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Thread: mastitis and extreme nipple pain...help!

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Minot AFB, ND
    Posts
    2

    Default mastitis and extreme nipple pain...help!

    My baby is now 4 weeks old and I'm breast feeding him along with pumping. I just found out yesterday that I have a breast infection, and I'm on antibiotics to get rid of it. My issue is that I'm still supposed to nurse on the infected breast, but my nipple pain is terrible when he first latches. It is definitly a toe-curling, burning pain! Both of my nipples are starting to crack a little. I let them air dry...I use lanolin and it doesn't seem to help. I have no clue what to do. I've been trying to get a hold of my local lactation consultant, but apparently she is a busy woman. I just feel very frustrated and alone. I do not want to stop breast feeding my baby, because I know it is the best thing for him. Any suggestions or experiences that could help me out?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Northern Cal.
    Posts
    4,984

    Default Re: mastitis and extreme nipple pain...h

    That sounds like no fun! But unfortunately, the WORST thing you could do right now is not nurse the infected breast. You absolutely must empty that side as much as possible. If it's really unbearable, try pumping for just part of the time. I would switch from lanolin to bacitracin or polysporin ointment, though. It's antibacterial (and you have a bacterial infection) and in my experience helps heal cracks a little better than lanolin. When I had mastitis I also found it helpful to massage my breasts vigorously in a hot bath, where I had added salt (another antibacterial). Get the milk flowing and massage any sore spots that might be clogged. It's also good to massage your breasts while you nurse, also going for any painful spots (this kind of hurts, sorry ).

    Did you have cracked nipples before you got mastitis? I'm worried that (a) you might have latch problems; or (b) you might have thrush. For those, it would be best to see someone in person to have them take a look at your latch and at the state of your nipples. I would keep trying to get a hold of the LC.

    I hate to tell you that you need to grin and bear some pain in nursing, but if you're going to get through this mastitis, the best thing is to keep on nursing. Allowing your breasts to get engorged can make the infection a lot worse. If you are absolutely desperate, you can pump, but keep in mind that it doesn't work as well as nursing to empty the breasts, so you shouldn't switch to only pumping if you're suffering from mastitis, as hard as that is. So do your best to get through tonight, and I hope you can see that LC tomorrow for some hands' on help!


    You can call me JoMo!

    Mom to baby boy Joe, born 5/4/09 and breastfed for more than two and a half years, and baby girl Maggie, born 7/9/12.

  3. #3

    Default Re: mastitis and extreme nipple pain...h

    pp has great suggestions, you need to keep getting the milk out-nursing is best for this, pumping (as long as the pumping is not reinjuring you) is next, or hand expression, which would likley be the least painful option but not all moms can hand express well.

    Once you are over the mastitis, it may be a good idea to look at what is going on and try to pinpoint why you got it, as well as figure out why nursing is hurting so, it should not, that is a huge red flag something is up. But for right now you need to rest and get over the mastitis.

    More mastitis tips: http://www.llli.org/docs/00000000000...atcanyoudo.pdf

    hand expression: http://www.llli.org/docs/00000000000...expression.pdf

    even if you find you have to temporarily stop nursing, as long as you keep your milk supply appropriate by pumping you can keep trying. It's harder than just working on the issues while baby continues to nurse, but you gotta do what you gotta do.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Minot AFB, ND
    Posts
    2

    Default Re: mastitis and extreme nipple pain...h

    Thanks so much for the advice. My nipples only cracked once right when I brought him home from the hospital. I guess I'll just push through the pain for now. The whole thrush thing worries me though. But I just saw the doctor yesterday. Also ever since I felt this way it seems like he wants to eat more often. He usually eats every 3 hours but now it's like every 2 hours or every hour and a half. So not only am I in pain but I'm not getting any sleep either . I dunno maybe he's just going through a growth spurt. But trust me I'm calling the LC's office every day until I can get a hold of her. I know I need help from someone in person.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    19,888

    Default Re: mastitis and extreme nipple pain...h

    I agree, you definitely need some hands-on help!

    Thrush cracks are often slit-like and there can be several of them, sometimes radiating around the nipple. When there's a latch issue, the cracks tend to be wider, and there's usually only one crack per nipple. How would you describe the cracks you have?
    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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