Re: Nipple pain is driving me crazy
Mastitis has a big range. Mastitis that is caught early, in a mom who is really diligent about emptying the affected breast, and who is able to empty it, tends to be fairly mild. Like a minor case of the flu, perhaps. But untreated, in a mom who isn't able to empty the breast for whatever reason, it can make a woman quite ill. That's why you head in to the doc if you feel like this isn't improving.
The best thing you can do is to empty the breast. That's the first line of defense. It's only when milk is sitting in the breast that the bacteria have the opportunity to take hold and multiply. If the baby can't or won't do the job, the pump is the stand-in. Mastitis often resolves without medication if you can empty the breast well enough. If emptying the breast doesn't do the trick, a prescription for antibiotics is warranted. Most docs start with penicillins. If you are given an antibiotic, take ALL of it, even if you feel better after a few days. Doing otherwise sets up the possibility of resistant bacterial strains. Most antibiotics which are prescribed for mastitis are compatible with breastfeeding, so if anyone tells you to pump and dump during treatment they are probably wrong. Run it by the forum if you have a question about a prescription.
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