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Thread: Mastitis and sore half nipple :(

  1. #1

    Unhappy Mastitis and sore half nipple :(

    So I have been breastfeeding my 6 day old and my midwife says I have developed mastitis on my left breast. It is producing too much milk and is sore and hard to the touch. DS won't latch on and I think it's because my left nipple is not fully developed. Only the bottom part sticks out whereas my right one is whole. When he does manage to latch I feel excruciating pain and he drops it right away because too much milk comes out at once. At this point I'm terrified of trying to let him BF from my left and have been giving him only my right which barely hurts anymore and pumping on the left. I don't know what else to do. Is there any way to make the whole nipple stick out instead of just half? Would pumping help? I'm making a lot of milk out of both breasts he even drops the right one sometimes cause a lot comes out so I'm just throwing the pumped milk away. Any advice?

  2. #2
    Join Date
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    Default Re: Mastitis and sore half nipple :(

    Hi and congrats on the little one!
    Is the left nipple inverted? If so pumping might help pull it out. Otherwise you might want to talk to a lactation consultant about using a nipple shield on that side. Until the mastitis resolves though, given how much pain you are in, I think you might be on the right track to pump that side and nurse the other.

    I don't know if you have a job that you have to go back to at some point, but I would save that pumped milk if I were you. I really wish I had more of a freezer stash. I pump just barely enough to keep up with my LO when I'm at work, no surplus at all.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Mastitis and sore half nipple :(

    Yes I agree, if you want, there are ways to work on such a situation without giving up on breastfeeding on that side all together. Besides the pump and nipple shield, there is a device that actually pulls an inverted nipple out that may help. An IBCLC should be able to guide you, is there any chance you can see one?

    I also agree the most immediate issue is treatment of/recovery from the mastitis. It is very important to nurse, pump or hand express frequently when this is going on, also very important to rest, and in cases of infection anti-biotics may be needed.

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

    hand expression http://www.llli.org/docs/00000000000...expression.pdf

  4. #4

    Default Re: Mastitis and sore half nipple :(

    Thanks for the replies. I have some good news. Today LO decided that it was a good idea to latch onto my left. The nipple still comes out only halfway but I guess that's better than nothing. I'm taking ibuprofen to keep the swelling and fever down. I think it's getting better. My boob is not as engorged anymore and his latch hurts much less. Luckily, I am a SAHM so I won't need to bottle feed. I still would like to have a stash just in case or even to donate, I just don't know how to store it. All I have is the pump and bottle. How do you store your milk?

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Mastitis and sore half nipple :(

    Milk storage bags, you can get them at target, walmart, babies r us, or online. I use the target store brand.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Mastitis and sore half nipple :(

    That is great baby is latching and nursing on that side now and engorgement is down., Engorgement alone can create or exacerbate latch issues. Yes often even without any mechanical intervention, baby and mom figure things out!

    Here are milk storage guidelines for milk to use later for your baby. http://www.llli.org/docs/00000000000...toringmilk.pdf and http://www.llli.org/docs/00000000000...fyour_milk.pdf (that last one also has info on giving a bottle put you can skip that page) If you wish to donate your milk, you can contact the human milk banking association to find out about screening policies and collection/storage policies.

    Please keep an eye on your mastitis and any breast injury or nipple pain. Ibuprofen is safe and effective as a pain reliever, inflammation reducer and fever reducer and you can certainly use it for that. But this is actually treating the symptoms, not the source. I know from hard experience that ibuprofen can make mastitis symptoms feel so much better that it is easy to assume you are 'cured' when you are not. So I suggest, just keep an eye on it and get as much rest as you possibly can.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Mastitis and sore half nipple :(

    Thanks! I'll be sure to look some up online.

    Today was kind of a step back. Boobie started hurting again. It's producing way more than my right for some reason. LO got a latch but it was extremely painful again. So I'm going to resort to pumping until it feels better again. Fortunately my right is doing very well and barely hurts anymore. I'll definitely keep an eye on the mastitis. I hope you don't mind a couple other questions..

    Is it common to have headaches postpartum? They don't leave unless I take more ibuprofen. I had an epidural and pitocin drip. Don't know if that makes a difference.

    Also feeding still hurts a little but the worst is the moment he latches on. After that it's much more bearable. Will this leave over time?

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Mastitis and sore half nipple :(

    Hi momma, congratulations! Sorry about having to deal with mastitis, it's awful . I just wanted to relate to your problems, I had epidural and my first mastitis 2 weeks post partum. I had headache right after the delivery, and it got worse when I lay down, I think that was epidural-related (I got Syntocinon). Paracetamol helped. However, I also had a really bad headache when I got mastitis later. Do you have fever? If it's over 100F I think that's why you got headache. I'd definitely give my doctor a call if I were you, especially if your mastitis feels worse. Did you try to wrap a warm towel before pumping and a cold one afterwards just to relieve breast pain? I found it helpful, perhaps you might as well.

    Don't know about other moms but breastfeeding was painful for me too. It became so much better when engorgement was gone. Latch is more difficult to a baby when you are engorged so my guess would be that's why it hurts. Work on improving your baby's latch, find a position that works best for both. When I was feeling engorged, I hand expressed just a little (about 1-1.5oz) before nursing, it used to help a bit.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Mastitis and sore half nipple :(

    I think headaches could be a number of things. Whether they are common or not I cannot say. Yes certainly if you have a fever from mastitis, that might well cause a headache. Dehydration or not eating regularly enough might cause a headache. Constipation and other digestive issues can even cause a headache. The hormonal changes we encounter post partum might as well.

    Certainly an epidural might cause a headache as well, but I do not know what that would mean if it was happening a week post partum. I agree with pp. A headache that does not resolve is potentially a sign of something more serious and your doctor should be aware this is happening. Also cold for reducing swelling and inflammation in the engorged and painful breast is a great idea.

    Is pumping comfortable? It is very important to get the milk out, so if you can not nurse, pumping is indicated. But be aware pumping can casue a couple issues. 1) it can bring more fluid into the areola, exacerbating the swelling of engoregement. 2) it might make a too high milk production worse.

    To offset those risks, I suggest, make sure your pump flange fits well and pump at as low a setting as you can that 'works.' Also, you might want to aim for pumping for less time more frequently rather than a long time less frequently.

    Please get local help with that latch if you can. Pumping is a good solution but it is a temporary solution. For an easier life, it would be great to be able to nurse baby comfortably on both sides. This is very early days, so no reason to think this is not something that can be resolved. I do suggest keep working on it.

    I wonder if Reverse Pressure Softening would help? This is done when baby has a harder time latching due to engorgement. This article on engorgement has info on RPS: http://www.llli.org/faq/engorgement.html

  10. #10

    Default Re: Mastitis and sore half nipple :(

    @Undergroundmuse yeah mines seem to come on when I lie down as well.

    @lllmeg it does hurt when I pump. Almost as much as when he latches. It gets worse at night. I feed him from my right and pump from my left because they become much more sensitive for some reason. Before I even get a chance to pump my milk painfully comes in on my left and makes it hurt sooo bad. My right never has a painful letdown. Then I start leaking like there's no tomorrow. Then I pump and the process starts all over again. Nights are really sucky I'd love to be able to nurse on both sides..and i really think his latch is fine as my right is doing very well. It doesn't even sting when he feeds anymore. Also, thanks for the article I'll check it out.

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