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4th bout of mastitis in 4 months - am I missing something?

(11 Posts)
ejbab Tue 15-Sep-09 12:10:41

DD2 is four months and I've had mastitis once a month since she was born. I am really careful to make sure one breast is empty before switching to the other and because I have quite a lot of milk often do block feeding to keep my supply in check. I have taken antibiotics each time I've had mastitis as I always get a fever and my breast is covered in red streaking and I always finish the course.
Why does this keep happening? It's not fair.... sad
Does anyone have any good tips?

ShowOfHands Tue 15-Sep-09 12:14:38

Is it happening at regular intervals? I get a blocked duct that sometimes leads to mastitis every time I ovulate. I can predict its onset and work to keep the duct (always the same one) clear, feed lots on that side, massage etc. I always wonder if an artifical hormone ie the pill would stop it in my case as it seems to be the ovulation that causes it. Presumably at 4 months in you aren't ovulating though?

It's hideous I know and unfair. My periods came back at 13 weeks despite exclusive feeding and dd is 2.4 now. That's a lot of blocked ducts/mastitis. sad

ejbab Tue 15-Sep-09 12:20:50

I'm not sure ShowOfHands... if I haven't got my period back I shouldn't be ovulating - is that right? Hmm, biology was never my strong subject, having got a D for my GCSE.
The streaking is usually on different areas of the (same) breast so I guess that means it's always a different duct?
2.4 years of on again off again mastitis? You are a hero. smile

ShowOfHands Tue 15-Sep-09 12:31:30

Generally you will ovulate first and then have a period a couple of weeks later or thereabouts. This is why you can get pregnant without your periods coming back because the egg is released and fertilised before you have chance to bleed. But no you wouldn't just be ovulating with no period.

It's unlikely to be anything to do with ovulation like mine as I assume bfing is doing its job and keeping your periods away. I was just unlucky to be feeding at least every 2hrs day and night and STILL get my period back.

Have you read kellymom on recurrent mastitis?

hanaflowerhatestheDM Tue 15-Sep-09 12:34:55

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

ShowOfHands Tue 15-Sep-09 12:37:49

Yes, hana is right. Know what works for blocked ducts before mastitis sets in. All the info's on kellymom. Most of the combing/compress stuff never worked for me and I have to feed, feed, feed, feed on that side.

ejbab Thu 17-Sep-09 11:52:57

Thanks everyone. I actually don't wear a bra, but rather breastfeeding vests because I don't want to put pressure on the area as I know that can encourage mastitis. These bras just have an inbuilt bit which is quite loose and gives a bit of support. Do you think a tighter bra would be a good idea? I've stopped wearing them at night and hope that helps.
I can never tell if I have a blocked duct until the area becomes red and streaky which is when I usually get hit with a fever and start antibiotics straight away (have learnt to always have a spare packet at the ready). So don't really get a chance to see whether massage and compresses work alone.
I've read the Kellymom sight before but have had another look. Think I will try to supplement with extra iron and vit c and maybe take a lecithin supplement and see if that helps.
Have a feeling that this monthly attack will continue til I eventually stop breastfeeding...
Might take myself off to the GP to see if they have any ideas.

NaccetyMac Thu 17-Sep-09 12:42:47

I kept getting thrush and then mastitis for months at the start with DS2. It seemed that the thrush was causing the mastitis. I think. Anyway, I chose not to use the anti-b's after the first time, and the fever/ chills/ agony have passed after 24-48 hours.

Much sympathy - it's horrible!

pondhopperjen Sat 19-Sep-09 21:46:20

Whatever you do, don't wear a tight bra! That's what I did and it's been the cause of two rounds of mastitis. I was on antibiotics both times and after the second time I asked for a referral to the breast clinic. I'm waiting for my ultrasound, as the consultant felt that the area of mastitis still had something there, possibly a small abscess that may have to be drained. Hopefully it will all be ok!

ejbab Sun 20-Sep-09 12:29:48

Ooh nasty pondhopperjen, hope it is okay. No, you're right about the tight bra of course, I meant to say should I be wearing a better fitting one as the feeding vests just have one of those looseish crop thingies inside so not much support at all. But I don't think that's the problem. Have my GP appointment tomorrow - maybe I'll ask to be referred to the breast clinic too. Although I think the mastitisy area is always somewhere different - the red patches aren't always in the same place, so maybe it's unlikely to be the same blockage? Did you have patches in the same place each time?

pondhopperjen Sun 20-Sep-09 22:17:22

thanks ejbab, me too. really could do without an abscess! My problem was in the same spot both times. But it came on as pain in the breast then fever/aches/chills/shivering both times. Between the bra and weaning, I started pumping as well as BFing to make sure that breast was constantly drained. Bit nervous as I'm going back to work and will only really be able to express once a day. I hope it doesn't kick off again. Good luck with your GP appt. If you don't feel like you're getting answers, tell them you really want to meet with a specialist.

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