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Thread: Have Mastitis: Really need support & encouragement

  1. #11
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    147

    Default Re: Have Mastitis: Really need support & encouragement

    I agree with the PPs. Heat and massage. It sounds crazy, and I thought it was but my grandmother told me to take a wide tooth comb and essentially comb my breast from chest to nipple, and use the comb as a massager. It just helps to put pressure on the breast and work out clogs. Take tylenol for the pain and like the PP said get antibiotics and/or different ones if they are not working. Take care!
    Mirkka

    Mama to DD born September 7, 2010, and DS born October 28, 2012 and Wife to DH July 5, 2008

    We love and love

  2. #12
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Maryland
    Posts
    74

    Default Re: Have Mastitis: Really need support & encouragement

    Thank you Thank you Thank you for all the posts! I must admit - I log on several times a day just to reread everything and tell myself I have to do my best to get through this for my daughter. To answer some of the questions asked:

    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?
    *When I first start pumping, it hurts my nipples a bit - but I am pretty good at adjusting the knobs until I can handle it. Right now, the breast pain is the worst - especially when I try to massage them as I pump. It feels like I am massaging rocks and everytime I poke the red swollen spot - I literaly feel a shooting/stabbing pain.

    Does the pain happen while pumping or afterwards?
    *The only pain that happens during pumping, is when I massage the breast that has mastitis. I usually start with some poking... then as I gather courage, I squeeze a bit. After pumping I still feel pain though - I feel tiny pricks (stabbing sensations) throughout my breast... especially where the mastits has occurred. I keep finding myself rubbing my breasts or leaving my shirt off for a bit. Today, I realized I've been pumping, breastfeeding and massaging so much, a bit of skin actually came off! (Just a tiny bit is peeling, barely 1 cm, yet it feels like my entire breast has been skinned - hehe).

    Are your breast shields properly sized?
    *I brought my breat shields to my local hospital and had my lactition consultant confirm they were the right sizes.

    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?
    *Before mastitis, I had a oversupply of milk. There was enought to feed my baby and possibly have an extra bottle to store in the refridgerator for emergencies. I felt like supermama and walked around so proud I was able to provide milk for my infant AND had leftover to spare!

    Then, one night, after a long day of work - I overslept and didn't wake up to pump in the middle of the night. The next morning, I woke up and my breasts were aching so terribly. I vowed to pump and drain the breasts, but work had me in meetings and non-stop moving around for almost the entire morning (I ended up unable to pump from 9:30am - 4pm). By the time I returned home, I was exhuasted, cranky and feeling feverish. By nightfall, I had pumped and set my alarm to wake up in the middle of the night to pump some more.

    I literally closed my eyes and the next thing I knew, it was morning again.

    I woke up soaked in sweat, feverish, yet felt cold at the same time (couldn't stop shivering). Again, one thing led to another, and before I knew it - another afternoon had flown by before I could find a place to sit down and pump. By that evening, I was so sick, I shook just holding my daughter up to my breast to feed her. My breasts started looking red and when I overslept my alarm (yet again), I woke up with lumps in my left breast and shooting pain. My husband and mother could see I wasn't feeling well (not knowing it was due to mastitis) and encouraged me to get more rest. Since pumping sessions usually went a lot faster then breastfeeding (for breastfeeding at 3am, it was a long ordeal since the baby likes to fall asleep constantly mid-feeding), my mother told me to just pump in the middle of the night - allowing me to go back to sleep faster. She would supplement my daughter with forumula so I can get more sleep and feel better in the morning.

    Natrually, this vicious cycle of working, being unable to pump, not being able to breastfeed and having the entire family encourage me to give-up and think about myself... didn't help. It's been a week and I've gotten so upset that I've even cried while I pumped (both from the pain that was coming from the affected breast and from feeling unsupported by my family). Even my husband's sister had came over to visit me several times last week, and each time she stopped by, she went out of her way to tell me to stop breastfeeding. Everyone has been telling me it wasn't worth it and that I should just stop making my own life miserable; "Your daughter has been breastfed for 1 month now (which is much better then what most babies get), it's not a big deal if you stop now. What's the point of breastfeeding? All my kids have been raised on forumula and they are just fine!"

