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Thread: Do I have mastitis?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
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    108

    Default Do I have mastitis?

    There's an outbreak of whopping cough where I live, so my husband and I went ahead and got ourselves vaccinated yesterday (Tdap). Seven years ago I had an adverse reaction to Td vaccine that landed me in the ER (high fever, chills, vomiting, extreme headache - they thought I had meningitis). However, the doctors told me that the symptoms are consistent with a stomach flu, and so, until last night I never put two and two together.

    I woke up in the middle of the night achy all over, chills, awful headache, and fever climbing to 103.1. The fever is starting to come down owing to the ibuprofen I took.

    LO is 8.5 weeks, exclusively breastfed on demand, her diaper output is similar to before (she went from 3-4 medium size poops a day to sometimes 2 atomically/blow-out sized poops a day recently). She recently started sleeping for longer stretches at night, so I wake up with breasts that are a bit engorged and sore, but it usually resolves as soon as she drains them first thing in the morning (she loves to nurse!). Today they feel hot to the touch (but so is the rest of me), no pink or red streaking, no lumps, nipples are not cracked, her latch has been great.

    Do I have mastitis? If you think I do, what should I do and at what point should I be calling the doctor? LO is on my breast right now, chomping away.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2006
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    19,878

    Default Re: Do I have mastitis?

    I'm going to guess that this isn't mastitis, because it sounds like you don't have significant breast pain, or any lumps, and no red/pink skin patches or streaks. So my guess is that this is just a virus- maybe the flu? However, since we're going into the weekend I think it makes sense to call your doctor and try to get in today. If you need a scrip for antibiotics, it's a good idea to get it now- even though you'd only take it if you really felt like this was turning into mastitis.
    Coolest thing my big girl said recently: "How can you tell the world is moving when you are standing on it?"
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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
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    183

    Default Re: Do I have mastitis?

    Yeah, call the doc, better safe than sorry
    3/2011 {EBF to 6mos, now BF and BLS, CD, EC'ing since 5mos - in underwear at 11mos, and babywearing}
    Babywearing International has chapters - see if there's one near you... most have lending libraries!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
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    108

    Default Re: Do I have mastitis?

    So I called my GP, her office is closed on Fridays (???) and her secretary called me back (the doctor didn't even bother to follow-up herself) telling me I should be seen by their back up nurse practitioner on the other side of town (and how am I going to swing THAT with a fever and a 8-week old baby?).

    I guess I'll continue talking ibuprofen, hope for the best, and look for a new doctor ASAP.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
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    108

    Default Re: Do I have mastitis?

    P.S. I looked up the side effects of the vaccine I got and indeed all my symptoms are listed, under "rarely experienced" category. Lucky me!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Posts
    10,440

    Default Re: Do I have mastitis?

    To me, that sounds like a vaccine reaction and not mastitis. My grandfather used to have that sort of reaction to that same vaccine, and they stopped giving it to him when the third reaction almost killed him.

    Your breasts are probably red just from what's going on in your body.

    I'm OK with the doctor not calling you; I don't always call people back myself (I am a doc) but ask my staff to call back for me Our ped doesn't always call back herself but sometimes has the nurses call in her stead. If you like the doctor otherwise, it isn't worth firing her over it.
    Susan
    Mama to my all-natural boys: Ian, 9-4-04, 11.5 lbs; Colton, 11-7-06, 9 lbs, in the water; Logan, 12-8-08, 9 lbs; Gavin, 1-18-11, 9 lbs; and an angel 1-15-06
    18+ months and for Gavin, born with an incomplete cleft lip and incomplete posterior cleft palate
    Sealed for time and eternity, 7-7-93
    Always babywearing, cosleeping and cloth diapering. Living with oppositional defiant disorder and ADHD. Ask me about cloth diapering and sewing your own diapers!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Posts
    108

    Default Re: Do I have mastitis?

    aprilsmagic, I would have been perfectly fine with a nurse calling me back, but the person who called me back was a secretary (and thus completely unqualified to give medical advice apart from repeating whatever the doctor told her), basically telling me "we don't want anything to do with you, go be seen by somebody else." Not the first time I got this kind of attitude from them, but now I'm going to learn my lesson.

    Fever is up to 102.4, and that's after taking ibuprofen

  8. #8

    Default Re: Do I have mastitis?

    Do you have some kind of an urgent care place near you? Someone to drive you and baby, hopefully? Anyway...

    It still sounds like it's possibly not mastitis, or at the least could easily be something else. Also mild mastitis does not always require anti-biotics. But beware, someone may tell you that if you have to take anti-biotics, or are sick, or need any medication, that you have to pump and dump & give baby formula in the mean time. This is almost never true & is a headache you don't need on top of being sick. If you are prescribed something and told that, call your local LLL Leader, she should have a copy of Medications and Mothers Milk. We 'work' weekends. You can also try the LLL helpline but that does get backed up sometimes on weekends.

    Hope you feel better soon!

    Mastitis info: http://www.llli.org/docs/00000000000...atcanyoudo.pdf
    Medication & breastfeeding info:
    http://www.llli.org/docs/00000000000...tionsandbf.pdf

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Posts
    108

    Default Re: Do I have mastitis?

    Just wanted to say thanks to everybody who responded to my question. The on-call nurse confirmed that this was, indeed, a reaction to the vaccination (and while it's much less common to have a reaction this strong, it's not unheard of). After two days of misery, I'm feeling OK again and boy, I wouldn't wish this on anyone.

    Thank you!

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