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Thread: Have Mastitis: Really need support & encouragement

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Maryland
    Posts
    74

    Default Have Mastitis: Really need support & encouragement

    My newborn daughter is barely 2 months old and breastfeeding did not start off as easily as I assumed. I went to several courses, read a mountain of books and watched so many videos, I felt like I was a pro before she was even born BUT latching on was easy, but unfortunately, my breast milk did not start producing until almost 5 days after I left the hospital (which was 8 days after she was born). As a result, we have been supplementing (at first) with formula. Once my breast milk was established, lo and behold, I fell seriously ill - so ill I could not even sit up in bed and hold the baby without shaking.

    Since I was heavily medicated and pure exhausted, we decided not to breastfeed, but continued pumping (and tossing) as often as I had energy - so my breast milk production was saved.

    Finally, after forcing myself to get better, my daughter was finally breastfed and I was well enough to take care of her. Breastfeeding went perfect for about a week until now.

    (Because of a really really mean/rude boss) I have to go back to work. Even when I'm not physically at the office, he kept calling, emailing and harassing me to do work while I was at home on maternity leave. I know this is illegal, but until I quit my job, I'm stuck. My schedule has become quite hectic and I've begun to rely heavily on pumping and less on actual breastfeeding.

    It started out as engorgement:

    I was late pumping or I skipped a feeding session because I was unable to (I would be in a meeting or driving or somewhere without my pumping equipment),

    Or

    I come home ready to breastfeed, but my mother didn't realize I was going to be home at that time and just fed her a bottle

    It was one thing or another, and by the weekend, my breasts were painfully swollen with angry red marks. It made me cry to even put a shirt over the breasts (they were so tender) and pumping or hand expressing or breastfeeding has become torture.

    I've been to a Lactation Consultant who spent a morning helping me relieve my breasts (involves a hospital grade pump and her determined squeezing, plus my painful whimpers). She quickly called my OB right after our session and asked him to start me on antibodies and informed me I have a severe case of Mastitis. When I heard how serious things were, I could've cried.

    That was yesterday.

    Today, I'm trying to do as instructed: pump or breastfeed as much as possible, and firmly massage the hard chunks in my breasts (even if it makes me want to scream with pain). It doesn't help my family was against breastfeeding from the beginning.

    Yes, I know breastfeeding is the best for the child and ALL the benefits of breastfeeding. It is why I was absolutely determined to continue breastfeeding, even when the beginning was extremely rocky, but my family has watched me fall ill and go through a lot of pain to get this to work. I'm exhausted all the time and I can barely function from lack of sleep. It's killing my family to see the pain I'm in - they all told me that I should consider stopping and that I should be happy I've already breastfed a bit - "it's better than nothing" - they say.

    I'm feeling quite alone and ready to give up... especially since the formula is sitting right there and such an easy route to take. Now, with mastitis, I'm barely getting 3 hours of sleep a night, since I am in so much pain. During the day, I struggle just to get by a work or even drive without feeling like I'm about to pass out from lack of sleep... and I feel like screaming every time I'm pumping.

    The dark-side is enticing me with formula and long nights of easy sleep. I've been a very active reader of this forum (even if I don't post a lot) and the encouragement I've seen other woman receive has really helped me so far. I really want to know if anyone has ever run into a situation like this and how they overcame this obstacle?

    Oh! And by the way, maybe we can figure out (once and for all): Just what is better for Mastitis? My OB Doctor suggested heat (like a warm towel), but my Lactation Consultant was vehemently against heat and suggested ice ALL the time.

    I've read so many mixed reviews online.
    Proud of Baby

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Posts
    466

    Default Re: Have Mastitis: Really need support & encouragement

    mama, s. that sounds tough all around. but you will get through this!

    first, are you taking ibuprofen for the pain and inflammation? it really helps take the edge off. you might want to ask your doctor for a stronger dose. it's safe for baby.

    second, whatever you decide in the long run, DO NOT stop breastfeeding before you heal from the mastitis. it could get worse or even turn into an abscess. the best way to get over a bout of mastitis (in addition to antibiotics) is to empty your breasts as often and fully as possible.

    many mamas here had to deal with mastitis, and i'm sure they'll chime in with more specific advice. for now i just wanted to send you some virtual hugs. hang in there... it'll get better!
    march 2011... the light of my life

    i love my little one

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
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    Northern Cal.
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    4,984

    Default Re: Have Mastitis: Really need support & encouragement

    The best way to get through mastitis is to NURSE NURSE NURSE and then NURSE SOME MORE and then, sorry, NURSE EVEN MORE. I realize your job situation is really tough, but this is like the flu - you can't work with that kind of fever and illness. Can you call in sick and just lay in bed and do nothing but nurse for a day? Because that's what you need. You may be amazed at how fast you turn around if you can just park yourself in bed with lots of fluids, ibuprofen, antibiotics (if they've been prescribed to you - you should be taking them if your fever is up to 103 or more), and NURSE. Occasionally, take a hot bath or shower and massage your poor sore breasts and get any additional milk out.

