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Thread: Mastitis after 7 successful months of bf

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
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    32

    Default Mastitis after 7 successful months of bf

    I have had a very successful experience breastfeeding my 9 mo daughter - except in the past 2 months I've had mastitis twice. The first time my daughter had been sick so I was exhausted from lack of sleep and I don't think she was nursing as intently. The second time happened about three weeks later - I think I'd only been off the antibiotics for about two weeks when I got it again. We had been traveling and due to jet lag our days and nights were reversed - so again I was exhausted and her feeding was off.

    My question is this: surely there were times in the first 7 months of breastfeeding her when I was exhausted and her eating was "off" her usual schedule. So why am I NOW running into problems with mastitis? Is it true that once you get mastitis once, you're more susceptible? What can I do to prevent this happening again (mastitis is just no fun at all)?

    Thanks for your advice.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
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    863

    Default Re: Mastitis after 7 successful months of bf

    Gosh! It sounds like you've had a rough time of it! Don't feel bad- one of the leaders in our group just had a bout of mastitis and her son is 18m old! My recomendation would be to learn to recognize the signs of a plugged milk duct so that it doesn't lead to mastitis. Signs includ a very tender spot, redness, or a sore lump in your breast. A plugged duct can be caused by improper positioning, prolonged periods of time between nursings, giving supplementary bottles or over using a pacifier, wearing a too tight nursing bra or other clothing that constricts the breasts. Has db recently started sleeping through the night? That could be a cause. As soon as you notice a problem make sure you rest-- climb in to bed (if possible) and tuck baby in with you for the remainder of the day. At the very least, eliminate all unnecessary activity and spend an hour or two off your feet. You can also try a hot shower or bath, nursing the baby on the affected side frequently, wearing loose clothing, and changing nursing positions from time to time.

    I haven't heard that you are more susceptible to mastitis once you've had it, but I'm interested to see if anyone else has.

    Keep us posted!
    Kristie L.
    LLL Leader
    (the poster formerly known as fezzik812)
    Wife to Brett, Mommy to Seamus (5.1.05), and Emelie (1.18.08)
    "You must be the change you wish to see in the world."- Ghandi

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
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    42

    Default Re: Mastitis after 7 successful months of bf

    Also, do you have anything that looks ike a sore on your nipple? I had recurrent mastitis w/ my first ds. In hindsight, I now realize that the weird "spot" on my nipple was most likely somesort of resistant infection, probably staph, that the antibiotic wasn't clearing up. If I'd had more competent docs, they would have caught. None of them even looked at my nipples. Just a thought. If not, Kristie already gave you great advice.

    I had mastitis once w/ my 2nd, who is still nrsing, and once when ds3 was a newborn. So that was only twice in over 2 years. I had it 3 times in 2 mos w/ ds1 and like I said, I think it was a nipple infection getting into my breast.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Posts
    32

    Lightbulb Re: Mastitis after 7 successful months of bf

    >Also, do you have anything that looks ike a sore on your nipple? I had >recurrent mastitis w/ my first ds. In hindsight, I now realize that the >weird "spot" on my nipple was most likely somesort of resistant infection, >probably staph, that the antibiotic wasn't clearing up. If I'd had more >competent docs, they would have caught. None of them even looked at my >nipples. Just a thought. If not, Kristie already gave you great advice.

    Oh my goodness, I do! I have a little spot on my left nipple that I thought was a blister (due to baby's aggressive nursing). But it only appears on my left breast and always on the same side of my nipple. (It goes away for a few weeks and then reappears; I can't really remember if it appears just before I get mastitis of not.) At the moment I don't have mastitis. What should I do?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Posts
    42

    Default Re: Mastitis after 7 successful months of bf

    I would go see your doctor, show her the sore spot, and insist she treat it before you get mastitis again. I weaned my son shortly after my 3rd bout (he was 15 mos old) so it cleared up on it's own. But I wish I had known better and had it treated. I might not have weaned him.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
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    32

    Default Re: Mastitis after 7 successful months of bf

    Many thanks for all this advice. Just an update... I saw the doctor yesterday and I don't have a staph infection, the 'spot' is from 'wear and tear' on my breast - ie, it's a blister. Of course it could become infected so I should be careful about keeping it clean, but it's not staph. So that's a relief but takes me back to my original issue which is why I've had twobouts of mastitis at this relatively late stage of my breastfeeding experience.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    683

    Default Re: Mastitis after 7 successful months of bf

    Hmmm...that blister could be a nipple bleb -- take a look at this (not an approved LLL reference) and see if anything jumps out at you:

    How do you treat a milk blister?

    Let me know what you think after reading this

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Posts
    32

    Default Re: Mastitis after 7 successful months of bf

    Hmm... I'm not sure. I think it's too red to be a milk blister - ie, it's more of a traditional blister. But I'm just not sure. I really hurts though and she's at the point now that whenever she pulls off - to look around, to take a break, or for whatever reason - it's so tender I cringe.

    I'm going to take really good care of it and hope for the best.

    Thanks again for your advice.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Posts
    42

    Default Re: Mastitis after 7 successful months of bf

    Mine didn't look like a blister at all. I'm glad that's not what's wrong w/ you!

    Have you tried taking lecithin? I've heard that will help people who get a lot of clogged ducts. Also, I noticed that I get plugged ducts when I eat too much chocolate. I think it's from the type of fat in the chocolate.

    When my babies reach that distracted stage, I just don't nurse them when they start pulling off. I mean, I wait until they're really hungry if we're out and about, and if we're at home, I go to bed and close the blinds if possible. Otherwise it just gets too painful! LOL!

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