before they start. At the first sign I immediatly start with a warm shower while massaging the breast, 600 mg of ibuprofen, up my water intake, nursing/pumping as much as possible (varying baby’s position to stimulate different ducts), and TONS of rest. I basically take to the bed and rest until it’s better. It feels overly dramatic when I’m doing it, but I’d do anything to avoid a full on infection that needs antibiotics. A few extra hours in bed is a small price to pay.

On a side note: While on the antibiotics my milk turned slightly green. It was right around St. Patrick’s Day so I joked that they were celebrating without me :)

Stephanie C. says:

Skip the LC and go straight to the doc – sounds like you’ll need antibiotics and they can take 24 hours to kick in so the sooner the better!

CMC says:

Awwww, you poor dear! All that stress and bother got the best of you… hope it clears itself up soon!

ariana says:

Thanks guys, I called my mother and she’s bringing cabbage over. The funny thing is that two days ago I had cabbage coming out of my ears because I made coleslaw for 30 people! (To bad you can’t put coleslaw in there, I have plenty leftover). Now I can’t get the milk to come out of that breast again, so maybe there are some clogged ducts still.. I’m worried it’s going to explode soon! argh!

Diana says:

thats true … lol you must change the leaves if not you will be stinky…

Regan says:

Hello, I have a 7 month old daughter and have mastitis twice. The first time I had to go on an antibiotic. Try warm, moist heat and massage. A wet washcloth and a heating pad works OR you can take a disposable diaper, wet it and pop it in the microwave for 10-15 seconds (it’s less messy). The most important thing is to keep nursing!

Good luck!!
Regan

Karina says:

PS. Change the leaves as needed. Cabbage develops a stink with the warmth of your body!

Karina says:

Hi Ariana,
Just happened to glance at your heading on facebook and had to comment. The miracle cure is cabbage! Place a “raw” cabbage leaf inside your bra. Wear it consistently until the redness and pain subsides, in short, until you are cured. I have done this repeatedly and it really works. The cabbage seems to draw out the infection. Also make sure to direct warm water towards you while in the shower. I never had to take antibiotics with these remedy. It was recommended to me by an allopathic doctor.
Let me know if it works for you!
Best,
Karina

Diana says:

Hot Showers, it might sound strange but i also put CABBAGE on my breast… it worked for me, google it! Good luck… I know the pain i had it and i had a really bad fever, you also have to rest and drink lots of water.
http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg19426042.300-why-does-cabbage-work-as-treatment-for-mastitis-and-painful-breasts-when-breastfeeding.html

Megan says:

I had it twice and the antibiotics are definitely needed. Feel better!

Heather says:

You poor thing! Hope you feel better soon!

Susan says:

Hot showers with massage worked for me…helped clear the clog. With my mastitis, the doc said once you have a fever, antibiotics are the only thing that will clear it up. =( But I did feel better after a couple days. Wishing you a speedy recovery.

Sarah says:

Feel better! I have no advice, but just send good wishes.

Glad the party was a hit – you deserved it after all that work!