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Thread: Mastitis help

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
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    Default Mastitis help

    I'm on my 4th case of mastitis in a month. My son is 15 mos and nurses every 4 hours or so, with about a 4-6 hour break while cosleeping. I work at home. The first three happened over 10 days while I was travelling alone with the LO (to see family, luckily), so I thought traveling and stress were the cause. I had nasty lumps with each, plus perhaps a bleb, and bleeding nipples by the third case. I did have it in alternating breasts, and so I got a script for Cephalexin after the third case when I didnt stop feeling sick even after the lump was clear. Two weeks after finishing the script and it came back today with a vengence -- even though we nursed as usual today. My awesome doc (who cheered me for bfing still) gave me a refill on the antibiotic in advance, so I just started that and am starting to feel human again, as evidenced by my ability to sit up and write this. I get sick as a dog with these infections though, like some kind of toxic food posioning my body has to expell at all costs, and they come on quick. I'm concernedthey're actually dangerous -- luckily so far I've been near support. But what if LO and I were out on our own? So I would really like to figure out how to prevent them, and not just becausethey make me understand the phrase "I wanted to die." Does anyone have advice or thoughts on cause? I understand that clearing the breast will keep them away, but by the time I realize the breast isnt clearing, I'm already on the highway to hell.

    Sorry for the mixed metaphors.

    Oh, and despite wet heat, massage, hand expressing, and nursing, today's clog is still there. Ouch! Andthe milk I'm expressing seems a bit bloody (not just the brown of the last cases -- pink this time).

    Thank you in advance!
    Last edited by @llli*katmar; May 11th, 2012 at 11:10 PM.
    Kate

    Mother to a sweet boy, born at 34 weeks on 2/11/11.
    Proud that I grew 26 lbs of baby before solids, and still counting...

    We received banked milk in the NICU. Thank you, donors!!!

  2. #2
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    May 2006
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    Default Re: Mastitis help

    I am sorry, mama! Repeat mastitis is NO FUN. The one thing it always makes me think of is something a friend of mine told me. She had near-constant mastitis for 6 months, kept taking the antibiotics, and kept having the infection recur. Finally, someone thought to take a bacterial culture and discovered that the strain of bacteria she was carrying was resistant to the antibiotics she had been taking. One course of the correct antibiotics later, and she was all better- the mastitis never came back. So I would encourage you to ask for a culture and see if you're in a similar situation.

    The best way to prevent mastitis is to drain the breast thoroughly and avoid plugs. So nurse often, and if you have a plug, nurse on that side first, because babies tend to suck most enthusiastically at the beginnings of feedings. Also, be conscious about your wardrobe- ill-fitting bras, particularly underwire bras, are notorious for causing plugs, and I once read about a mom who always got plugs on one side and couldn't figure out why until she realize that she always carried her diaper bag on that side, and pressure from the bag was the culprit. Do you have a pump? You might want to consider pumping if hand expression and nursing isn't doing the trick. Soy lecithin supplements are supposed to be good for plugs, and I have also read that reducing saturated fat in your iuet is helpful.
    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!"

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Mastitis help

    What about getting a culture to make sure the antibiotic is the right one?
    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!

  4. #4
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    Apr 2011
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    Default Re: Mastitis help

    A culture is a good idea! I will look into that.

    Also planning on getting some new nursing bras, as I've been wearing the same kind of bra at the start of every infection. Even though they seem loose (Carriwell -- almost no support), could be it...

    Do you think I could get them from lugging around my 30+ pounder? I dont really carry a bag often, but I carry him on that hip enough to have completely messed up my back.

    Thanks!
    Kate

    Mother to a sweet boy, born at 34 weeks on 2/11/11.
    Proud that I grew 26 lbs of baby before solids, and still counting...

    We received banked milk in the NICU. Thank you, donors!!!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2006
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    Default Re: Mastitis help

    Sure, lugging around a baby could do it! Are you using a sling? If you are, maybe try a different model? They all put pressure on different regions.
    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. #6
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    Default Re: Mastitis help

    I'd ask for a culture before AND after you do the anitibiotics. Just to make sure the infection is actually gone, not just held at bay with a round of abx. I've had UTIs and mastitis that feel better but recur very quickly (four times in a month sounds like it may even be the same infection that hasn't fully cleared rather than a healed infection that then comes back). So as much as it's a nuisance, you may want to get back in after you finish the antibiotics to check if you're actually cleared.

    Hope you feel better soon!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
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    Default Re: Mastitis help

    I agree with the PPs that you may be dealing with a recurrent case rather than four separate cases. I hope you can get a culture and get the right kind of antibiotics.

    On the plugs: I am very prone and everything causes them! I got one from a sleep bra--the elastic band around the rib cage did it. I stopped wearing nursing bras when baby was 2 months and switched to sports bras. I like the "Light Control Custom Flex Fit Active Wire-free Sports Bra" by Barely There--it's like a gentle but supportive hug with no seams or anything poking or pressing. I've also gotten plugs from carrying my purse on my shoulders, a heavy diaper bag, and from sleeping in a bad position (putting pressure on the breast). I also got plugs from eating too much saturated fat. And I can't use any kind of baby carrier because they also give me plugs.

    I think I'm an extreme case of being very prone to clogs but I hope this might help you.

    PS. You mentioned wet heat. Are you doing compresses or hot showers? Compresses didn't do a whole lot for me, but hot showers worked wonders. Massage and hand express under the hot running water for as long as you can, and then nurse right after. Also dipping my breast into a bowl of hot water--awkward position, but instant relief.
    Last edited by @llli*kmanih; May 12th, 2012 at 10:12 PM.
    march 2011... the light of my life

    i love my little one

  8. #8
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    May 2011
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    Default Re: Mastitis help

    on the culture. MSRA mastitis is becoming increasingly more common.
    K. Sophia - Mama to my little lactivore, the amazing Mr. X (11/10).

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