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Thread: Possible Mastitis?

  1. #1

    Default Possible Mastitis?

    Hello all. This is my first post and I'm happy to be a part of this forum. My son is 5.5 weeks old and our breastfeeding relationship is great! He's a big boy and gaining beautifully (9lbs 2oz at birth, 10lbs 4oz a week later, and 12lbs 11oz at his one month). His growth spurts have been especially tiring and we've been battling some green poop here and there, but all-in-all he's a super-happy boy!

    I have a question regarding Mastitis. About 2 weeks ago my right breast hurt but the pain subsided within a day or two. Since then I have had no pain at all. 2 nights ago I came down with a low-grade fever (100) and chills but these went away with Tylenol and have not returned. That same day I noticed lumps under my right armpit. I am seeing my doctor for my 6-week pp appointment next week and will certainly ask him about this but I was curious if it is possible to have something like Mastitis with no specific breast-related symptoms.

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    New York
    Posts
    860

    Default Re: Possible Mastitis?

    lumps under your arm pit could be a plugged duct.
    If the lumps went away, and the fever subsided, you managed to avoid a full out mastitis.
    Mastitis sometimes comes on very fast, with a one sided tender hard achy breast, fever, chills, vomiting etc...
    Most mothers need a round of anti-biotics to treat mastitis.
    Your symptoms could have been an infected plugged duct that cleared up due to good breastfeeding management.
    DD#1 July 1986 VB
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  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    21,006

    Default Re: Possible Mastitis?

    It is possible to have mastitis without being able to pinpoint the infection in the breast. Often the infected area is small, or buried so deeply within the soft tissue of the breast that you can't detect it. However, the lumps in your armpit are very likely to have been related to the pain, fever and chills- there is breast tissue called the Tail of Spence which extends all the way into the armpit. The lumps may well have been plugged ducts in the ToS area, and plugged ducts often are where a breast infection (i.e. mastitis) begins.

    Since you're going in for your 6 week postpartum checkup, definitely discuss the possibility of mastitis with your doctor and ask how you would go about treating a case of mastitis that doesn't resolve with frequent nursing. You want to make sure your doctor DOESN'T say "You would need to stop nursing and pump and dump" or "there aren't any antibiotics which are safe to use" or "you need to nurse less frequently", because despite the fact that many care providers believe those things, none of them are true.

    I assume you'll also be discussing your birth control options when you go in. Something that trips many breastfeeding moms up is contraception: all hormonal birth control methods have the potential to negatively impact milk supply. So FYI: you want to absolutely avoid the Depo shot and the combination estrogen-progestin pill, patch, and ring, and proceed with caution with the progestin-only mini-pill and the Mirena IUD. All barrier methods are safe, though!
    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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  4. #4

    Default Re: Possible Mastitis?

    Just FYI, I recently got over mastitis. I had a fever and thought I was coming down with the flu, it took my DH suggesting mastitis before I even considered how my breasts felt. In retrospect I had been feeling under the weather and slept through a few feeding cycles while baby girl slept. My breasts were very engorged but I decided to strike that up to missed feedings. I continued nursing despite the pain. After reading up on mastitis I was pretty sure that's what I had. Thankfully I have a wonderful midwife who put me on augmentin and encouraged more frequent feedings. She also said that it can be a catch 22 doing too much; choose either hot shower or breast massage but probably don't want to increase milk production which could cause more engorgement. After a few days I am back to normal and thankful I didn't have to skip any feedings, lesson: Don't skip feedings!

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