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Thread: Help, breast abscess

  1. #1

    Default Help, breast abscess

    My LO is 4 mon, BFing well, happy and thriving with plenty of wet and poopy diapers. He's my third BF baby. My first child was born 6 years ago and I've been BFing since then except a few months break in between children when I was pregnant.

    I've been getting the occasional little abscesses on the under side of my right breast for a long time that seem to come in groups. I can't remember if it started before or after the birth of my first or if they've occured during pregnancy when I wasn't lactating. I've always assumed they were the result of in grown hairs or something as I've had them elsewhere on my body as well. I seem to be prone to them.

    Right now I lave a large painful one on the side of my right breast about 4" in diameter, but flat and close to the surface. I did some research and read that breast abscesses are the result of untreated mastitis and are considered a medical emergency that need to be drained and treated with antibiotics.

    I would very much like it to go away, but would prefer not to go on antibiotics or have my breast punctured or cut. I'm pretty sure I'd know if I had mastitis and I haven't had fever or flu-like symptoms (that I've read usually accompanies mastitis and breast abscess).

    I guess I'm wondering if anyone has had a breast abscess without mastitis or has heard of this. It is possible that I could have gotten some clogged ducts, though I didn't notice any pain prior to abscess forming. I've been wearing my baby on my back in a wrap with a chest belt that could cause blockages, but I've since switched my wrap job to a more BFing friendly one. I'm also going through a bit of a stressful and busy time in life now. There was a couple of times recently where I fed on one side all night due to being tired. I woke to the other side being very full, leaking, and uncomfortable. I fed my baby on that side but didn't bother massaging or checking for lumps or anything. I can't even remember which side it was. I'm wondering if the abscess could be the result of a clogged duct when I haven't had actual mastitis to my knowledge. It's very close to the surface and doesn't feel like it's deep enough that ducts could be involved, but maybe ducts are quite superficial?

    Any thoughts would be appreciated.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
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    5,911

    Default Re: Help, breast abscess

    I am confused. Are you diagnosing what you have as an "abscess", or has a doctor diagnosed you? Can you describe in more detail what you are talking about?

    I cannot imagine an abscess being anything but extremely painful. Do you mean a plug? Plugs can happen anywhere there are milk ducts, so basically, anywhere on your breast including right on the nipple (they are called blebs in that case) and even under your arm in some mothers.

    They certainly can feel as if they are right under the skin I imagine. I’ve only had one once and it was enormous. But with a plug, there would be no visible wound or eruption (except in the case of a bleb, then you would see a white blister on your nipple.) A plug or pluggs would present as a lump or bump (or a cluster of lumps or bumps) or a thickened area, probably at least slightly tender but not horribly painful, any size from a pebble to the size of your hand.

    If it is not a plugged milk duct, basically you are describing an unknown lump in/on your breast and for that I would strongly suggest seeing a doctor.

    more info on plugs and blebs: http://www.llli.org/docs/00000000000...plugsblebs.pdf

    info on mastitis: http://www.llli.org/docs/00000000000...atcanyoudo.pdf

  3. #3

    Default Re: Help, breast abscess

    I am self diagnosing and have not yet been to a doctor. I've had abscesses before in other areas (diagnosed by a Dr) and know what they look and feel like. Yes it is quite painful. It looks just like the picture shown here:http://www.surgicalexam.com/case12A.html. I'm not able to get any discharge from it and there's no obvious opening but I suspect it may have burst inside. I guess i'm just surprised it came up so quickly without any obvious plugs or mastitis. But because I've been so busy lately I'm thinking I probably have had a plug and just not noticed it. Because I haven't had fever or flu-like symptoms, I was hoping this might resolve on it's own. I probably wil see my doctor, but he doesn't seem that knowledgeable about breastfeeding so I wanted to get some thoughts here first

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Help, breast abscess

    If it's an abscess you will need to get it drained....

    Way too lazy for formula

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2006
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    Default Re: Help, breast abscess

    What if those aren't abscesses within the breast, but rather on the exterior skin of the breast? If you're prone to ingrown hairs, they could be abscessed sebaceous glands/cysts. You might want to see a dermatologist if your regular doctor can't figure out what's going on.
    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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    Jun 2009
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    Default Re: Help, breast abscess

    So, you have had abscesses in the breast before, when not lactating? Or some other type of abscess? And how were those treated? I guess I am wondering, like mommal is, if this is breastfeeding related at all.

    But like djsmom says, the only suggestion I have ever seen is that a mother should seek medical care if she has a breastfeeding related abscess.

    I strongly suggest reading this protocol and bringing it wiht you to your appointment with your doctor. Should an abscess require treatment, Mothers are often told they have to wean temporarily (or permanently !) in order to do be treated, and that is not the case. http://www.bfmed.org/Media/Files/Pro..._4mastitis.pdf

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