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Recurrent mastitis - Need advice from working/pumping mamas

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 

Hi all.  DD is 8 months old and I seem to have my 3rd case of mastitis.  I've been back at work full time for 2 months and continue to EBF though she gets 2 bottles of my milk per day during the week.  Lately I've been having a rough time over the weekend b/c my body just can't seem to adjust back to just nursing and I have been so loathe to bust out the pump when I have the baby nearby.  That said, I think I have to.  I am prone to oversupply so I've always just offered one side per feeding; however, I pump both each time I pump at work.  Some questions:


1) If you pump at work during the week, do you find that you need to continue pumping over the weekend?


2) Do you find that your baby is less apt to cue you for nursing over the weekend b/c he/she is getting bottles during the day during the week?  I fear that this may be part of the problem.  However, she's just started crawling and seems much more distractible lately anyway.  She also is not interested in long nursing sessions other than bedtime and once during the night.


Help!  I am committed to making it to 12 mos EBF, but these infections are kicking my a*&!

post #2 of 5

I am not breastfeeding right now, but did nurse 3 babies. I am wondering if possibly you should have your baby nurse on both sides each time, rather than just one side. Do you find that your mastitis is recurring on one side more than the other? I was also quite sensitive to not emptying when my baby nursed. I would frequently hand express the "full" side if baby didn't empty it, rather than haul out the pump. Could you also consult a lactation specialist or LaLeche League leader? Mastitis is very uncomfortable!

post #3 of 5

I've been back to work for 2 months now, and have been taking vitamin E and lecithin when I start feeling a flare up, and that seems to help. Can you pump less when at work, or is your babe eating it all?

In answer to your questions, it took me about 3 weeks but I was able to wean off weekend pumping. I also took several weeks to offer whenever I could to her, seemed to help. We don't warm up the bottle, and have lots of touching and such during nursing, which has helped her prefer breast to bottle when she has the option.

Good luck!

post #4 of 5

I had the same problem with my first baby. I would start to get mastitis every 6 - 8 weeks for over a year. 

My second, I went back to work and never got it. 


I would pump on the weekend if it helps avoid mastitis...it's no fun to get an infection. My little one is 7.5 months now and I don't pump on the weekends anymore, but I did in the beginning. 


Not sure that this is a helpful reply; just know that if you get infections frequently with one baby, your next baby could be totally different!



post #5 of 5
Thread Starter 

Thanks all.  I was actually able to clear the ducts by doing a much better job at massaging and compressing during and after pumping to make sure I'm really emptying.  I watched that Stanford pumping video that someone posted around here and it seems to have made a huge difference.  I think I will continue my am pump on the weekends and gradually taper off.  All 3 of my flare ups have been when I've been sick with another virus (I am a hs teacher and have a DD in preschool, so we are ALWAYs sick!)  I think I also need to take her into another quiet room to nurse which is not always convenient but seems to make a difference.  Thanks again!


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