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Mastitis, to express or not?

(7 Posts)
Midori1999 Mon 10-Oct-11 21:41:43

Sorry, I feel like I am always posting recently... blush

I have had what has been diagnosed as mastitis for just over two weeks now. I am not convinced it is 'just' mastitis, but will hopefully get a referal to the breast clinic later this week.

I've been on antibiotics for 10 days now and have 4 days left. There's been no real improvement, maybe some slight softening of the affected breast.

I went back to the GP today and explained I have been managing by feeding regularly, almost always from the affected side first, taking Ibuprofen and trying to massage the breast in the painful area when feeding. I have also been expressing at the end of the day to 'empty' my breasts and my DH give DD this milk in a bottle just after. One of the reasons is because DD has always been reluctant to feed from the affected breast, although I do make sure she feeds from it and I want to make sure it is properly drained.

The GP has said not to express at all during the mastitis, just feed the baby directly, but DD had her last feed a couple of hours or so ago, which I feel didn't 'empty' my breasts as well as the pump would, as she rarely takes both breasts at one feed/isn't hungry enough. She isn't likely to wake until around 1am. I am in a lot of discomfort and feel like I should express to relieve this.

Will it do any harm to express?

JiltedJohnsJulie Tue 11-Oct-11 12:23:49

Don't really know sorry Midori, just wanted to offer my sympathy and bump for you.

nickelbabe Tue 11-Oct-11 12:29:16

babycentre says yes

(am googling to see if I can get more opinions)

nickelbabe Tue 11-Oct-11 12:30:13

info from NHS choices

organiccarrotcake Tue 11-Oct-11 13:29:24

Whatever you need to do to empty the breast is good. It might be worth storing the milk rather than having DH feed it in a bottle, though, because that means that your DD is taking even more milk from you which is going to keep the breast draining.

Did the doctor say why not to express? There is normally no reason not to assuming that the pump is effective, not wearing you out (with finding expressing time on top of everything else) and not damaging your nipples.

It also sounds like, if you're expressing once a day, that you're not going to be increasing your milk supply (an oversupply can contribute to recurring mastitis).

So I see no reason why not to express and certainly if you're uncomfortable, draining the breast however you can is the best way to unblock the duct and release the infection.

MigGril Tue 11-Oct-11 13:42:06

You need to feed and then express and freeze the milk. This way you are removing more milk which will help clear the ducted.

The baby is more efficent at removing the milk but expressing in addition to feeding should help it clear quiker. The BfN have a good leflet hear www.breastfeedingnetwork.org.uk/pdfs/BFN_Mastitis.pdf

Good luck hope it clears up soon.

Midori1999 Tue 11-Oct-11 17:48:38

Thankyou very much.

I can see it makes sense to freeze the milk as opposed to feeding it. I have to admit, it was nice to have a bit of a break while my DH gave my DD a bottle though and she did refuse bottles fo a while, so keeping them up felt a good idea. DH is now away for 10 days anyway, so I'll freeze what I do express.

The GP said that baby is more efficient at removing milk, which obviously I agree with, but expressing once on top of feeds seems to make sense to me.

I didn't express last night and typically, DD slept through until 4am, which led to me waking at around 1am hugely engorged and very uncomfortable, so I had to express then anyway.

I'll express tonight before I go to bed then. Thankyou!

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