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Advice please - worried i might be developing mastitis

(25 Posts)
pulapula Tue 02-Jun-09 16:54:29

I am breast-feeding my 3 week old, and i noticed in the night that my right boob was really engorged/sore, after things had calmed down after the initial milk coming in thing.

It feels lumpy still (i've tried massaging) and now the nipple feels sore when he latches. I've made sure he feeds from it each time. Is there anything more i can do to help? I've had mastitis before with my last DC and there's no redness/hotness yet, but dont want this to develop into something serious.

Advice welcome please. I feel like feeding more often leads to more engorgement so is this the best thing to do. i have a pump so couldd also pump if this might help.

Alittlebitrestless Tue 02-Jun-09 18:15:18


Am no expert but think I have had a few blocked ducts and this is what has helped me.

Massaging in a hot bath (lie tummy down so your boobs are in the hot water)
Massaging whilst feeding the baby.
Feeding in different positions.
Lying the baby on the bed and sort of leaning over him to feed so gravity helps.(if that makes sense!). I don't know how easy this would be with such a little baby. Not the most dignified position but have found this seems to work well.
Sitting with a hot wheat bag on the side that feels sore.


Hope you feel better soon.

pulapula Tue 02-Jun-09 19:50:22

Thanks, might try a bath tonight, if baby sleeps long enough for me to fit it in between feeds.

I might try the rugby ball hold as this should work on the duct on the side which is very sore. I keep massaging it now and again too so hopefully it will feel better soon.

nigglewiggle Tue 02-Jun-09 19:53:14

Also worth trying a warm flannel on the boob for a while before you try to express to relieve the engorgement.

pulapula Wed 03-Jun-09 15:06:42

hi, i was really engorged in the night and it was painful feeding. but things have calmed down a bit now. However i feel very hot then cold/shivery with a bad head. do you think this could be connected or just due to the change in the climate from yesterday?

Alibabaandthe40nappies Wed 03-Jun-09 15:13:31

That sounds like mastitis, I would get in to see your GP as soon as you can.

In the meantime take an ibuprofen if you aren't allergic and continue with the hot bath, massaging etc.

Hope it goes, it is miserable.

Chulita Wed 03-Jun-09 15:19:10

Does sound like mastitis - second Alibaba's advice. I got antibiotics that cleared it really quickly. Make sure you keep trying to feed off that side and massage the lumpy bits towards your lo's mouth.
You have my sympathies, it's horrible...

pulapula Wed 03-Jun-09 15:20:11

thanks, i have taken paracetomol (this morning and a hour ago). my HV is coming at 10am tomorrow for a routine appointment so i will ask her then (if i cant get a gp appointment this afternoon). i have had mastitis before with my last DC and it was miserable sad.

Alibabaandthe40nappies Wed 03-Jun-09 15:24:56

If you can take any ibuprofen that will be better than the paracetamol as it will help to take some of the inflamation down and allow the blocked areas to empty better. You can take it alongside the paracetamol.

Hope you feel better soon

pulapula Wed 03-Jun-09 15:43:26

thanks- wasnt sure if it was safe to take whilst BF.

got emergency appointment at 5.50 tonight so will see what GP says.

Alibabaandthe40nappies Wed 03-Jun-09 16:00:39

It's fine, I was prescribed it after my section and I BF. Glad you got an appointment so fast

pulapula Wed 03-Jun-09 16:08:35

thanks- will take some ibuprofen. feeling a bit better now that i have an appointment. might be nothing, but good to check as had bad night last night, crying with pain and dreading BF

midnightexpress Wed 03-Jun-09 16:17:15

Just wanted to throw in my tuppence-worth. When I was bfing ds2 I got mastitis a couple of times - the fluey shakes and the whole deal, and I was recommended to take belladonna (homeopathic remedy). Now, I am not much of a one for that sort of thing, but astonished to find that it really works. I can't recommend it highly enough.

pulapula Wed 03-Jun-09 16:20:52

thanks, midnightexpress. if its confirmed i think i will get some of that in.

pulapula Sat 06-Jun-09 07:32:37

Just an update on the situation. GP thought it was mastitis and prescribed ABs which i started taking on Weds evening. The flu-like symptoms had disappeared by Thurs morning, and the breast wasn't very painful at all so things were looking good.

