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Thread: Mastitis and No Milk, FTM...help!

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
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    12

    Default Mastitis and No Milk, FTM...help!

    Hi Ladies, I wrote on here a couple of weeks ago about an oversupply issue and everyone was so helpful I thought I would reach out again.

    My LO will be 3 weeks tomorrow and we've been bfing well the last 2 weeks. My supply has been plentiful but we've been adjusting to it and I've been able to pump after his morning feed to store some milk. However, 2 days ago my right breast started to feel extremely sore like it had a knot in it. It became very red and I just continued to nurse from it hoping it would fix itself. That night, I started to feel very cold with chills and went to bed early. I woke up to feed him and was feeling fine. After I went back to sleep, I woke up an hour later sweating and FREEZING with chills that made my teeth chatter and I had a really high fever. I continued to feed him through it and woke up in the morning feeling better again. I haven't had any of the flu symptoms since that night, but all of sudden I have NO MILK in my right breast! I couldn't figure out why he was so fussy on the boob until I realized nothing was coming out. I went from having an over-abundant supply to nothing overnight. I'm not sure what to do besides pump from that breast repeatedly to try and get a supply going again. It doesn't feel sore anymore so I don't think anything is clogged, but when I pump I only get a few drops of milk.

    Is there anything I can do to correct this? I'm so scared my left breast is going to dwindle as well and I won't be able to feed my baby! I've only pumped enough milk to last a couple of days if I couldn't bf.

    I appreciate any advice or help, I'm so upset and frustrated and the LC's near me aren't in tomorrow because of the holiday. Thanks in advance!

  2. #2

    Default Re: Mastitis and No Milk, FTM...help!

    It sounds as if you had a bout with mastitis. Isn;t that teeth chattering the worst? Keep an eye on this and rest -LIE DOWN-as much as possible. If the fever and chills or pain in the breast comes back you might want to consider taking antibiotics.

    There is no way milk production simply dried up overnight. According to kellymom.com, when there is a plug,

    "Milk supply and pumping output from the affected breast may decrease temporarily. This is normal and extra nursing/pumping generally get things back to normal within a short time."

    I suspect you have a plug and/or engorgement that is preventing or hindering milk flow. Plugs can be in there and be so deep they are not obvious. They also may not hurt all that much, especially compared to the tenderness of mastitis. Did the hard knot ever go away? Are you feeling particularly full, or particularly drained?

    If baby will nurse on that breast, nurse on it. A well nursing baby is often more effective at extracting plugs than a pump. If you can , try laying baby on a blanket on the floor and kneel over baby so you are nursing 'downhill." Of course you can also try the pump too.

    To loosen the plug, try Massage, hand expression, cold packs, moist heat, vibration (from an electric toothbrush or personal massager...etc. See suggestions in linked articles.

    This is in all likelihood solvable but if you ever did have to nurse exclusively on only one side, you probably could. Many mothers do.

    Dealing with plugs and blebs http://www.llli.org/docs/00000000000...plugsblebs.pdf

    Mastitis http://www.llli.org/docs/00000000000...atcanyoudo.pdf

    kellymom on mastitis and plugs http://kellymom.com/bf/concerns/mother/mastitis/

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2006
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    19,913

    Default Re: Mastitis and No Milk, FTM...help!

    Excellent information from LLLMeg. Nurse on the affected breast as much as possible, and pump it of the baby is unwilling to nurse. The emptier that breast is kept, the better your chances of beating the bacteria.

    One thing that could be going on for you right now is that if you've been dealing with oversupply, you're probably pretty used to feeling full or engaged a lot of the time. A lot of moms mistake "feeling full" for "having enough," and they are really not the same. When supply and demand are about equal, you will rarely if ever feel full or engorged. Sometimes the adjustment from too much milk to just enough is slow and gradual, and sometimes it happens overnight. When a mom has mastitis or bad plugs, or is sick with some other illness, she's a little more likely to experience an overnight adjustment.
    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!"

