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Thread: Mastitis-AGAIN-Feeling Discouraged!

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
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    21

    Default Mastitis-AGAIN-Feeling Discouraged!

    I am currently BF my 5 month DD and have mastitis for the second time in 3 weeks. The first time I called our local LLL Leader for help (and to cry my eyes out at her over the phone). She asked about my stress levels and after a long talk told me that the infection was probably due to stress. To make a long story short, my 3 yr old DD has been removed from preschool for aggressive behavior/biting, my MIL is very ill and had been in the hospital, I have a nephew with anger issues that may be removed from his home b/c he refuses to go to school, my grandfather is developing dementia, my grandmother is moving into a retirement condo place and needs our help, and my DH is absolutely clueless (he comes home and plays computer games b/c he's worked hard all day and apparently all I do is sit around and eat bon-bons). I have tried to take care of myself but here I am with mastitis again, this time with a horribly cracked nipple as well. I went in to the doc's Weds with a temp of 103 (w/Tylenol in me) and unable to nurse. He put me on 500mg Keflex 4x per day and told me to rest. I asked him if he had any suggestions for preventing another infection and he flat out told me to stop nursing. He congratulated me for going this long and said I had already nursed longer than 90% of other new mothers. Part of me is really ticked off that he said that. Anyhow, now my DH thinks I'm going to wean as soon as we're over the mastitis and I was very tired and stressed out about the whole thing and was thinking that too... but now that I'm feeling better I don't want to stop nursing.
    I would like any suggestions for anything I could be doing or supplements I could be taking to prevent this from ever happening again. Oh, and I've had thrush off and on for 4 months... my doc keeps telling me to continue to use the Nystatin creme, which I also use on baby's diaper area. I know it occasionally is in the ducts b/c it becomes painful after nursing but they don't feel like prescribing anything. I want nursing to be a loving experience for me but I feel like all it's been is a hassle and there are days when I just want to give up and switch to formula (I did with my older child at 3 mos b/c of reflux and low weight gain). Oh, and I don't wear underwires, I wear very comfy nursing sports bras.
    So far to treat this, I've been using lanolin creme all the time, using hot compresses, hand expressing in the shower when it was too painful to nurse and latching her on as often as I can. I'm still uncomfortable but my breast is feeling much softer, although it's still quite red.

    Thanks for any advice and I know this is quite rambling... I just get so emotional about everything these days and I talk a lot when I'm upset.

    Beth
    Mom to Soph 3 yrs and Bella 5 mos

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Posts
    3,900

    Default Re: Mastitis-AGAIN-Feeling Discouraged!

    (((hugs))) I'm sorry you're going through such a difficult time. I sincerely hope things look up for you soon!

    Most experts agree that lanolin isn't the best choice when thrush is a concern. Thrush feeds in moist environments. There are other options for topical treatment of thrush that have been proven to work.

    Are you currently taking any preventatives for thrush (probiotics, acidophilus)?

    Here is our FAQ on thrush:
    www.lalecheleague.org/FAQ/thrush.html
    Here is a FANTASTIC article on thrush and the breastfeeding family. Please read through this as it is an invaluable resource:
    http://www.lalecheleague.org/llleade...tNov98p91.html

    About the mastitis, usually if mastitis reoccurs shortly after an intial bout it means that it wasn't really "cured" the first time. This link has some more info, you might read it and reply back if anything jumps out at you:
    http://www.lalecheleague.org/FAQ/repeatmastitis.html

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Posts
    21

    Default Re: Mastitis-AGAIN-Feeling Discouraged!

    Jolie,

    I hadn't been using lanolin for the longest time, as I was concerned about the thrush that kept coming back. I had been told to continue to use the Nystatin ointment for a few days after symptoms were gone but of course the yeast came back a week or so after that each time. My OB/GYN office is turning out to be not as supportive of breastfeeding as I had thought they were-they encourage it until I have a problem and then their advice for everything is to wean. Fortunately my peds office is much more supportive and helpful. Anyways, I started using lanolin with the first bout of mastitis, as my nipple was cracked and bleeding so much that my baby was spitting up blood-gross. I figured I'd fix the cracked nipple and mastitis first and then worry about the thrush. Although after reading the articles you suggested, especially the detailed one about thrush, maybe I should be more concerned with solving the thrush issue first and the rest will fall into place. I will try all the wonderful suggestions from that article and hopefully clear up the thrush as well as the mastitis. Apparently I had thrush throughout my pregnancy and didn't know it... I break out in a weird rash under my breasts when I'm pregnant, I thought it was because they got bigger and my bra wasn't fitting right-went from a D to a F and I'm now a G. Oh, and I was using acidolphus for awhile but ran out recently. Is there anything else preventative OTC you'd recommend for thrush?

