I have mastitis.... Again. With DS1 I breastfed until he weaned at 2yrs9mths and only has mastitis twice - both due to a toddler kick to the b00b. With DS2 he's six months old and from memory this is the sixth time I've had it with him. I've managed to avoid it - only just - about five more times with super strong immune boosting herbs.
I get it quite severely and need antibiotics. Obviously I'm concerned about having it, and needing antibiotics, so often, especially when I plan to full term breastfeed
Has anyone else had this? Any ideas how to stop it happening?
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15-05-2012 16:44 #1
15-05-2012 16:50 #2Senior Member
- Join Date
- Sep 2010
I've heard lecithin and iron can help? Sorry you're having such a hard time!
15-05-2012 17:00 #3
I'm already on iron but will read up on lecithin.
It's just so frustrating because in every other way my immunity is fine. I just do not want to have to wean over this, but realistically it could come to that because I can't be ending up this sick (barely have strength to carry my baby when it happens - have been very close to having to go to emergency twice and once the Dr wanted to send me in an ambulance from his office) and on drugs every month for the next two years. Grrrr
15-05-2012 17:45 #4
Have you had any advice from a lactation consultant or the ABA regarding this? I would be feeling for lumps in your breasts before, during and after each feed to see if some ducts arent draining fully. If you notice a lumpy area then gentle stroke along the breast over the lumpy duct towards the nipple during the feed. You shouldnt be left with lumps after the feed. If I had a lump persisting after feeds I made sure I fed off that side first for as many feeds as necessary to get it to go. As soon as I got soreness in a persisting lump/signs of sliht redness I would feed from that breast every 3 hours (all day and night) to prevent mastitis happening. You are obviously an experienced breastfeeder so Im wouldnt think it was an attachment problem to the breat unless you felt this baby has issues compared to first child. You dont mention whether the six bouts have been more recently or over the whole six months. Has it coincided with any introduction of eating solids where bub is drinking less?
15-05-2012 17:48 #5Senior Member
- Join Date
- Feb 2006
It's been afew years so I've probably forgotten most of my advice, but as I really feel your pain I'll try to remember some!
Do everything to avoid getting blocked ducts-
- no bra as much as possible. Definitely not while sleeping, and when possible in the day. Now that the weathers getting colder you may be able to get away with no bra under layers of jumpers etc, depending on your size of course!
- avoid toddler kicks or any bumps, even firm hugs would give me blocked ducts! My reflexes for shielding my boobs with my arms became very fast LOL.
- I even had to make sure that shoulder bags weren't cutting into the sides of my boobs. Again, blocked ducts.
- Similarly, I had to try and make sure I didn't lean on my boobs while sleeping at night.
- I had to feed very regularly to avoid getting even slightly engorged. I even had to set my alarm at night to feed. If I didn't wake up and went the whole night without emptying my breast I would get mastitis.
Check yourself constantly for blocked ducts. When you find one, start working on it immediately! Get in the shower, massage it out, use a wide tooth comb to 'comb' it out, get baby to feed feed feed, with chin sitting ontop of the lump where possible. Infact, make it possible. Oh the positions I got in LOL.
Also if you find a blocked duct, drink lots of water and PLEASE rest! I found that if I rested, I could deter mastitis long enough while I got rid of the blocked duct.
Identifying and clearing blocked ducts was THE most important thing I did to avoid mastitis.
- as PP suggested, I included lecithin in my diet. Gross stuff, but I tried to hide it in smoothies, some people will sprinkle it on cereal.
- Vit C supplements. A decent dose. Sorry can't remember how much.
- Lots of water.
In the end, while doing all this avoided many bouts of mastitis, I actually cracked it and went to many many many GP's trying to find one who had a magic answer. I found one GP who reluctantly compared me to a patient who had recurrent blood infections, and said that he had put him onto long term AB's with great results. So that's what we did. Even while on AB's I did still get some mild bouts of mastitis, and had an emergency script of very very strong AB's to give me an extra boost to get rid of it.
Otherthings I remember- make sure you are on the correct AB's, sorry can't remember which ones! But some are useless for mastitis. Also make sure you have TWO COURSES. Many GP's will only prescribe one. If you get mastitis again straight after coming off one course of AB's, it's possible the same infection coming back again.
I'm losing my train of thought now as I have to get my DD from gymnastics, but I have to point out the MAIN thing that helped me get through- determination! I TOLD my family, friends and caregivers that I WILL be bf for at least 12 months. They had no choice but to support me. With my first 2 kids I also got recurrent mastitis but I was not determined and so when everyone said "oh well formula is just as good", I cried my little eyes out, tried for afew more weeks, cried some more, then went onto formula. Third time round that was NOT happening.
And it didn't. I bf my 3rd bubby until he was 2.5yo. The mastitis stopped when he was around 6 months old (started at 2 weeks).
I slowly but anxiously weaned myself off the AB's (which did not effect him BTW!). And all was great.
I hope that's helpful. Sorry for the essay but I know how heartbreaking it is to go through this!
15-05-2012 19:23 #6
He's definitely emptying the breast when he feeds, so I don't think it's an engorgement issue. Haven't noticed any blocked ducts :/ he does sometimes pinch and twist the skin when he feeds but that rarely concides with where the mastitis is. I generally only wear crop tops, not bras but will make certain they're not putting pressure on anything. Haven't yet seen a lactation consultant as he feeds fine. If anything he's a better and easier feeder than my first son.
CMF - thank you so much for posting, it gives me hope that someone else had this and managed to continue feeding.
Am on keflex but it's not really working so far this time. I fear I may be developing a resistance to it. I've taken some Bactrim DS as backup but if no luck in next couple of hours I fear I may have to go to hospital. At the very least I'd love to wait and see my Dr tomorrow.
Will try all your advice. Send some good vibes this way ladies. Need them!
15-05-2012 19:44 #7
Mastitis is the worst! I've had it a few times since DS was born (he's almost 7mo). The first time was when he was only a few days old so I didn't know the signs and ended up on anti's. The other times I knew it was on its way cause I would wake up with an extremely sore boob and could feel the blocked duct.
Do you get any symptoms to start off with OP or just suddenly get full blown mastitis with the flu-like symptoms?
Everytime I have gotten a blocked duct, I make an appointment with a physio asap and get them to do ultrasound treatment to break down the blockage. It works wonders and feels so much better after the first session (you may need a few to fully break down and get rid of the blockage). Having this treatment means instant relief of pain and not getting the flu-like symptoms or having to go on anti's (which for me always equals thrush :/). Most physio's do it.
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