  4. #4

    Default Re: Mastitis and No Milk, FTM...help!

    One thing that could be going on for you right now is that if you've been dealing with oversupply, you're probably pretty used to feeling full or engaged a lot of the time. A lot of moms mistake "feeling full" for "having enough," and they are really not the same. When supply and demand are about equal, you will rarely if ever feel full or engorged. Sometimes the adjustment from too much milk to just enough is slow and gradual, and sometimes it happens overnight. When a mom has mastitis or bad plugs, or is sick with some other illness, she's a little more likely to experience an overnight adjustment
    good point!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
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    Default Re: Mastitis and No Milk, FTM...help!

    Thank you for the responses ladies! I spent the entire evening/night/morning feeding him and pumping. He really isn't nursing on the affected side so I've been having to pump that one. My breasts are noticeably very different sizes and I'm still only getting a very small amount of milk out of the right breast. I've been massaging it, hot packs, cold packs, warm showers. It doesn't appear that anything is clogged as I don't have any more lumps or tight spots. I'm just very upset/concerned about the low milk supply...how long does it normally take to return? I've been drinking tons of water/gatorade/mother's milk tea/eating oatmeal and it doesn't seem to be helping.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Mastitis and No Milk, FTM...help!

    Is the lopsided thing new or has it always been like that? What about the breast refusal-is that new since the mastitis?
    Anyway I don't know if there is a way to answer your question. If this is just a temporary drop in production it should come back pretty quickly. If there is something unusual going on, then? I would suggest making an appt. with an IBCLC since you are so concerned. You could also read the Kellymom.com article low milk supply, it explains the difference between real low supply and normal breast changed, and a variety of ideas for increasing production.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
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    Default Re: Mastitis and No Milk, FTM...help!

    The lopsided thing is brand new. Before, I was pumping 2-3 oz out of each breast. Now, I can get around 3-4 oz in my left breast and not even 1/2 an oz in my right. It's very frustrating for me and baby. I also don't want to take supplements or anything to increase supply because I have so much in my left. Aside from pumping the right breast constantly, is there anything else I can do to recover my supply? I've read that sometimes it permanently disappears, which is making me very nervous. It's been a week and no increase yet.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Mastitis and No Milk, FTM...help!

    OK if this is brand new, then I think this is an unusual situation that is outside my area of expertise. I wonder if there was some type of breast injury due to the Mastitis. Can you see an IBCLC?

    I would suggest, don't pump constantly if it is too stress inducing. Can you nurse or pump on that breast at least 6 times a day? That should at least maintain production until you can get some answers. I think you may want to have the breast examined. I don't know how much an IBCLC can do but if you need an ultrasound or something she can hopefully refer you to someone who understands breastfeeding and can help.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Mastitis and No Milk, FTM...help!

    Before, I was pumping 2-3 oz out of each breast. Now, I can get around 3-4 oz in my left breast and not even 1/2 an oz in my right.
    ps

    btw, Is there a particular reason you are still pumping rather than only nursing on the unaffected side? I think you want to build up a freezer stash? -but since you will be pumping while at work for the next day, you probably need less stash than you are thinking.

    one way to cause or worsen lopsidedness is to overstimulate the normally producing side. 1/2 ounce output per breast-(or even per session!) can be a normal amount to pump when a baby is young and/or mom is nursing regularly, while 3-4 ounces is unusually high. There is nothing inherently good about being able to pump a lot from the breast-as long as baby is getting enough milk via nursing, then you make enough milk. In other words, I suggest, don't gage lopsidedness by pump out put, but rather by how you feel. Does that make sense?

    Anyone else experience this type of thing post mastitis or in the early weeks?

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
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    12

    Default Re: Mastitis and No Milk, FTM...help!

    Thank you very much for the response, a week and 1/2 later and no better unfortunately. I think I may have just lost production in that breast. Unfortunately, my other breast is overcompensating and is very large and uncomfortable most of the time. I'm just going to continue pumping the infected breast and hope it comes back eventually. Thanks again

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