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Should I throw my milk away? Help!

(7 Posts)
Lauriepies Fri 17-May-13 13:17:41

Ok so I'm feeling very confused and fed up at the moment and could really use some advice (and a hug!)

Over the weekend my nose suddenly swelled up and it hurt a lot- it felt like someone had punched me on the bridge of my nose. I did a bit of research which suggested I should see a doctor because infections of the nose should be treated as they are so close to the brain ( scary!). Anyway I went to the doctor who immediately prescribed antibiotics and said it could possibly be a staph bug ( some staph bugs can be MRSA)

I was prescribed penicillin and Flucloxocillin (no sure on spelling!) and was assured they were safe to breastfeed with.

When I got home my mind started ticking because my nipples have been really sore and a bit weepy with excema for the last few weeks . I'm used to having nipple excema so I had just been persisting with expressing milk and using Lansinoh cream rather than my usual steroid creams. However it occurred to me that if I did have a bug in my nose it's very likely to also be on my nipples in their current state. Back to the doctors I went. The doctor agreed it could be on my nipples ( I've had an infection in my nipple excema many years ago which required antibiotics) and she took a swab of the nipple to send away for testing. However I had Lansinoh on them so despite trying to rub it off with a tissue I'm not sure what the swab will be able to pick up!

To get to the point of my question, the doctor was unable to tell me whether I could continue to express my milk and give it safely to my baby if I had a potential staph bug on my nipples. They suggested I asked a midwife or health visitor. I've consulted three GPs,the Internet, the health visitor, a midwife & doctor on the labour ward at my local hospital and the national breastfeeding helpline and nobody can say with confidence if it is ok to use my milk or whether I could potentially give my little one a nasty bug. The common response is that they can't make the decision for me- its up to me to decide.

I'm sure I can't be the first woman in this situation but it feels like it at the moment. I'm currently pumping my milk and putting it in the fridge while feeding my baby formula and agonising over what to do with my milk. I'm starting to pump less often and am just considering giving up completely.

The results of my nipple swab are still not ready (I've been told to try again on Monday) but even if they were negative I'd worry that the Lansinoh had stopped the test from being effective.

I just feel like nobody knows anything and nobody really cares. If anyone has any experiences to share, I would really appreciate it. Thanks xx

worldgonecrazy Fri 17-May-13 13:26:20

As has been said, only you can make the decision.

What I would say is that a lot of people have the staph bug on their skin but their own immune system just deals with it, so breast fed babies have been exposed to the bug before now and lived to tell the tale. Breastmilk has some incredible properties, not all of which are understood by current science. What we do know is that breastmilk has antibacterial and antiviral properties and boosts your babies immune system, something which formula cannot do. Your babies spit will also have been carrying chemical transmitters which are picked up by sensors in your nipple area which tell your body which particular antibodies your baby is in need of and your breastmilk delivers those antibodies at the next feed.

So what I am saying is that in your situation I would continue to breast feed because I think that is more beneficial to the baby than not feeding.

But it is your choice.

crikeybadger Fri 17-May-13 13:27:37

Poor you, it sounds like you're really not getting much help here.
The only thing I can suggest is that you try to speak to Wendy Jones who is the pharmacist at the Breastfeeding Network. She also has her own website, the contact details are

If I can find anything else, I'll pop back.

YouMaySayImADreamer Fri 17-May-13 16:43:45

I have just posted a similar thread after reading this one and worrying (mine is just in my nose, not my nipple)..have a look at what has been answered on mine, will hopefully be very useful to you as the poster actually had a staph infection in her nipple and was advised to carry on bf. Good luck

McBaby Fri 17-May-13 19:27:39

I was advised that staph is usually the bacteria which causes mastitis when you are advised to keep feeding to help clear in infection so presumably the advice would be the same if its on your nipple.

sleepyhead Fri 17-May-13 21:01:29

I've had staph infections on my nipples twice (once each pregnancy) and noone ever suggested that I stopped bf. They cleared up quickly once the appropriate antibiotics were supplied.

With ds1 I had staph and strep G, with ds2 I had staph and strep B (or the strep B might have been on my perineum - I was a bit of a mess all round and having everything swabbed).

Both nipple infections caused mastitis and I was told on numerous occasions that it was important I continued to bf to avoid it turning into an abscess.

Both ds's were completely unaffected by the infections themselves - ds1 got some tummy aches as I was prescribed erthromycin, with ds2 I had clindamycin and metronidazole and he was absolutely fine.

Lauriepies Sat 18-May-13 17:32:20

Thanks so much for your help everyone, it's so gratefully received.

Crikeybadger thank you so much for the link to Wendy Jones, she has been brilliant and has really reassured me that it's ok to give my milk to my baby.

I feel so much better :-) xxx

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