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Thread: Mastitis-help

  1. #1

    Unhappy Mastitis-help

    My daughter is now 6 weeks, i currently pump and about two weeks I became very sick, flu like symptoms, pain and fevers. Ob treated for mastitis, course of antibiotics but after two days still in a lot of pain and huge lump. Sent to see a breast surgeon last Friday who agreed mastitis and changed antibiotics and said I should STOP breastfeeding. I told her that wasn't an option for me and she stated that I would continue to have issues as long as I continue to breastfeeding/pumping. Yesterday after feeling ok for two days now I have extreme burning in nipple and lump is still there, I have to see surgeon again on Friday but I am very discouraged, is stopping the only answer?

  2. #2

    Default Re: Mastitis-help

    Hi maddysmom, so sorry you are having this issue.

    So was surgery performed? Do you have a breast abscess that required drainage? Or do you have a plugged duct that you are trying to break up? I am confused on that point. Also are you exclusively pumping or breastfeeding as well?

    Anyway, surgery or not, it is not usually the case that a mother needs to stop breastfeeding OR pumping-in other words, stop lactating- in order to treat mastitis or to prevent recurrences. For one thing, even if you stopped pumping or nursing you would still lactate for some time.

    Yes some mothers have recurrent mastitis but that can be addressed several ways that do not involve weaning. And of course many mothers do not experience recurrences.

    This is a protocol written by doctors for doctors re: mastitis treatment. http://www.bfmed.org/Media/Files/Pro..._4mastitis.pdf

    I would also suggest seeing an IBCLC (Board Certified Lactation Consultant) if that is possible for you.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Mastitis-help

    Hi IIImeg,

    Thanks for replying, i am exclusively pumping because I couldn't get her to latch on properly, no surgery ob/gyn sent me to surgeon in case I had a abscess and it needed to be drain, they haven't done that yet but honestly I think that's the next step, breast isn't reducing in size, still painful. I found it strange and very discouraging when the first thing she suggested was to stop. I will read article now. Thanks again

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    middle of IA

    Default Re: Mastitis-help

    i also recommend talking to an IBCLC, not only about the mastitis but also about how you can get baby back to the breast. there is also great support here for that, if you want to start another thread
    DS1 6/7/11
    DS2 10/29/13

    Nursing, pumping, cloth-diapering, babywearing, working professor mama with the awesomest SAHD ever.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2006

    Default Re: Mastitis-help

    The breast surgeon's information was absolutely incorrect. There's no way to predict whether or not you'll have problems as long as you continue to breastfeed. We have lots of moms come through here who have experienced bad plugs, mastitis, and even abscesses who have continued to nurse/pump.

    Burning pain in the nipple makes me wonder if maybe you have a bleb/blister: http://kellymom.com/bf/concerns/mother/nipplebleb/. Sometimes milk will back up behind a blister.
    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

    Default Re: Mastitis-help

    Are you able to pump anything on that side? It is very important to frequently and effectively remove milk from the breast when a mom has mastitis.

    If your baby cannot latch and your pump is not removing milk either, you could try a different pump and/or hand expression.

    Do you have an abscess-or not? What was the surgeons diagnosis? A swollen, sore breast and a plug of the milk duct is a painful situation and you need to address it, but this is not the same as an abscess that needs surgical draining. Plugs can be very large, by the way, as big as your hand. In other words, draining an abscess is only the next step if you have an abscess. (or develop one because the mastitis and plug are not being treated properly.) Mastitis is a general term that refers to a breast 'infection' but does not necessarily mean an abscess and sometimes does not even always mean a bacterial infection. And again, even if you require surgical drainage you can still nurse or pump.
    Here are three shorter articles about mastitis and plugs and what to do about it that, these are aimed at moms and might be easier reads than that other one. But that one will hopefully be helpful esp. if doctors keep telling you to wean.

    mastitis http://www.llli.org/docs/00000000000...atcanyoudo.pdf
    plugs and blebs http://www.llli.org/docs/00000000000...plugsblebs.pdf

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

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2013

    Default Re: Mastitis-help

    I had mastitis that turned into an abscess. I did not stop breastfeeding. I double checked that the antibiotics I was on were ok for the baby and we continued breastfeeding. For me the side that was affected was completely plugged, so we stopped on that side by default because no milk would come out. we continued on my "good" side throughout and resumed breastfeeding on the affected side as soon as the incision was healed enough that I could stand it (the incision was very close to the nipple).

    *i should t say we stopped, because I continued massaging and trying to get milk out despite none coming out. It was really frustrating for my DS since nothing came out, so I focused in other ways of trying to get it out.
    Last edited by @llli*babyhiccups; April 17th, 2013 at 01:15 PM.
    DS "milk monster" 2/7/13
    Abscess didn't stop us nursing!
    DH 6/26/10 is the best support

  8. #8

    Default Re: Mastitis-help

    Thank you babyhiccups I knew there was someone here who had this experience. I've had mastitis and a very bad plug but never an abscess.

    I'm curious now about abscess. In your experience, was the abscess obvious to you or your doctor or did you need to have some kind of a scan to tell?

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2013

    Default Re: Mastitis-help

    I visited my OB/gyn on a Tuesday and he recognized that it was a really bad case of mastitis and possibly an abscess. I had antibiotics orally and injections in the butt for two days. Went back Thursday for a recheck and he saw me, then had me wait while be called surgeons to see if any were available to see me that afternoon. I was sent straight to the surgeon. As soon as I opened the gown and he saw my breast he was reaching for a needle full of local anesthetic and a scalpel. There was a visible blister of milk under the skin for me.
    DS "milk monster" 2/7/13
    Abscess didn't stop us nursing!
    DH 6/26/10 is the best support

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2008

    Default Re: Mastitis-help

    I am a surgeon who treats breast disease regularly. Your breast surgeon, is quite frankly, full of it. There is clear and convincing data that breast feeding through mastitis and breast abscess shortens duration of symptoms and improves outcomes.

    As most probably know, a breast abscess is a collection of infected fluid (or pus) that is localizable, and usually very very tender. Breast abscesses that occur in women who are breast feeding are usually staph infections that develop from mastitis. If it's just mastitis, it can be treated with antibiotics. If an abscess has formed, it needs to be drained. Drainage does not need to be with a big incision -- it can be drained with a small needle, or "aspirated," though if you do an aspiration, you may need to do more than one aspiration to get it taken care of. If its not clear whether there is an abscess, you can get an ultrasound to look (a test totally safe for breast feeding). You can also use ultrasound to help you aspirate the fluid if its hard to see on the surface.

    In summary, management of breast feeding related infections should include continuation of breast feeding except in rare circumstances. If the infection is so severe that anesthesia is required for drainage, a single pump and dump is almost certainly sufficient to clear the anesthetic from your breast milk.

    DS Ethan 12/16/2008
    Breast fed/pumped 11 months as a surgical resident, 80 hours a week at work
    DS Abram Daniel 12/20/2012
    Feel like we've gotten a strong start

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