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Is this mastitis?

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Lunastarfish Sun 02-Aug-15 03:06:40

My DD is 20 days old. She's my first. We seem to have got off to a fairly good start with breastfeeding bar a latching issue with the left breast for the first 3 days. This resulted in that nipple becoming sore and bleeding once. However, since she was 10 days old breastfeeding has been painless (other than initial first suckle) and she was only 3 oz off her birth weight at the 10 day midwife appointment so they were satisfied breastfeeding was going well.

Since Friday, and I hate to use this word as my DD is only 20 days old so I know she isn't doing this on purpose but it's the only way I can describe her behaviour, she has essentially been having a 'tantrum' if she cannot latch immediately and get milk. There has been a lot of crying at the breast.

Now, despite her cluster feeding saturday from 1pm until 8pm (she had two 20 minutes sleeps during this time) both of my breasts have hard patches. I just fed my DD and I almost dropped her as the pain when I held her to my chest was really bad. I should add that I've never experienced engorgement since I started breastfeeding.

Having read about mastitis online my understanding is that it generally affects one breast not both. Both of my breasts are hard and really painful.

It's an absolute mission to get appointments at my GP surgery. Unless it improves today I will make an appointment but I'm just wondering if this sounds familiar to anyone, whether it could be something other than mastitis, any tips etc??

OP’s posts: |
Thundercrackers Sun 02-Aug-15 03:41:37

I had mastitis twice with my first, I remember thinking it was worse than birth I was in so much pain! It's an infection, so alongside pain you would be feeling flueyand possibly a bit delirious too- it can come on extremely quickly. My advice would be to call 111 and they can direct you to out of hours of necessary. If it is mastitis, they can prescribe you flucolaxicillin and it works wonders. In the meantime, try to keep feeding and try massaging them with a hot shower head- you might find that it's just engorgement and clears up on its own. Good luck and congratulations on your new bundle!

GrizzlebertGrumbledink Sun 02-Aug-15 04:10:41

I have recently been in this situation at about day ten myself. Well done for persevering through the sore nipple and the exhaustion! I am by no means an expert and I'm sure someone more experienced will be along to help soon. I wonder whether the cluster feeding is your daughter increasing your supply and that's why you're feeling engorged now (that hard lumpy, painful feeling). Try a warm shower and massaging your breasts, gently express some off with your hand - hard engorged breasts can be difficult to latch onto.

SunflowerSmile Sun 02-Aug-15 05:07:01

When I had it I felt unwell otherwise (as mentioned above-flu like and felt funny lifting my arm). I couldn't get appointment until end of the day and by then felt terrible along with red rash. (Doctor was running late and I asked if someone could get me from my car as I was going to have to lie down and that seemed a logical place to rest for some reason -they gave me a bed to lie on in the doctors surgery). Advice above seems good -I would recommend getting it checked out sooner rather than later.

lostindubai Sun 02-Aug-15 05:53:37

If you can bear to massage as detailed above then do so as you may be able to clear any blockage yourself. If you can't bear it then you need antibiotics ASAP. Good luck.

Lunastarfish Mon 03-Aug-15 13:26:52

vThanks for the responses. Breasts have now softened although right is still a little painful and only softenedup an hour ago.

As expected I am unable to get a GP appointment today but have one booked for wednesday. I'm starting to think it may have just been engorgement inwhich case I feel a bit of a fool.

OP’s posts: |
badg3r Mon 03-Aug-15 13:33:36

I get engorged books, feels like there are little cement worms under my skin and v uncomfy! starts more under the armpits and goes away after feeding or expressing. With mastitis I had red patches on the hard bit too and feeding was very sore, and the hard bits stayed after feeding. You are right to call the doctor though, you are high priority as a bf mum and should be seen the same day if possible. Enforcement can occur if the baby suddenly eats a lot more or less than usual. Dunno if that's the case for you?

badg3r Mon 03-Aug-15 13:34:31

boobs... not books! Ew, cement worms... We'll at least it's accurate!

badg3r Mon 03-Aug-15 13:35:10

engorgement... sigh... i give up!

