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Thread: subclinical mastitis

  1. #1
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    Default subclinical mastitis

    What is subclinical mastitis?

    Is it the same as low-grade mastitis? If not, how do they differ?

    I can't find much info. on the internet, so thanks in advance if you know anything!

  2. #2
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    Default Re: subclinical mastitis

    Is this a diagnosis that your doctor has given you? What symptoms are you experiencing?

    Generally, mastitis is an inflammation of the breast associated with a clogged milk duct. Some women experience painful swelling, hard lumps, and redness of the overlying breast tissue, but without an accompanying fever. With a fever, most docs will prescribe antibiotics. Without a fever, you still feel miserable but are usually not given antibiotics (though you should monitor to see if a fever develops). I have not heard the term "subclinical mastitis" applied to women (I've heard it applied to cows , where it seems to be associated with a chronic infection that doesn't present with the lumps and swelling you'd normally see).
    First-time mom to Little Manatee (1/7/2010)

    Nursed for 3 1/2 years!



    My little boy is my everything.


  3. #3
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    Default Re: subclinical mastitis

    Subclinical generally means that the symptoms so mild that they aren't readily apparent. I'd guess subclinical mastitis would be an infection of breast tissue with very mild or no symptoms.
    “We are not put on earth for ourselves, but are placed here for each other. If you are there always for others, then in time of need, someone will be there for you.”
    --Anonymous

  4. #4
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    Default Re: subclinical mastitis

    Last week I had a large clogged duct, very sore, skin was red, but no fever. The lump got a lot smaller, but it's still about a centimeter after a week, so I called my OB. Went in, they felt it and said since it's still so big I need to do a 10 days of dicloxacillin because there could be an infection. I heard someone mention "subclinical mastitis."

    I wasn't crazy about taking antibiotics, but they just had a patient that had an abscess surgically removed so they wanted to make sure this doesn't get to that point. Whatever. We're on day 2 of antibiotics.

    I e-mailed Dr. Newman, and he said without mastitis symptoms he would not prescribe antibiotics. But my doctor said you don't want to mess with an infection since the lump isn't getting smaller now.

    I'm pretty stressed out over it--all of my previous clogged ducts have completely gone away within a few months (been breastfeeding for 7.5 months).

    Forgot to say thanks for the input! If the antibiotics don't clear this up by Tuesday I have to get a breast ultrasound. I know cancer is rare (I'm 24, no family history, non-smoker), but the idea is really scary.
    Last edited by @llli*jackaroos.mom; November 12th, 2010 at 09:31 AM. Reason: forgot something

  5. #5
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    Default Re: subclinical mastitis

    breast ultrasound sounds like it might be wise.
    my mom says its much eaiser then mama gram and not at all painful.

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  7. #7
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    Default Re: subclinical mastitis

    Yea, if the lump isn't gone by Tuesday I'll definitely get an ultrasound.

    Just found out my grandmother had fibrocystic breasts--wondering if this could be a cyst that was behind/under the clogged milk duct?

    Thanks for the kellymom link. I think I've read everything on her site and the majority of the links in the past week. So helpful!

    I have my baby taking Culturelle for Kids with his bananas (ped recommended), and I'm eating yogurt and taking 1 acidophilus pill a day. Hoping for no thrush!!

  8. #8
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    Default Re: subclinical mastitis

    Hm. I really think your doctors are overreacting here. I would just give the lump a bit more time to go down, myself.

    I had a benign lump in my breast that popped up during breastfeeding and scared the heck out of me (and my doctor). I had to do a biopsy and the whole deal (subject for another post - or ten). But the thing about that lump was that it was small, hard, it did not change in size - did not get bigger and smaller, just slowly bigger - and it did NOT ever hurt. It was very different from what you are describing. The lack of pain and the fact that it did not get smaller was a definite concern. But what you describe sounds like a garden variety clogged duct. Cancerous masses rarely hurt or feel tender like a clog does.

    I've had clogged ducts that really stuck around for a bit - especially later in my BF'ing relationship, it seems that I am less likely to get a clogged duct, but when I do, they are harder to treat. So really, I wouldn't worry. Take the antibiotics, but really? I think it's just a clogged duct.

    (Ultrasounds AND mammagrams are both no big deal. But it's often very hard for doctors to see what's going on in a lactating breast. I have been down that path so many times now - they say let's do an U/S but then they can't see anything because my breasts are full of milk, so then they want me to do a mammogram, and about ten other ultrasounds, and ... I end up getting shuffled all over the place with boobs hanging out! Anyway, hopefully you won't have this experience!)

    Definitely keep us posted!
    Last edited by @llli*joe.s.mom; November 12th, 2010 at 10:51 AM.


    You can call me JoMo!

    Mom to baby boy Joe, born 5/4/09 and breastfed for more than two and a half years, and baby girl Maggie, born 7/9/12.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: subclinical mastitis

    I think it sounds like a pretty typical clogged duct, too. Have you tried massaging, warm compresses, frequent nursing, dangle nursing (letting your breast hang over baby while you nurse)to see if any of that helps?
    “We are not put on earth for ourselves, but are placed here for each other. If you are there always for others, then in time of need, someone will be there for you.”
    --Anonymous

  10. #10
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    Default Re: subclinical mastitis

    Thanks for the reassurance! I hope this is a clogged duct. Iam hating the antibiotics--our pee smells awful, and DS seems a bit cranky (could be in my head).

    LOL--going around to all the appts with your boobs out.

    I have tried everything except the cabbage leaves and raw potato slices in my bra. That's just because I haven't been wearing a bra. I have done dry heat, hot shower, submerging in bowl of hot water, massage (gentle and hard), dangle nursing, positioning DS different ways, drinking lots of fluids, and we've pretty much been nursing every hour and a half (every 2 at night). DS is used to frequent nursing because I have a low supply because of PCOS.

    It's just frustrating because we got the majority of the lump...it was huge. Now it's like the rest is stuck. So irritating.

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