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Thread: Wondering about E Coli in Breastmilk?

  1. #11
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    21

    Default Re: Wondering about E Coli in Breastmilk?

    I am not sure what strain it is. We had a milk culture done in early Dec. and they just told me it was bacterial and put me on antibiotics. They had me come back in for another culture last Friday and now they tell me it has e coli. It was done with a large q-tip that was wrapped in plastic. She took it out with gloves and squeezed fresh milk onto the tip. Then it was put in a long glass jar. From there, I don't know what happened but considering it was the second test done, I know there is something going on.

  2. #12
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    21

    Default Re: Wondering about E Coli in Breastmilk?

    OK, here's a crazy update. I've been on the phone most of the day talking with...well...everybody. Last night, I came down with mastitis as my doc had told me to completely stop EVERYTHING. I am very prone to it. I only pump 3x per day, as I can still get about 1/2 gallon a day on that amount. Anywho, the doc I spoke with last evening said her office would call me in the morning to schedule an appt with me and to go pick up an antibiotic. They did call, but they just wanted to check on me and not sched an appt, which I thought was dumb. (I am beginning to hate this office). I asked the nurse what strain on e coli was on the chart, and she said the chart never showed what kind it was. It only showed the amount in my system. At the end of November during the first culture it was high, and I also had another bacteria but I can't remember what that one was called. She said the second milk culture showed low amounts of e coli and that the other bacteria was gone. So now I am really confused about why they told me to stop pumping and bfing, unless they just didn't want to research it or try anything else.
    I decided to get a second opinion, and called the health department. They had no idea what was going on and gave me the number for the local La Leche League. I called and left a message for them. Then my sons ped. calls to let me know they called the hospital bfing center and they said to go ahead and pump and dump to keep the supply up as it may be ok once the antibiotic I am on is done.
    End of the day rolls around and I finally get to talk to the La Leche League person. I told her everything that had been going on, and she said she would do some research and call me back. She called back and said that she found e coli in breast milk is actually very common, it's just that it's not usually at a level that will bother people (I am REALLY in tune to my body...sometimes, that is NOT a good thing ), and babies actually learn to become immune to it. The breastmilk has something in it that will fight off e coli, however, if your stressed and your immune system is down it can get out of hand. She recommended to keep breastfeeding since Caleb has shown no signs of it, and I have only shown skin issues from it. I was more then happy to!! She also said that he could help clear it up as he can empty out my breasts better then the pump can and that the pump could actually be contributing to it. Not only that, but the milk culture could have been flawed as they may be only gotten milk from one milk duct and not others. They may not all be contaminated with the e coli, which would cause the tests to be incorrect as far as the amounts.
    Also, since I have been on the stronger antibiotic for one day, I have noticed improvement on the nipple where the e coli is showing itself. YEAH!!!!!!!!!

  3. #13
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Posts
    1,197

    Default Re: Wondering about E Coli in Breastmilk?

    Here is what I was told: There cannot be any e coli in BM because of an infection you have because the e coli bacteria is too big to get into BM unlike viruses like HIV or hepatitis which can enter the BM from the mother's body. The only way your BM will be contaminated with e coli is through pumping. Your hands, the pump parts, the water with which you wash the pump parts or the bottles, etc... If you feed directly from breast the baby will be fine.

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