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Help Help, friend needs support / advice about mastitis and engorgement.

(10 Posts)
Confuzzeled Fri 18-Sep-09 20:17:20

My friend is questioning whether continuing to bf is worth it. She has a 10 week old ds and is just getting her 4th bout of mastitis. She has massive over supply problems and has been told the extremity of her situation is rare. She is now getting the cold and has tummy pains from the antibiotics.

This is her first baby and she is so sad she can't fully enjoy him because she's so run down.

I have only seen her once since her baby was born as I had my ds 3 weeks ago and dd and I have had colds and coughs I've not wanted to pass on. I have only been able to email and text her and I have told her how well she's done to keep going through all this.

I intend to show her this post and hope that some of you can tell us your experiences or offer some advice and support.

Confuzzeled Fri 18-Sep-09 20:40:08

bump

Confuzzeled Fri 18-Sep-09 21:15:42

bump

PacificDogwood Fri 18-Sep-09 21:22:01

Did not want to let this go unanswered smile, Confuzzled.

I cannot really advised on oversupply problems as I never had any envy, however I also had lots of blocked duct/glands and mastitis.
It is rotten, your poor friend! IMO, it all got a lot better and then really good after 3-4 months. I had initially just set myself the goal to get to 6 weeks with BFin, then 3 months, then 6, and before I new it DS3 was over 1 year and we very gradually stopped (he was not that interested anymore and I wanted proper bras back <<superficial>>).

Does your friend have BFing advice in RL? Mastitis and a cold and sideeffects from antibiotis(she could try live natural yoghurt cultures, there is some evidence that that might help), is just not fair! There is however every chance if she feels able to persevere things will get so much better with time.

Hopefully somebody with more experience will come along soon.
smile

Confuzzeled Fri 18-Sep-09 22:00:37

Thanks for replying PacificGogwood, my friend has been going to a breastfeeding clinic at the hospital and a bf group. She says it's hard going to the group because everyone else is enjoying feeding their babies and look at her with such sympathy.

Oh and I'm hearing you on the proper bra's, my ds only 3 weeks and I'm hating the low boobs look

boyraiser Fri 18-Sep-09 22:12:54

Can only reiterate what Pacific Dogwood has said. I had mastitis 3 times in the first 10wks with DS1 and twice with DS2 (again in the first few months).

Both times, I was mastitis free after about 3mths, with only a few little blocked ducts now and then around 5-6mths with DS2, which cleared in a day with ibuprofen and did not lead to fully blown mastitis.

From what I can remember, it helped to:
- wear loose fitting tops and take care to have bras that do not cut in. Being small-breasted, I wore Mothercare night time nursing bras during the day as they had no seams and were more like vests.
- keep a stock of ibuprofen in the house. You could also ask your GP for a packet of flucloxicillin (the antibiotics used when blocked ducts turn into mastitis and you're feeling like death) to have at hand.
- when you have blocked ducts, try cold compresses between feeds to reduce the inflammation and a moist warm flannel applied to the affected breast for a few minutes before feeding
- try to massage out lumps in the breast as your baby feeds - the flat of your thumb from the outer edge of your breast towards the nipple in gentle but firm strokes.
- savoy cabbage leaves (crushed or with the veins scored , then worn inside the bra for 20mns, no more than 2-3 times a day) are good at relieving the pain (especially if kept in the fridge) and reducing milk supply (in my case I think the problem was with oversupply in one breast).
- always feed from the affected breast first until the ducts have cleared.
- try to take things easy when you are recovering from mastitis. Insist on being helped by your other half or family/friends - you've been unwell and it takes time to recover.
- you could try to use a hand pump to express the affected breast after feeds to "clear" it. That said, I wondered whether this might not exacerbate the problem as it encouraged an increase in supply.
- use www.kellymom.com for more information.

I feel for your friend though - it's horrible to get mastitis again and again. But as her breastfeeding becomes more established, and her baby feeds more efficiently, she'll probably be less prone to blocked ducts. I fed DS1 for a year and am still feeding DS2 (2y) - after very inauspicious starts - so if she hangs on in there she might find that she is just about to turn the corner...

Confuzzeled Sat 19-Sep-09 09:28:47

Thanks Boyraiser thats amazing, I'll send this to my friend.

Confuzzeled Sat 19-Sep-09 17:14:13

anyone else?

Daisydoodledoo Sat 19-Sep-09 19:55:35

Hi i'm a student midwife and had a little girl 5 months ago, i have to totally agree with everything boyraiser has said. I have large breasts and with breast feeding i've had blocked ducts, severe engorgement and mastitis its been horrible.
My GP advised me to stop feeding but what rubbish this is, keep feeding, massage the breasts, mabe express small amounts but try not to over stimulate or you will end up more engorged.
I found expressing, Cold cabbage leaves and hot flannels in the bath along with massaging was excellent.
Try to get your friend to find a well experienced bf specialist for more advise.
I hope this helps.

Confuzzeled Sat 19-Sep-09 20:23:27

Thanks Daisy, good luck with your dd.

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