    Heat, specifically wet heat, is what is recommended for mastitis, because the goal is to get the milk flowing and break up any clogs. You can also do ice, but I would alternate that with wet heat. A wet towel or disposable diaper filled with hot water both work great as a hot compress, but my favorite technique is to just get into a hot bath and massage massage massage, until the milk is flowing and my breast is feeling less lumpy and more soft.

    You can get through this. Mastitis is awful, but weaning is not the answer. I had one really bad case of mastitis, after which I was a lot more careful about engorgement, and it never happened again. You've had a rough start, but nursing really will get easier. You've already been through so much - don't give up now!! (Whatever you do, don't stop nursing when you have mastitis - it will make you a lot sicker, very quickly. Get through the mastitis, and then you can consider your options - hopefully at that point, nursing will be going well again and you'll want to keep it up.)


    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.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
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    Default Re: Have Mastitis: Really need support & encouragement

    Just in case you haven't already seen this, this link has lots of information and help with treating mastitis (including when you should be getting antibiotics, and when they are probably not necessary). http://kellymom.com/bf/concerns/mother/mastitis/


    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.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
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    Maryland
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    Default Re: Have Mastitis: Really need support & encouragement

    Thank you! It really helped to read the encouragement and information you posted for me. I have been doing my best to nurse and pump as much as I can throughout the day. My pump, however, has now become a torture device that I dread using.

    Does anyone know how long Mastitis lasts? It feels like it's getting worse, despite all my efforts to try to drain my breasts of milk. Even when I am not breastfeeding/pumping, my breast stings and I spend the day with my hand permenantly pressed against my chest.
    Proud of Baby

  6. #6

    Default Re: Have Mastitis: Really need support & encouragement

    So sorry, mastitis is no fun! I think you should start feeling somewhat better pretty quickly, a couple of days after starting the anti-bioitics. But how long it lasts all told will be individual just like any other infection. You must get lots of rest! As far as cold or heat, theoretically heat for keeping milk flowing/loosening any plugs and cold to relieve inflammation, but I think you could just use whichever feels best to you at the time. If heat feels good but seems to cause inflammation, you could try putting heat on your back or shoulders rather than your breasts.

    did you see this: http://www.llli.org/docs/00000000000...atcanyoudo.pdf

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2006
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    19,883

    Default Re: Have Mastitis: Really need support & encouragement

    When you say your pump has become a torture device, what do you mean exactly? Does pumping hurt, and if so, can you describe the pain? Is it nipple pain or breast pain? Does the pain happen while pumping or afterwards? Are your breast shields properly sized?

    One risk factor for mastitis is oversupply. (The more milk you have the more likely you are to get a plugged duct, which can turn into a site for mastitis to take root in.) So, what is your pump output like? Are you often engorged or extremely full?

    Hang in there, mama. Your baby is so beautiful. You made her, and you've worked your butt off to give her the absolute best so far. That says a lot about you, and you should be proud of what you have achieved.
    Coolest thing my big girl said recently: "How can you tell the world is moving when you are standing on it?"
    Coolest thing my little girl sang recently: "I love dat one-two pupples!"

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    johor bahru, Malaysia
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    Default Re: Have Mastitis: Really need support & encouragement

    s to you. Hang in there and Hope you will get better soon.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
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    418

    Default Re: Have Mastitis: Really need support & encouragement



    I have only ever had clogged ducts. For me the hot shower and the massage to get the milk out works best. It does hurt and I am sorry for your pain and lack of support. I hope things get better for you. GOOD LUCK
    I am Klisti, I married my best friend Kris two years ago.

    The love of my life, Wyatt 8-28-11 AKA the little dude

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Northern Cal.
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    Default Re: Have Mastitis: Really need support & encouragement

    If you're feeling like the mastitis is not getting better, or is getting worse, get back to the doctor! Mastitis is not something you want to mess around with - it can get worse quickly. You may need antibiotics, or if you're on them already, different antibiotics. Hope you're feeling better today!!


    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.

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