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Thread: Heading to ER

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
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    62

    Default Heading to ER

    I am heading to the ER right now for my fourth case of mastitis. The first one was severe and I wound up with sepsis and needing IV antibiotics. The second two were milder and I treated them at home with warm compress, advil, and garlic capsules (and crossed all fingers and toes). This one is getting bad again, and I am afraid to go to bed with it since the first episode went from mild to life threatening within a matter of 3 hours.

    They are not the result of plugged ducts as my 4 month old is emptying breasts well and breasts are too small to be hiding any un-noticed lumps. One of the episodes started after baby latched on to side of breast and lefta welt, then it spread out from there. The others, including this one, I am at a loss to say why they happen. I have seen two very well qualified ILCBC's and can't discern any obvious reason either.......maybe coinciding with growth spurts/changes in supply/demand, maybe not......maybe crappy immune system/prone to inflammation, low iron (although taking iron supp's for 2 months now).

    I don't know what to do. I was clueless with my 4 year old and couldn't get her to latch, wound up pumping exclusively for 13 months. I am so ecstatic to be breastfeeding my sweet 4 month old and the thought of having to give it up at this point is breaking my heart, but I am scared to death right now and can't take it anymore. My friends/family are worried for me and encouraging me to wean and get healthy, but I know if anyone can understand the intensity of my desire to nurse this baby, it is the women on this forum. What would you do?
    Hannah Aug 17/2009 (5pd15oz) Hyperemesis & Preeclampsia

    Still almost exclusively Just hanging on to our one per day!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2006
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    21,269

    Default Re: Heading to ER

    I'm so sorry, mama! Repeat mastitis is rotten.

    If I were you, I would make sure that someone does a bacterial culture. I know one mom who had mastitis on and off for 6 months. She'd get sick, get treated with antibiotics, feel better, and then get sick again a couple weeks later. Finally, she ditched her own doctor and drove an hour to our closest good hospital, where someone said "Hey, let's get a bacterial culture done on you." Turns out that the type of bacteria she had was resistant to the antibiotics she had been taking- it could knock down the bacterial population, but not kill it off completely. As soon as she stopped taking the antibiotic, the bacteria and the mastitis would come roaring back.

    I would also suggest that you continue to nurse. I know that a lot of people will tell you that weaning is the cure for mastitis, and that is just not true. First of all, removing milk from the breast is the first-line treatment for mastitis. Removing milk, keeping fluid flowing through the affected area- that prevents the mastitis from worsening and in some cases can even eliminate it. And second, mastitis isn't limited to nursing moms. Women can get repeat mastitis when they are not nursing at all- and yes, I know someone who had that experience, too!
    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!"

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Posts
    62

    Default Re: Heading to ER

    Thanks for the support :-) I had thought about asking for a culture, but the infection has been in a different place each time, alternating breasts and spots on each, the infection I have now in Lt breast, that side has been clear since the first infection nearly two months ago, so I think the antibiotics worked.....I might just ask for a culture anyway though, I need to exhaust all options at this point. I guess I will just keep breastfeeding as there isn't much that could really deter me at this point. I wonder, worst case scenario, this keeps happening and I go through multiple rounds of antibiotics by the time she is weaned......do you think breastmilk with chronic antibiotics is still better than formula? She has some digestive issues too and won't touch a bottle or even a pacifier so I think trying to wean her to formula could be a tearful disaster too. On the other hand, she is prone to thrush so exposure to repeat antibiotic is no good either. Feel between a rock and a hard place.
    Hannah Aug 17/2009 (5pd15oz) Hyperemesis & Preeclampsia

    Still almost exclusively Just hanging on to our one per day!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2006
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    21,269

    Default Re: Heading to ER

    The amount of antibiotic that comes through in the milk is typically small. And even if it weren't, I would still consider that milk to be superior to formula.

    Do you feel like you have thrush? I have read that it can cause increased incidence of mastitis.

    I also wouldn't rule out resistant bacteria just because you're had the mastitis flare up in a different spot each time. Bacteria are great at traveling and setting up housekeeping in whichever place is most advantageous at the moment. If this is a resistant strain of bacteria, it could be present at relatively low levels throughout both breasts, maybe elsewhere on your body as well. And then, when your immunity is a little lowered or you have a minor plugged duct or something, the bacteria seizes that opportunity to multiply and bingo, mastitis. Ask for the culture, IMO.
    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!"

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Montreal
    Posts
    109

    Default Re: Heading to ER

    What would I do? Tough question, since I'm just a regular mom, not very knowledgeable on mastitis or antibiotics, but here's what I would do:

    -as you said, I would be determined to exhaust every avenue to make the problem go away, even if I could never know what caused it
    -I would tell the people who have the most influence in my life that what I would appreciate from them is support in my decision to breastfeed and not making me constantly justify my choice to myself, to them, to anyone.

    That is energy you could be sending on solving this issue! Good luck!
    Mama to a sweet kitty born July 2012.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    5,764

    Default Re: Heading to ER

    do you think breastmilk with chronic antibiotics is still better than formula?
    YES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!

    Species specific, biologically normal infant food & feeding method verses not. Simple.

    good article on recurring mastitis. http://kellymom.com/bf/concerns/moth...rent-mastitis/

    hope you feel better soon.
    Last edited by @llli*lllmeg; November 22nd, 2013 at 09:32 PM.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    2,475

    Default Re: Heading to ER

    I'd also start to look into what you can do to help build up your own immune system. Chronic disease is a symptom of a deeper issue with your immune system not responding the way it should. Antibiotics may help to treat the symptom (mastitis) but not the underlying cause (lacking immune response). So try looking into immune system boosting foods.

    Weaning also won't achieve anything other than causing you stress, which will further depress your immune system. So weaning would be counter productive in my opinion. The 'feel good' hormones generated when you nurse are actually HELPING you and your immune system. So please don't deprive yourself.
    Mommy to our DD1 early bird (34 weeks, 2 days, 7lbs, 14oz)! Oct. 2nd, 2008 Emergency C-Section, Frank Breech, HEALTHY Girl!
    Weaned @ 17 months
    Our DD2 early bird (37 weeks, 3 days, 7lbs, 12oz) Aug. 10th, 2010 Our Successful VBAC, growing like a bad weed!
    Weaned @ 15 months
    Our DD3 early bird (37 weeks, 3 days, 7lbs, 6oz) Feb. 16th, 2012 Our 2nd VBAC and lightening speedy birth!

    Loving being a Mom of 3, 40 months apart!!
    and

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