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Is this mastitus again?

(7 Posts)
Baileysismyfriend Sun 18-Sep-11 20:04:48

I have been breastfeeding my son from birth and he is now 6 weeks old. Two weeks ago I had very tender breasts, shooting pains and a hard lump which was red and was diagnosed with mastitus, I was given a 7 day course of flucloxacillin and I started to feel better within a day or two.

A couple of days after the anti biotics finished the shooting pains came back and my breasts are tender again. I spoke to my HV and she prescribed me a course of co amoxiclav for a week as she thought the mastitus had returned, I have been taking this for three days but still have the shooting pains and tenderness?

I don't have any hard lumps or redness so Im confused as to whether I actually have mastitus again or if its something else. My son does not have thrush and the HV didnt seem to think it could be that.

Could it be that I will just always have tender breasts while Im feeding?

Fiolondon Sun 18-Sep-11 20:37:47

Mastitis is a confusing one. The GPs and HVs just dole out antibiotics but don't necessarily deal with the issue. Antibiotics are only of use if you have a proper infection. The issue is that you can have mastitis symptoms without having a proper infection as when you get over-full or have a knock to your breast the milk can leak out into the breast tissue from the milk ducts. The body thinks this is an infection and you get sore hard lumps and redness, so unless it goes on long enough for infection to set in, antibiotics are useless in sorting it out.
I had the "beginnings of mastitis" a number of times and if you don't catch it quickly it can make you feel blooming awful blooming quickly. Being tired doesn't help but check your clothes and bras are loose and not pressing on the same part of your boob. Avoid holding your breast dring feeds. Avoid your baby bashing you or carrying a rucsac etc that can cause a restriction. Once you have it act quickly and get as much rest as possible - plenty duvet days! Take ibuprofen to relieve the pain and reduce the swelling. Feed from the affected side for as long as possible. While feeding drag your fingers or a wide toothed comb over the lump to "flush" out the trapped fluid.
Here is a really good leaflet from the Breastfeeding Network -
They also have a great one on thrush - which cn also cause buning/shooting pains and tenderness ad be difficult to diagnose.
If you are still having problems try to see a breastfeeding network counsellor (they have a search engine on their site) or NCT or LLL counsellors - HVs and GPs just don't seem to know quite enough about BF for my liking!
Good luck and hope you feel better soon.

Fiolondon Sun 18-Sep-11 20:42:24

sorry forgot to say - the counsellor might be able to help with finding reasons for the re-lapse in relation to latch etc if you can't think of another reason. The leaflet suggests taking a milk sample to the GP if self help and antibiotics don't work - but maybe see what the BF counsellor suggests. Above all rest, rest, rest to make it go away.

Baileysismyfriend Sun 18-Sep-11 20:58:31

Thank you for the reply, I think your'e right some HCP seem very quick to give out medication without really looking into what it could be. The HV that gave me the latest lot of anti biotics wasn't even sure it was mastitus but just gave them to me to be on the safe side hmm

The tenderness is on both breasts does that mean it's less likely to be mastitus? I do tend to hold my breast at the start of feeding and holding the baby to me does make it worse as they just feel more bruised so Ill try and hold him in different positions.

I tend to feed from both sides for the same length of time so have started to wonder if I am not emptying my breasts fully so am going to try and just feed from one at each time and see if that helps - as long as he is still satisfied that is.

Baileysismyfriend Sun 18-Sep-11 22:07:20

Just realised I have spelt it wrong all the way through - mastitis

Fiolondon Sun 18-Sep-11 22:46:39

Hmm sounds odd that it is the same thing at the same time in the same place on both breasts. Do you think the skin around your nipples looks shiny and feels sensitive? I know this is tricky as everything is a bit different if bf for first time. Sounds like you should check out the thrush leaflet I mentioned. It seems to appear about 4 weeks with very varied symptoms - so if it's affecting both breasts it is a possibility and would be worsened by antibiotics. You might not have any other symptoms other than shininess and 'heat' or sharpness. It's tricky to describe. Anyway sounds like you need to see a bf counsellor ASAP - go rather than phone if poss so they can see you and witness a feed. If it is thrush it can be got rid of quickly if you are thorough - otherwise It's hard carrying on. Sounds like you've done very well to stick with it so far. Good luck

Baileysismyfriend Mon 19-Sep-11 07:32:33

Thank you so much for the advice the leaflets are really useful and I'm going to check out my local breastfeeding group. Hopefully I will be pain free soon smile

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