    I managed to keep a neutral expression plastered on my face, before I excused myself and went to my room to cry. Though I understand my family is just worried for my own health... they also know how determined I am to try and make this work for my daughter. I just wish they were more vocally supportive at this time of need. I'm already depressed enough and angry I allowed myself to develop mastitis. Getting berated and being lectured is not helping at all.
    Proud of Baby

  3. #13
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Canada
    Posts
    11

    Default Re: Have Mastitis: Really need support & encouragement

    I too had severe mastitis that went systemic 4 weeks ago. During that time i was exclusively pumping as my baby refused to breastfeed. I literally was passing out, vomiting and had a fever of 104 for three days. It was worse pain than delivering naturally!!!

    I was on a day of iv drugs then antibiotics for 14 days, ibuprofen that entire time and iced for pain but stood in the hottest shower I could and massaged my breast lumps two to three times a day.

    I couldnt breastfeed cause my baby wouldn't so I pumped every three hours day and night to empty my breasts as much as possible. I rented a hospital grade medela pump and that helped tremendously. I also massaged the lumps gently as I pumped and gently massaged the breasts from back to front as I pumped. I found squeezing or using too much pressure hurt way too much and didnt help only made pain worse

    I started feeling somewhat better after 6 days but not back to normal for about 12-14 days

    Good luck and most importantly make sure you take care of yourself. This can turn very serious like mine did.

  4. #14
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Canada
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    11

    Default Re: Have Mastitis: Really need support & encouragement

    I also just want to add that I think you're doing an awesome job and being a wonderful mom!!! I've had a really hard time too and had very little support or encouragement. Ive cried thousand lonley and frustrated tears while pumping the past 10 weeks and heard the same cr*p from people that you have. To me it's obvious that if you're still trying you DON'T want to give up and hence you need support not permission to stop. It's your right to stop at any time you choose but it amazes me how when we work so hard at trying to provide our babies with our breast milk through really hard times the people around us can't recognize the emense emotions we struggle with. I wish if they didn't have encouraging words that they would just say nothing! What you're doing is tremendous and takes a lot of work, commitment and sacrifice. Your baby is lucky

    I've struggled for 10 weeks pumping night and day, through mastitis and thrush because I too wanted what was best for my baby. The first 10 weeks of his life have been really hard work but like you I'm commited for now. I kept thinking ya I could give up like everyone kept telling me but something inside of me said hmm I'm not ready to stop yet regardless of how I feel. It felt so good to see my little guy getting chubby and thriving because of my hard work. I'm glad I didnt give up cause I'm nursing my baby now after 10 weeks of him refusing and me pumping!!!

    I know your going through a different situation but the physical and emotional challenges are the same. I just want you to know you aren't alone. I completely understand and want you to know that it does get better!!! Hugs to you

  5. #15
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    19,878

    Default Re: Have Mastitis: Really need support & encouragement

    Thanks for answering those questions, mama!

    Pumping pain: I am wondering about 3 things. First, shield size. Improperly sized shields can cause quite a lot of pain and can also reduce milk drainage, and poor milk drainage can contribute to mastitis. I know you had your LC confirm that you had the right size, but sometimes the one that looks right isn't quite right, or the size that was best when you started may not be right for you now, or you may need 2 different shield sizes for your two different breasts.

    Second, pump speed- if pumping hurts when you turn the beast on, the problem may be that you're turning it up too high too soon. Try starting the pump on the lowest setting and gradually turning it up to the most effective level (which is not necessarily the maximum level).

    The third thing that has me wondering is the "pricking" pain you have after pumping. Obviously, mastitis causes a lot of pain, especially when you touch the infected area. But pain after pumping or nursing, especially when couples with peeling skin, makes me wonder about thrush. Thrush is especially common after rounds of antibiotics.

    I am so sorry that your family hasn't given you the support you need right now. It sounds like they want to help, but just don't know how. So that's an opportunity for you to guide them. Let them know exactly what you need to hear. "You are doing a wonderful job." "Don't stop now unless you're convinced that's what you really want." "You will never regret nursing and pumping, but you may regret stopping." "Let me throw in a load of laundry and do the dishes for you while you nurse the baby."
    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!"

  6. #16
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Posts
    10,440

    Default Re: Have Mastitis: Really need support & encouragement

    I'm a pumping mom. Not by choice, but because my baby was born physically unable to nurse. And I think there are a few things going on you can look at to help this go your way. To me, it it apparent you don't want to quit, despite a whole lot of very unsupportive people n your life. Ignore them. They do not know what is best for you or your baby.

    First thing, nurse as much as you can. Get in bed with the baby as much as possible and sleep and nurse that affected breast.

    Mastitis often comes on when a mom is doing too much. It makes me wonder about going back to work...and you mention quitting. Is that an option? If so, do it.