WorldsBiggestGrotbag Mon 03-Aug-15 13:38:20

Wednesday will be too long away if it is mastitis. I had it a few weeks ago (DD was 8 days old). Felt it coming on the Friday but didn't have time to get to the GP (I have a 20 month old too). Went to the walk in centre on Saturday morning and was blue lighted to hospital in an ambulance as the infection had got into my blood stream and caused sepsis. I was in hospital on iv antibiotics for 3 days. If it gets any worse please get seen ASAP, it's better to be safe than sorry and it does worsen extremely quickly.

MrsLeighHalfpenny Mon 03-Aug-15 13:40:44

See the GP pronto. I had mastitis and left it too long before seeing GP. I tried two lots of ABs, the second stronger than the first, but still ended up in hospital having an emergency op to remove an abcess when DD was about 8 weeks old.

ParsleyTheLion1 Tue 04-Aug-15 15:11:50

When I first had mastitis the only symptom I had was high fever... in fact, when I went back to hospital where I'd given birth, they sent me home with some antibiotics and said they couldn't locate source of the infection and must just be "generalised infection". My breasts were only slightly engorged, not much. Lo and behold I then got it again 10 days later (high fever being the chief symptom at first), and shortly after developed a breast abscess which had to be aspirated twice a week at hospital for about 5 weeks.
I then got mastitis again 4 months later. Unlike the first couple of episodes, my nipples were horribly sore early on. The high fever came on suddenly shortly after. Unbeknown to me, my DD ended up ingesting a lot of my blood and vomiting it up later on (and he had black stools). So he ended up spending night in hospital whilst drs checked he was ok. It was only the following day that I realised it was my own blood he was vomiting etc.
My point is:
- I've had mastitis a number of times and the initial symptoms can vary (sometimes just a fever, sometimes obvious engorgement and sore breasts, sometimes cracked and bloody nipples). Just because you're missing one "classic" symptom, doesn't mean you haven't got it. (That said, I've always had a high fever early on...)
- Seek treatment asap because the fever can get very high very quickly, and you do not want an abscess!!!

WorldsBiggestGrotbag Tue 04-Aug-15 15:15:13

Second what Parsley said, my temperature was 41.9 when I was taken into hospital, 24 hours after my first symptom!

notquitegrownup2 Tue 04-Aug-15 15:21:08

I was advised that you don't need antibiotics if you catch mastitis quickly. I had it lots of times, but learned quickly to recognise when it was arriving - v. tender breast with prickling sensation then pain, followed by fluey symptoms rapidly arriving.

Obviously if you have a high temperature and have not caught it early then you may need antibiotics but whilst you are waiting to see the GP the advice still stands good.

I was advised by breast feeding clinic to take 2 ibuprofen quickly (safe when b-feeding, but not advised in early pregnancy, but hopefully that's a way off yet!!) and then to feed massively from the inflamed side. The ibuprofen is an anti-inflammatory, so takes down the internal swelling, allowing milk to flow through the inflamed area again - the more milk that flows, the more it sooths and unblocks the tubes. The milk which was behind the blockage/swelling will be slightly thicker for a few seconds, but is fine for baby, then returns to normal.

It certainly helped me to avoid mastitis getting worse, and to avoid having to have repeated antibiotics - which only fight the infection, but don't necessarily clear the blockage/inflammation so quickly.

The only issue I faced was that feeding from the inflamed side tended to mean that the other breast got a bit neglected and therefore in danger of getting mastitis that side (I tended to get it if I left ds to sleep through/skip a feed or two). To sort this, I fed as much as possible from the inflamed side and pumped from the healthy side.

HTH. Congratulations on your little one, and on doing so well so far!

Lunastarfish Sat 08-Aug-15 21:34:26

I thought I would update everyone. grizzle was correct, my DD has been cluster feeding and GP said it was/is engorgement. Thank you though for everyone's advice, it has been very helpful.

OP’s posts: |
notquitegrownup2 Thu 13-Aug-15 16:13:42

Belatedly, so glad that you got it sorted. Your GP sounds really helpful, and breast feeding aware, which is a huge help.

Lunastarfish Fri 04-Sep-15 19:17:08

Aagh! I have mastitis now. I hada blister on my nipple last weekend then last night very suddenly developed flu symptoms. Saw gp today and now have antibiotics.

OP’s posts: |
KiranMumsnet (MNHQ) Tue 08-May-18 15:46:50

Hello, just a heads up that this thread hasn't been posted on for over a year. If you're suffering, flowers - we've pulled together an up to date page on mastitis and breastfeeding over here.

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