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Thread: Possible Infection

  1. #1

    Default Possible Infection

    Hello,

    I just had my first baby and he is now 3 months old. Due to the fact my husband works from home , I pump most of the time. About 4 days ago while pumping I noticed blood was being expelled with the milk from my right breast. There has been no other instance of blood, but I have ran and broke a few fevers. My question is two fold.

    My MD was on vacation last week so I called the answering service and the on-call told me that if I got any fevers, pain etc to go to the urgent care or ED. My MD is back in the office Monday and I'd prefer to wait. Is this a bad idea?

    Secondly, I did dump the bloody milk, but if I DO have an infection of the breast is that milk safe to give to my baby?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    24,911

    Default Re: Possible Infection

    Welcome to the forum!

    Isolated instances of bloody milk are common and generally nothing to worry about. The most common cause of bloody milk is a broken blood vessel; the vessels are small and delicate and can be broken by something as simple as a slightly rough nursing session or by turning the pump up too high. They generally heal by the next time you need to pump or nurse.

    When the blood co-occurs with a fever, it could mean nothing or it could be a symptom of mastitis. You want to see the doctor if you have additional mastitis symptoms that do not go away; these would be things like fever, chills, full body aches and pains, deep breast pain, and red patches or streaks on the exterior of the breast. If you don't have any of these additional symptoms, it's likely that if you had mastitis, you beat it back without needing to take antibiotics.

    Bloody milk looks freaky but is safe for your baby to consume. If you don't like the idea of feeding your baby bloody milk, simply put the expressed milk in the fridge for a few hours. The blood will sink the the bottom of the bottle, allowing you to pour off the clean fraction on top. A gravy separator works well for this task.

    I'm not sure I understand why you pump most of the time? It shouldn't matter where your husband works- at home, at an office, on Mars- what really matters is where you are. If you are home with the baby, pumping seems like a huge amount of work for absolutely no gain...?

  3. #3

    Default Re: Possible Infection

    My son was in nicu for respiratory condition distress. After they took his feeding tube out he was still on O2 and on the monitoring equipment so we were only able to bottle feed. After he came off O2 I tried feeding him but he had no interest latching on. Even the consultant couldn't get him to. So given that and my husband is with him while I'm at work, I pump.

    So bloody milk is fine, but should I be concerned about passing the infection on in the milk?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Posts
    2,578

    Default Re: Possible Infection

    For mastitis, the usual recommendation is to nurse as much as possible. You get the infection either from baby's mouth or from skin flora, so you're not really passing the infection on, if that makes sense.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    24,911

    Default Re: Possible Infection

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*cubicl View Post
    My son was in nicu for respiratory condition distress. After they took his feeding tube out he was still on O2 and on the monitoring equipment so we were only able to bottle feed. After he came off O2 I tried feeding him but he had no interest latching on. Even the consultant couldn't get him to. So given that and my husband is with him while I'm at work, I pump.
    Okay, gotcha! I was just worried because sometimes we get moms who get stuck pumping so that dad or grandma can use bottles to "bond". In that situation, pumping is a huge amount of extra work for no benefit.

    It may still be possible to get your baby to the breast. This link has useful suggestions: http://kellymom.com/bf/concerns/child/back-to-breast/. Nothing is guaranteed to work, but you never know unless you try, right?

    So bloody milk is fine, but should I be concerned about passing the infection on in the milk?
    Nothing wrong with bloody milk except perhaps taste considerations- some babies don't like the flavors. The acids in the baby's digestive system will deal with any bacteria in the milk. The first-line treatment for mastitis, when you're nursing, is to nurse as much as possible.

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