    The pain when the pump comes on....turn the pump suction down all the way and turn the cycling up. This mimics the action of the baby, and it should not hurt. That said, I remember that pain from a year ago, when I was pumping every 2-3 hours around the clock. I would dread pushing the button to turn the pump on. Lube your horns (more on this in a minute), start out low and then slowly turn the suction up over a few minutes.

    I bet your horn size is too small, even if it looks right. I had extreme pain until I went up and up again. For some moms, it is more comfortable to have the whole areola sucked in. You can try that and see if it helps.

    Lube with lanolin or nipple butter or olive oil to make the horns smoother. Just a bit.

    Try using all-purpose nipple cream after pumping or nursing. Your OB or MW will need to get you a script.

    Do massage. Yes, it hurts, but you can't stop. This helps break up the areas and gets the milk out. If you stop nursing and pumping, you might get an abcess, so even if you change your mind and want to quit, now is not the time.

    The tingling makes me think of vasospasm, and that is from the pumping action and the suction. It could also be thrush, which is something else I had that made pumping very painful for me for some months until I could get it to go away.

    Keep nursing. Keep working at this. It will be fine in the end. I've had mastitis a few times and it's terrible.
    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. #17
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Northern Cal.
    Posts
    4,984

    Default Re: Have Mastitis: Really need support & encouragement

    Oh, wow, mama. Reading your story of how you came to have such a nasty case of mastitis almost caused me physical pain and I weaned my child at two and a half six months ago! You just cannot neglect to empty your breasts that frequently! Allowing yourself to become that engorged is a sure path to mastitis, and once you've experienced that once, you won't want to go that way again.

    I would encourage you to nurse as much as possible, and pump as a second option, not a first. Your baby is (despite fussy eating habits) better at actually emptying the breast than the pump. You'd be better off nursing first, then pumping, as time consuming as that is.

    And you really need to be taking time off work. You are very ill. Mastitis can get very serious (if you don't like the sound of "abscess" then you should be doing everything you can to feel better). Please take it seriously and do what you need to do to fully heal before you get back into your crazy work schedule. In future, you need to make pumping at work a priority, whatever that takes - not just for your daughter, but for YOU. Sorry if this sounds a bit tough, I am just concerned for you!


    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.

  8. #18
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Posts
    418

    Default Re: Have Mastitis: Really need support & encouragement

    I hope things are starting to look up for you. I agree with PP that pumping at work needs to be more of priority, you have every legal right to pump while at work and they need to understand that as much as you.

    Also like PP's said NURSE NURSE NURSE. If your LO is falling asleep at the breast try stripping her down to just a diaper, diaper changes between sides, and a cool cloth on the bottoms of her feet. I know there are more but they are just not coming to mind right now.

    Also with the mastitis I would cosleep, even if you and the baby move to the guest room (or make DH move there). She will wake more to nurse but it will be much easier to get her latched a fall back asleep, I always feel more rested on the nights that DS sleeps with me. It will help drain the affected breast and speed your recovery.
    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

  9. #19
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Posts
    58

    Default Re: Have Mastitis: Really need support & encouragement

    I had awful engorgement before my supply regulated, an hour after I fed my son my breasts would be rock hard and hot. I never developed Mastitis but it was terrible.
    I put an ice pack across the top of my breasts for and hour to help with swelling, during which time I needed a towel to keep me from drenching myself and my furniture with the rapidly leaking milk. Then I stood bent over in the shower and let gravity relieve the pressure some more. After that I could pump or nurse with reduced but still present pain.
    So that is my advice, ice pack then bent over shower to get things flowing.
    Also maybe you could call your mother on your way home so that if she does feed her it is only and ounce or so snack.

  10. #20
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Maryland
    Posts
    74

    Default Re: Have Mastitis: Really need support & encouragement

    Thank you for the support! I called my LC today and she gave me a list of providers in my area whom rent hospital grade breast pumps. In a few hours, I will be picking one up and hopefully it works better then the small dual-pump I have. I also saw my OB/Gyn yesturday and he gave me a Ibuprofen prescription. While it still hurts, it's now bearable to get through the day without breaking down into tears.

    I'm really surprised a lot of you had gone through what I have! I thought this was a rare condition and felt alone in my endeavers. It really warms my heart to know other's have gone through the same thing and persevered. I will continue to breastfeed and pump as much as I can... hopefully in a week, this will be over! I will definately be more careful to make sure this doesn't hapen again... I don't think I can suffer through this more then once.
    Proud of Baby

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