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Desperate plea for help - mastitis

(12 Posts)
Lucky13 Mon 06-Jul-09 01:37:22

I really hope someone here can give my friend some help with breast feeding. She is into
her 4th week of mastitis on one side and is in constant pain and discomfort.

She can get nothing or v little out of the blocked side and has tried the massage, cabbage, hot/cold etc but nothing works. DS wont feed from that side either.

She is on antibiotics , but these don't seem to clear it either and has upset the baby so is having to give formula

She has seen her doctor, midwives, the Breastfeeding clinic/counsellor and helplines but no-one has the same advice and continually contradict each other

She has just seen another doc who has said to give her some pills to dry her up completely!

She doesn't know what to do and is so upset as she really wants to BF but cant get any help.

Does anyone know where she should turn or what to try next?


milou2 Mon 06-Jul-09 02:58:52

I just did a quick google of mastitis and found the La Leche League International FAQ on mastitis.

If you look at that page it emphasises rest and getting the milk flowing out of the affected breast. Once the milk is flowing it needs to be kept flowing often, no long gaps between feedings of expressing.

Gentle expression and I have even heard of the partner sucking to get the milk out.

I don't want you to go too long without some answers.

Mimsy2000 Mon 06-Jul-09 04:11:49

i had mastitis several times with both children and your friend has my sympathies - it's horrid. however mine always cleared up after antibiotics [and one hospitialisation with hardcore antibiotics]. i think your friend needs to get some support from la leche but also get seen by a medical professional again. as i understand it, the blockage could become pretty serious and become an abcess requiring surgery.

also, expressing can help but the problem with mastitis is that your friend probably overproduced and expressing consistently will really just make things work by continuing to overstimulate milk supply; ie make more than the baby wants or needs. it's a tough balance.

she needs to march into her gp's office and demand help.

good luck.

bundle Mon 06-Jul-09 07:11:51

where does she live? I got help over the phone from LLL - they were terrific, much more knowledgeable than GP or tbh midwives

Lucky13 Mon 06-Jul-09 08:45:58

The trouble is that she has seen too many people and was at the local hospital last night with it.

I'm not sure she has rung LLL, but definitely one of the helplines. I'll ask her to phone them if she hasn't already.

She has tried so many things to get it unblocked, but nothing seems to work.

Bundle, we live in the south - not near london.

No-one seems to know what to do when the antibiotics don't work...?

tiktok Mon 06-Jul-09 09:10:07

Lucky, some of the stuff she has heard may be different and even contradictory because different things work with different people...but she must be despairing having had this for so long

The LLL factsheet is likely to be a good one, and it is worth her reading this and forgetting that other people may have contradicted it.

I am not sure if it mentions this on the factsheet but in serious cases, ultrasound treatment clears mastitis. I think she should also be checked for abscess, too.

Lucky13 Mon 06-Jul-09 10:11:32

Thanks - for the help - but just found out it is an abscess and she needs surgery

Its such a shame as she was so desperate to breastfeed and is in floods of tears over it all

bundle Mon 06-Jul-09 11:33:06

lucky, tiktok is right, your poor friend hearing contradictory stuff when she's in such pain and dealing with a new baby too

I had it 3 times in 10 weeks (2 lots of ABs) and did heaps of things so hard to identify what helped in the end - I rested, fed as much as I could, massaged, fed in different ways (eg with the baby's chin near to where the blockage was - lying down is good) - most of this was over the phone as my local LLL rep had her kids at home and another was on holiday...but their support was great. In the end my GP referred me to the homeopathic hospital and although I didn't even take the remedy blush I never got it again - the GP/homeopath was pretty clued up and as a new mum it was great to have 45 minutes talking to her smile about everything

bundle Mon 06-Jul-09 11:33:38


your poor friend sad

tiktok Mon 06-Jul-09 12:43:21

Lucky - please don't tell us she has been told to stop breastfeeding...this is not necessary.

joyjac Mon 06-Jul-09 12:53:55

It's even more important that she continue to breastfeed because if the side with the abcess gets engorged it can be very, VERY painful. Unless the baby's mouth would be touching the wound, in which case she might need to wait a couple of days
She needs to see an experienced BF person in real life: LLL, NCT or Lactation Consultant.

Lucky13 Mon 06-Jul-09 13:48:07

Lots of people have told her to stop feeding, but i'm not sure what the hospital are telling her now - i hope not.

The baby would not feed from that side unfortunately and she has been trying to express without success - i guess that's why things have got so bad.

I am trying to go see her once she has had the op so that she knows that she doesn't have to stop, because i know she really doesn't want to. I just hope they don''t try and bully her.

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