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Thread: Engorgement led to mastitis and now low milk supply?

  1. #1

    Default Engorgement led to mastitis and now low milk supply?

    My baby is about 8 weeks old. Two days ago, I left him at home with my family to baby sit while I was away for 8 hours. I brought a pump and pumped 4 hours after feeding him, and got about 4 oz but I probably could have gotten more. Then I waited another 4 hours after I got home to pump again as the baby just fell asleep before I got home. That night, I started feeling chills and a light headache, and began to feel the engorgement. I had to wake the baby up to eat at 2:30am because I was so engorged and manually pump out the milk because it was so much. Then after 4 hours again, I was still engorged and had to wake him up to feed him.

    I noticed a red painful, warm spot below the left breast, researched and believe it is mastitis. Since then, I've been feeding him on the affected breast first, and then the other side afterwards. Yesterday, I fed every 2 hours during the day but I do notice a drop in the milk supply. The milk was flowing slower than usual. I already try massaging while he is feeding. I also noticed a while dot on the nipple on the affected breast. I wonder if its a milk blister. It also made the feeding on the laffected more painful than usual. I don't think the latching is incorrect as the baby has latched on the same way in the past and didn't hurt.

    I believe during the day yesterday, the baby still had enough to eat despite the drop in supply based on his diapers. It was evening around 7pm when I fed over an hour and he was still hungry (sticking tongue out constantly). I was so sore that I have to feed him with a bottle of the leaked milk. After an hour, I tried nursing again, but not much was coming out. The baby was just too tired to eat and fell asleep. I am worried about my milk supply. Please help! I tried to drink fenugreek tea yesterday (1 tsp fenugreek with 1 cup hot water). The feeding is also a little painful on the affected breast. The red spot seemed to have gotten less red but still hurts when I touch it. I haven't seek doctor's advcie or taken antibiotics.

    Paine

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    10,670

    Default Re: Engorgement led to mastitis and now low milk supply?

    Hi. I think you are overthinking things. Mastitis is not going to kill your milk production overnight. This is one of the myths about mastitis.

    It sounds like up until you fell ill milk production was entirely normal or even possibly high? You most likely got mastitis because you were not removing milk from the breasts frequently enough and possibly also not effectively enough (pumps do not do this as well as babies, normally.) However you still pumped lots of milk- 4 ounces at once is a lot.

    Normal nursing frequency at this age is about 10 times over 24 hours, and so you want to be encouraging at least that much milk removal when sick with mastitis, if not even more often.

    What I think you are noticing is a softer breast because you are encouraging baby to nurse lots, just as you should be doing. This would also reduce the speed of milk flow.

    Additionally your body wants to make enough, not too much milk. Many moms make what actually amounts to too much the first several weeks and then around this age it reduces, and flow speed also reduces, normally.

    A difference in diaper output - do you mean poops or pees? Poops measured over 48 hours is not going to tell you anything. Also by this age poops often stop being nearly as frequent normally with many babies going several days between poops. If you mean pees, it would depend what you mean by them reducing.

    I would strongly suggest avoid taking galactagogues at this point. You are ill and need to be working on resting and getting milk out of the breasts frequently and effectively for at least a week or two. That is how you take of mastitis, along with oral anti-biotics if needed. (and they usually are needed.)

    If anything is causing there to not be enough milk for baby when there was plenty 2 and a half days ago, it would be a plug that is blocking flow, and that has nothing to do with low production. Even a plug is very unlikely to cause there to truly not be enough milk for baby.

    More info: Plugs and blebs (blebs are milk blisters) http://www.llli.org/docs/00000000000...plugsblebs.pdf

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

    Kellymom on plugs and mastitis: http://kellymom.com/bf/concerns/mother/mastitis/

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