But yesterday, the breast was gradually becoming more painful, especially the nipple on feeding, and by the evening it was worse than before i'd been to the docs and i was crying even before LO latched on in anticipation of the pain. Each suck is agony, and when my letdown occurs i can feel a sharp pain inside as the milk comes through. There are no obvious lumps but the breast is more tender in a couple of the originally painful areas.

So my question is, is this still mastitis, and if so, do you think it means the ABs aren't working. Not sure what to do now as its weekend so no GP surgery. will be trying another bath soon and more painkillers.

pooka Sat 06-Jun-09 07:43:40

Personally, I would see how you go for a little little while. Like this morning, but if no improvement, try and go to em doc/walk in surgery (out of hours doc). I would have thought you should be seeing an improvement rather than things getting worse, if you're taking antibiotics.

Disclaimer: I am majorly paranoid about mastitis as 2 friends had serious complications as a result of leaving it too long.

expatmom Sat 06-Jun-09 12:23:19

It could be thrush - often the result of ABs as they kill of good as well as bad bacteria that would otherwise keep the yeast in check. I had thrush for ages and it was extremely painful, particularly during latch-on and letdown. You'd need to see a GP for a prescrip (there's loads of info on here and kellymom), but could get over the counter canesten cream in the meantime.

You may also want to be taking acidophillus and garlic supplements as they'll help reset the balance.

Even if not thrush, the ABs may just take some time to clear the mastitis. In the meantime, keep taking ibuprofen, ever few hours or so - should help with the inflammation and take at least an edge off the pain.

Chulita Sat 06-Jun-09 13:45:03

ABs should work pretty quickly but if you don't feel fluey it could well be thrush. I got thrush after I had AB for mastitis and it was agony. Don't wait to go back to the GPs, it took 8 weeks of torture for it to clear and I came very close to giving up BF several times. If it is thrush they should give you something for both you and your LO even if only one of you has symptoms. The canesten cream did nothing for me, I had to have a course of FLuconazole and a one-off pill to shift it in the end. Grapefruit Seed Extract is supposed to help fight thrush, I used it at the same time as Fluconazole so I can't say if it would have worked on its own but always worth a try!
Hope this all settles soon, keep at it, I know it's really painful but you can clear it with the right help and lots of determination.
(btw - don't let your gp fob you off, I had to see 3 before I found one who even believed you can get breast thrush...)

pulapula Sat 06-Jun-09 15:25:32

Thanks for the advice everyone. I phoned the out of hours GP service and a doctor called back and she has written a prescription for stronger ABs and as i mentioned thrush, she was happy to issue something for that as a precautionary measure. So my DH is off shortly to collect it for me from the local chemist.

AbricotsSecs Sat 06-Jun-09 15:44:45

Message withdrawn

pulapula Sat 06-Jun-09 15:52:09

Thanks Hoochie,

I've written a list for DH with the additional remedies mentioned here so hopefully he can bring at least one of them back (its only a small chemist).

Think my flu-symptoms are now coming back after 30 hours absence so hope the ABs continue to work on the mastitis. I did notice more redness after my bath this morning so guess that might have triggered this.

A friend of mine persevered through 3 months of breast problems triggered by mastitis- i don't think i can do that, what with 3 kids to look after- i need to feel well.

AbricotsSecs Sat 06-Jun-09 16:43:46

Message withdrawn

pulapula Sun 07-Jun-09 20:59:42

Hi- another update (and another ask for more advice!)

I have been doubling up my ABs as the out-of-hours doctor suggested, and taking belladonna. My flu symptoms went again by yesterday evening, and in the night, it was not too painful to feed off (although the breast is very tender still).

Everything seems to be going in the right direction, but yesterday, the new redness was only about 1in across. When i looked just now, it covers quite a large area (a good few inches across and is warm to the touch). Does this mean my ABs still arent strong enough? i guess if things get worse overnight i can see my doc again. just wondered if anyone else got more redness but it still cleared up?

purplemyrtle Mon 08-Jun-09 09:24:29

Have you tried massaging and expressing at the same time to clear the area? That's worked for me, you can get non infective mastitis which basically means there's some blockage in an area and your body is reacting to breastmilk which is travelling into the surrounding tissues rather than bacteria, perhaps the case with you if ab's not working? If that were the case the key thing would be to get things flowing well in that area. Have you tried one of the helplines, they can be useful.
Hope things improve.

kwaker5 Tue 16-Jun-09 22:00:50

How are you now pulapula?

I ask because I'm on my second type of antibiotic since I was diagnosed last Thurs. Just praying it will be over soon!

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