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Mastitis & residual lumps

(8 Posts)
sc2987 Sat 18-Jun-11 22:55:45

I got mastitis in one or two quarters of one breast the other day (due to plugged ducts). The fever went in less than 24 hours so I didn't go to the doctor (plus I doubt they know much about breastfeeding!).

I got my daughter to feed off that side a lot, had a hot shower and massaged the breast, and used a manual pump on it. Because the fever and redness had gone and the lump was getting less hard, I assumed she had unblocked the duct(s) and was clearing the milk.

But she has emptied the rest of the breast very thoroughly today, and I can feel a big hard lump (with smaller lumps on/in it) still on that side.

Perhaps the ducts didn't clear, and the cells are undergoing involution instead? If so, will those quarters relactate eventually as she'll still be feeding off that side? Or will the other quarters just increase their supply to compensate?

I will ask a LC if nobody here can help, so don't worry about suggesting that.

Lynzjam Sun 19-Jun-11 00:02:01

I have been wondering about this too. I've had a blockage for the first time in my right breast in the ten months I've been breastfeeding. (The left one has had mastitis and abscess I'm still having aspirated).

The blockage in the right breast softened over a few days but I wondered if it just sorted itself out, rather than it unblocking. I then wondered what actually happens after a blockage that did not unblock? Does that part of your boob think it doesn't need to make milk now?

I feel my supply has really dwindled now both boobs are affected. DD is not fussy for feeding either......

Lynzjam Sun 19-Jun-11 00:03:36

So what I mean is I'm wondering the same! Not trying to hi-jack!

sc2987 Sun 19-Jun-11 15:01:52

Anyone? Nobody? sad

marzipananimal Sun 19-Jun-11 16:45:04

I'm not an expert but have had lots of blocked ducts and mastitis so am fairly experienced (unfortunately!).
I've had blocked ducts that are slow to go - sounds like you've still got one so keep going with trying to clear it, combing in the shower etc.

I've experienced a drop in supply but I'm sure that the affected part of the breast does start to produce milk again once it's recovered. If they didn't I would have barely any milk as I've had mastitis in pretty much every section of both breasts.

One time I had a dense area left for weeks after an episode of mastitis. Eventually i had a scan at the hospital but it was fine - normal tissue just slightly denser. It wasn't a hard lump like yours though.

Probably worth reading up about abscesses and get it checked out if it could be that but I think more likely it's just a blocked duct that will clear in time.

Sorry not very articulate - am in a hurry - but happy to answer more questions later if I've misunderstood or not been clear

sc2987 Sun 19-Jun-11 19:32:52

So do you mean it could just be partially blocked still, rather than fully, and maybe the lump is fatty deposits which have built up?

Because if it was still completely blocked, surely the mastitis would still be present?

I don't think it's an abscess; it doesn't hurt or have any of the other symptoms.

Thanks for your help.

kungpo Sun 19-Jun-11 20:11:48

Mastitis can make your supply dip but it does pick up either with the other ducts making up the difference or the branch of ducts picking back up again. The second is probably a bit more likely after log term blockages rather than a short term blockage. A whole breast can be left with lower supply but usually because its partner picked up the slack so it didn't need to make more.

You can have a partial block without the temp. That is generated by your body's atuo immune response to leaking milk proteins. Pressure off the ducts and the leaking stops and your immune response calms down. Keep up with the self help and check for blebs and any other tiny blockages around the nipple and areola. If there are any to shift try a hot bath and hand express or feed after.

sc2987 Sun 19-Jun-11 20:32:40

That makes sense, thanks.

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