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Best Mastitis Advice Ever

(23 Posts)
ElphabaTheGreen Sat 13-Jul-13 10:31:05

The first time I had mastitis, the GP told me wearing tight clothing and a slightly smaller bra would help clear it.

The second time I had mastitis, another GP told me not to feed off the affected side.

The third time I had mastitis (both sides - what a laugh!) the GP mercifully kept his home remedies to himself.

Today, with my fourth case of mastitis festering away in my left boob, yet another GP told me that the reason I keep getting mastitis is because breastfeeding is not recommended after 6 months of age (DS is 13mo). When I told him the NHS advice is to feed until two and beyond, I was informed that was just for developing countries and that I needed to discuss my choice to continue breastfeeding with my HV or continue to get mastitis.

Four different GPs, three sets of awful, damaging advice. No wonder breastfeeding failure rates in the UK are so high. sad

Nothing to ask, just needed a shocked vent. (And yes, I am trying to get in contact with the Breastfeeding Network to find out what the hell I'm doing wrong.)

mamaonion Sat 13-Jul-13 10:35:23

The one that told you bf is not recommended past 6 months- Absolutely appaling! Please complain about his/her misinformation they should be compelled to update their training! Not sure who you would complain to- infant feeding team for hospital? Hcps should not be able to spout such damaging and judgemental nonsense.

NomDeClavier Sat 13-Jul-13 10:38:58

What the actual fuck?

Do your bras fit properly? Do you have a fully drop down cup on them? Is it the same area each time?

Or have you recently dropped a feed?

The actual best mastitis advice I ever got is feed on all fours and get in a hot shower with a wide tooth comb and comb your boob towards the nipple. Hurts like buggery but clears blockages.

cluelessnchaos Sat 13-Jul-13 10:41:40

Best advice I got was feed with the chin towards the blockage whilst kneading the lump with your knuckles hurts but works. No idea why I got mastitis so many times but I've had at least thirty bouts all of them manageable at home thank god

JollyShortGiant Sat 13-Jul-13 10:45:47

Are you getting a 10-14 day course of antibiotics when you have it? A shorter course can risk recurrence.

I cleared mine by hand expressing in the bath. It hurt a lot and the stuff that came out was a pretty terrifying colour and texture, but it worked. The antibiotics were also essential.

The other thing that can create more problems and cause mastitis to come back is being run down. So tired and stressed. Take every opportunity to rest for a few days.

Meid Sat 13-Jul-13 10:52:15

Awful and shocking.

When I had mastitis I didn't go to the doctor. My DH wanted to take me but I was running such a fever I said I felt too ill to leave the house. So I just fed the baby. It was incredibly painful but I fed as frequently as my dd would take and eventually the blockage cleared. No idea if I did the 'right' thing or whether I put my DD in any danger of swallowing infection but feeding until it cleared worked and avoided any antibiotics and, it seems, crazy advice!

ElphabaTheGreen Sat 13-Jul-13 11:20:35

YY to all the genuinely good advice listed - I do all that and more.

The infection has always been in alternating boobs, except when it was in both boobs, so it's unlikely to be the same case recurring and I always finish the full 10 day course of antibiotics I'm given.

I've spoken to a lovely BfN support worker this morning and discussed every tip, trick, treatment and prevention strategy. The only things we came up with were that I have an unfortunate susceptibility to the bastard thing and the fact that I sometimes sleep on my stomach which might be making things block up.

Also the tired/run-down thing is also probably the case as DS is a notoriously shit sleeper (I'm like a virus on the sleep board) and I work full-time.

Nothing to be done, sadly, other than to ignore twattish medical advice.

plantsitter Sat 13-Jul-13 11:39:16

Do you have the opportunity to spend the day in bed today? I think sleep is the best treatment if all has failed.

If you can, do. Mastitis makes you feel shit.

ElphabaTheGreen Sat 13-Jul-13 12:38:16

Sadly, my husband is away for work until Tuesday and his parents, my only other support, are away on their hols. No bed for me sad

ElphabaTheGreen Sat 13-Jul-13 12:41:07

And DS has a tummy bug so I'm changing swampy nappies every five minutes. If I was a horse you'd shoot me <self-pitying emoticon>

ThisIsYourSong Sat 13-Jul-13 12:45:50

You could post on the Analytical Armadillo's FB page - you'd probably get some good advice there. I suspect (but am no expert) your baby has a problem with transfer. Have you seen an IBCLC? Any indication of tongue tie?

Same advice for you Chaos wink

BatCave Sat 13-Jul-13 12:54:38

I'm a bf peer supporter and I had a lady come to clinic who had just been to the GP (with nipple pain, 6 week old baby). He told her "what do you expect when you've got a baby tugging on your nipples all day".

GPs have no training in breastfeeding, it's appalling, yet they give advice freely, like they know what they're talking about, which is unprofessional, at best.

ElphabaTheGreen Sat 13-Jul-13 15:18:19

Thanks ThisIsYourSong - I've been through all you've suggested several times over, so it really is just bum-luck in my case.

