My 2nd DD was born 6/24/11 and we've had a rough go with bf'ing. Started out with a cracked nipple due to improper latch that took a few weeks to heal, then I got mastitis in the other breast, which quickly escalated into an abscess. I had to have that drained and stay overnight in the hospital for antibiotics. Got home yesterday from the hospital and put DD to the affected breast (per the LC's encouragement) using the football hold to avoid my incision. I didn't latch her on properly (more at a side angle) and now I have two bulging milk blisters on that nipple and maybe a small crack. I switched to pumping on that breast and nursing on the other so the baby wouldn't introduce any (more) bacteria into the "hurt" side. I called the LC, who advised to soak the nipple in warm water and do warm compresses, and maybe hand express vs. using the pump.
I nursed my 1st DD for 27 months. Had 3 minor instances of mastitis early on, but never the problems I'm having now. LC suggested it was because of a lowered immune system due to lack of rest. It is impossible to rest when baby sleeps with a 4-year-old in the house. I'm feeling ready to start exclusively pumping and have entertained the notion of formula feeding (even though I know I just need to persevere and get over this bad time because it will get better). I really want to continue breastfeeding, because I want my 2nd DD to have the benefits of breast milk, especially since we have several of the diseases in our family that breast milk helps ward off--diabetes, Crohn's, etc. The thoughts of having to go through another abscess drainage and mastitis are starting to make me doubt my ability to overcome this.
I'd appreciate any support or advice you can offer. Thanks!!