    Thanks,
    Beth

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Posts
    3,900

    Default Re: Mastitis-AGAIN-Feeling Discouraged!

    I'm glad you found the article helpful! I've known of several mothers who followed the protocols outlined within the article who finally broke the cycle of reinfection. IME, two of the biggest factors are diet and hygiene. Of course, you need treatment, too, but diet and hygiene play a bigger role than we might realize.

    OTC preventatives for thrush:
    From The Breastfeeding Answer Book 3rd edition pgs 483-484
    "Acidophilus bifidus (40 million-1 billion viable units [1 tablet] per day) (Clay 1990) or work up to three capsules three times daily (Hafner-Eaten 1997). Take for at least two weeks after the symptoms are gone."

    "Take grapefruit seed extract, 250 mg three times daily (Newman and Pitman, p148) or 5-15 drops mixed in 5 ounces of water or juice 2 to 5 times daily (Wildson-Clay and Hoover, p. 56).

    OTC Treatments for Thrush:
    From The Breastfeeding Answer Book pg 482
    "Genetian violet--over-the-counter treatment. Dip cotton swap in 0.5 percent or 1 percent solution and swab nipple/areolae once or twice a day for three to seven days. Stop after four days if pain is gone." (LLL_Jolie: A little clarification, Dr. Newman--author of above protocol--says to only use genetian violet for no longer than a week at a time, even if pain is not gone. See his handout here: http://www.kellymom.com/newman/c-candida_protocol.html)

    "Cortrimazole--over-the-counter or prescription treatment. Over-the-counter US brands include Mycelex, Lotrimin, Lotrimin AF cream or lotion (1%). To use: apply to nipples/areolae after feedings two to four times daily until at least two days after symptoms disappear."

    As for your recurrent mastitis, this information might be helpful:
    From The Breastfeeding Answer Book pg 505
    "...Drs. Ruth and Robert Lawrence recommend that a mother with recurring plugged ducts eliminate saturated fats in the diet and take a lecithin supplement. Suggested dosages are one tablespoon per day (Lawrence and Lawrence,p. 273) and one tablespoon three to four times a day or one to two capsules (1,200 mg each) three or four times per day (Newman and Pitman,p. 156)."
    ETA: This webpage has some good research articles and safety information on lecithin treatment for plugged ducts. It is NOT a LLL resource:
    http://www.kellymom.com/nutrition/vi.../lecithin.html

    HTH!
    Last edited by LLL_Jolie; February 25th, 2006 at 03:10 PM.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Posts
    2

    Default Re: Mastitis-AGAIN-Feeling Discouraged!

    I know things can be difficult...I have been there. I have had it all, cracked/sore nipples, mastitis, thrush. After all that, I am still b/f my 8 month old!
    I used Nystatin for a month and a half. The thrush seemed to have gone away, but came back later in the second month. Finally, I went back and was prescribed Diflucan for my son, and still occasionally put nystatin then lanolin on at night.
    That seemed to work well with him.
    Hope everything works out!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Posts
    8

    Default Re: Mastitis-AGAIN-Feeling Discouraged!

    Hi! My baby got thrush shortly after I received anitbiotics for mastitis( he had sever diaper rash and white patches in mouth with poor nursing, and I had a severaly cracked nipple). I used the nystatin for 3 weeks with minimal results, then after adding the hygiene and diet results from the LLL website it got a little better, but not cleared up. My pediatrician would not prescibe anything else. I started taking a couple tablets of garlic oil, and once a day giving him garlic oil from the capsule but just squirted in his mouth( He was 3 months old, I do not know if what the guidelines are for this, I do know garlic is a natural anti fungal). I did this for a few days and then off a day or two and then a gain for a day or two. He did not seem to mind the taste, but he did smell bad. The thrush and my cracked nipple cleared up by the end of the week. I also was taking probiotics, and continued for several weeks after both of us were cleared up. I should also say to try to get more rest. Good luck!

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