I think a lot doctors give out advice they're really not qualified to give. I work with them, and have to often pick up the pieces when they've liberally handed out daft advice, so I know to treat anything they say that's not related to diagnosis or medication with a healthy amount of scepticism. But what about the majority who think a 'medical expert' knows everything about everything to do with the human body? It's bloody awful.

Stripedmum Sat 13-Jul-13 17:33:12

Yep! I was told that I shouldn't feed past FOUR MONTHS by GP as it risks vitamin deficiencies. The HVs were appalled - and I wasn't the only one her told this as the HVs had heard it before.

Best mastitis advice? Feed fees feed feed feed from the infected breast.

JumpingJacks Sat 13-Jul-13 17:42:31

When I had it my gp was awful but I managed to stagger home in the snow, in a delirious fever, where dh was looking after dd, and phone the breastfeeding network.

The woman was amazing, she spent age talking to me and told me the importance of feeding through and trying to massage the blockage out.

Was truly awful. I hope you feel better soon OP

OnTheRunFromTheAcademe Sat 13-Jul-13 17:43:37

Oh poor you! I had mastitis three times (twice in both boobs at once) and more blocked ducts than I can count.

I was also on the receiving end of some truly appalling medical advice.

Eventually we realised that ds has a fairly restrictive tongue tie. It wasn't picked up by our doctors as not the classic "heart-shaped" tongue.

Have you had your baby checked for tongue/lip tie issues? I guess your drs may not be the best people to advise you, but it would probably be worth trying to find a local IBCLC. You could try starting with your local la leche league or nct breastfeeding counsellor.

I hope you get this sorted out, whatever the problem is. Mastitis is absolutely miserable!


ElphabaTheGreen Sat 13-Jul-13 19:09:22

DS had his tongue and lip ties released months ago and they definitely haven't re-attached, but he has a very short tongue anyway (like his mum blush), so that's never going to help. I don't think you'd find anyone brave enough to have a go at revising a tongue tie in a six-toothed 13 month old anyway! grin

Weird thing is, I didn't get my first case of mastitis until he was almost 9 months old. Everything bloody else, mind, but I thought I'd escaped mastitis <sigh> It coincided with my return to work, so that's an obvious contributing factor, but why it just keeps coming back and coming back is anyone's guess (yes, I express at work with a whizz-bang hospital-grade double pump to try and prevent it). I do just get these sudden-onset engorgements which I deal with pronto (ideally with DS, or with the pump). Sometimes I dodge a bullet and I'm fine, other times it turns, within hours, to hot boob and spiking temps. You'd think after this long my supply would have become a bit more adaptable! confused

McBaby Sat 13-Jul-13 19:53:58

Have you had an ultrasound recurring mastitis sucks! But can be a sign of having breast abcesss. I also never cleared mastitis with a 10 day course of antibiotics needed over two weeks to clear. By the time you finish the antibitocs you should have no symptoms! Even if it just doesn't feel right go back to the GP. Also do you express feed every 2-3 hours when you have mastitis it massively helps clear it quicker.

agendabender Sat 13-Jul-13 20:05:27

Is it coinciding with teething? Latches can be difficult around this time. Also, totally go for the damp, chilled cabbage leaves in the bra. Change them when they get warm and limp. They really are magic. Keep feeding as much as possible though. Good luck!

ElphabaTheGreen Sat 13-Jul-13 21:38:07

McBaby I did ask the twat GP this morning if he actually wanted to see me in person given that it was my fourth case in five months to confirm there wasn't an abscess. He treated that the same as the WHO advice (i.e. ignored it) and prescribed over the phone. I don't think it could be, though, as all symptoms disappear completely a few days before I take the last dose of antibiotics. I might be more forceful if/when it happens next time to try and get that looked into.

Agenda I smell permanently like coleslaw I've been using so many cabbage leaves! grin I never get to keep them in long enough though because DS reaches in and yanks them out as soon as he gets near me. Doesn't like a side order of sauerkraut, obviously!

mawbroon Sat 13-Jul-13 21:47:38

What type of tongue tie was released, do you know? Was it an anterior? If so, it is quite possible that there is also a posterior tie in there too which needs releasing. Most people with a lip tie also have a posterior tongue tie.

There certainly are people who would release a tie in a wiggly, sharp toothed 13 month old, if that's what's needed.

I was lucky not to get mastitis, but I had recurrent blocked ducts with ds1 who had undiagnosed lip and tongue ties.

ElphabaTheGreen Sat 13-Jul-13 22:02:09

Hi mawbroon - we went to Dr John in Huddersfield for his tongue and lip tie revision so I'm pretty confident he would have spotted and zapped every tie that might have been there smile

mawbroon Sat 13-Jul-13 22:13:10

Ah, glad to see you were in good hands. He did ds1's ties for us last year, although he was 7yo, so a whole different experience.

Have you been on the Tongue Tie Babies Support Group on facebook? I mention it a lot on here, so sorry if I am repeating myself!

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