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Thread: "Clumpy" Milk for how long after mastitis?

  1. #1

    Default "Clumpy" Milk for how long after mastitis?

    HI, I am new here. :-)

    My DD will be 6 weeks on Tuesday. We had a great start to BFing but unfortunately was taken down a few notches by back to back cases of mastitis. After meeting with a great Lactation Specialist I do think it was caused by an oversupply/poor latch-- I was pumping 7-9 ounces at any given time. I am now limiting my time at the pump to only when necessary and only pumping 2 ounces each side- I do feel an big improvement in my engorgement and touch wood seemed to be mastitis free.

    I also started taking lecithin 4x a day.

    I do notice that while the "clumps" (sorry tmi) in the milk from the mastitis side have decreased- they are still there. More like the stringy grains described from clogged ducts but the milk is definitely thicker and I have to strain it before freezing or putting into a bottle.

    I don't have any lumps or hot spots so I don't think I have clogged ducts- but my affected breast is still slightly red (it was bright red and HUGE HARD AND SWOLLEN when I had it)

    DD is also starting to give good stretch at night so I am nervous I am going to het it again.

    Any feedback would be appreciated- thank you!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
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    5,912

    Default Re: "Clumpy" Milk for how long after mastitis?

    Are you still nursing, or eping and baby bottle fed? If you are nursing, I am not sure why you are also pumping...just too much milk still for baby to handle? Are you giving baby any bottles at this point?

    I suggest you call your IBCLC about the expressed milk but here are my thoughts-

    Human milk has fat in it, lots of it. I think that is all you are seeing. Milk striagt from the tap is not going to be homogenized, kwim? Some moms see lots of fat in ther milk and others do not, its all good amnd normal. I am not sure you have to strain it. If it came out of your nipple pore, (and it did) I imagine it can safely go down baby's throat.

    6 week old would typically be nursing frequently day and night, and this is important for baby, mom and milk production. How long a stretch are you talking? There is no harm and in fact may help to wake baby and encourage baby to nurse frequently overnight as well as during the day. In fact many babies nurse quite nicely in their sleep.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2006
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    Default Re: "Clumpy" Milk for how long after mastitis?

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*lllmeg View Post
    Human milk has fat in it, lots of it. I think that is all you are seeing. Milk striagt from the tap is not going to be homogenized, kwim? Some moms see lots of fat in ther milk and others do not, its all good amnd normal. I am not sure you have to strain it. If it came out of your nipple pore, (and it did) I imagine it can safely go down baby's throat.
    Those strings and clumps may be related to the mastitis, or they may simply be normal for you. As LLLMeg said, the milk you produce isn't homogenized the way cow's milk from the grocery store is. Cow's milk straight from the cow is often full of clumpy and/ or stringy stuff- and also hay and cow hair- which gets filtered out when the milk goes into the storage tank at the farm.

    I suggest a simple experiment: take several bottles of pumped milk and separate them into 2 groups: strained and unstrained. Allow them to sit in the fridge for 24 hours, so that the fat floats to the tops of the bottle. If the bottles have similar amounts of fat floating on top, then straining isn't taking out anything important.
    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: "Clumpy" Milk for how long after mastitis?

    Thank you both for your responses. It is definitely related to the mastitis as its only coming from the affected breast, and it subsided the first time it went away. I am ebfing but DD gets at least 1 bottle a day (of pumped BM) , usually when DH takes the 6 am feeding (and I can get another hour of sleep) I have to strain the milk otherwise it clogs the bottle.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: "Clumpy" Milk for how long after mastitis?

    In that case I guess I'll fall back on my stock answer for "when" questions, which is that they're impossible to answer. Every woman, every baby, every breastfeeding journey is so different... I know it makes you nervous to see the clumps and have your baby sleeping longer at night, but most likely this will all work its way out and everything will be fine. You could always try some hand-expression at night, if you're feeling overfull. And don't be to afraid of the pump, if you do feel the mastitis making a comeback. It's always best to treat the mastitis first, and worry about oversupply second.
    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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    5,912

    Default Re: "Clumpy" Milk for how long after mastitis?

    oh ok did not think of bottle clogging. Yeah i have no idea when it would clear up. agree with mommal frequent removal of milk is best protection against mastitis. That and keeping generally healthy and as well rested as possible.

    This is why bottles to get more sleep can backfire. the milk still has to come out of the breasts one way or another as often as baby eats at around the same time baby eats, especially in the early months. pumping, saving/storing the milk, preparing the bottles, even having to strain the milk in your case-it all sounds like a lot of work to me. It might be easier to just nurse. You could try nursing sidelying in bed so you can rest/doze and nurse all at once.

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