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Mothering › Mothering Forums › Toddler › Toddler Health › Breastfeeding Beyond Infancy › Are these symptoms of mastitis? And if so should I still continue nursing my 16mo toddler?
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Are these symptoms of mastitis? And if so should I still continue nursing my 16mo toddler?

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 

Hi, so basically here's my symptoms: I have a sharp pain on my left breast I think in the middle, and chills all over my left side. I already called my mw and made an apt to see her, but in the meanwhile is it safe to keep nursing? Also does it sound like mastitis at all?


Here's a bit of background: We are just getting over having strep throat, and normally I'd chalk up the chills to just being part of the strep but my breast is killing me. I also read that if it is indeeed mastitis that some have to be treated with abx. Is there any natural way to avoid the abx? The reason I ask is because last time I had to be in abx ds had thrush. So any advice from any mama who's been there with it would be greatly appreciated. I hate being in pain but most importantly I have two little toddlers that depend on me for most everything and I hate not being able to fully be there for them. Thanks again :)!



ETA: Also is there an old thread on this that I could read? 

I forgot to add that it is warm to the touch



Edited by BRmama - 4/2/12 at 5:18pm
post #2 of 10



That sounds like it may be mastitis - here's a good kellymom page with info that can help you to decide.


If it is mastitis it is really important to keep nursing on that side - if the breast doesn't get drained it gets worse.


I was told to give non-antibiotic treatments 24 hours to work, and if there was no improvement to take antibiotics, as mastitis that isn't quickly treated can abscess - which can damage breast tissue and decrease milk production significantly.



post #3 of 10

yes keep nursing and yes if you dont get better fairly quickly - take the antbx.  The best way to get over this - as it does sound like it could be mastitis  - is to keep nursing...stay in bed and do everything you would do to stave off any other illness or infection - you mentioned two small toddlers - im sure it wont be easy  - but do you have someone who can come over and watch them while you catch up on sleep?  someone to bring over some meals, take them to the park - anything!   You should really try and stay sitting / lying down as much as possible - drink plenty of fluids, get some Vitamin C and echinacea

If antbx are imminent  - stop eating all sugar, and three times a day swallow a capfull of white vinegar (for three days)  -- hopefully that will stave off thrush.  Good Luck!!

post #4 of 10
Thread Starter 

Thank you guys for posting. PatioGardener thanks for the link. I'll definitely be going the natural route first to see if I can avoid abx. My mw was saying that if the fever I have passes 100.5 then to call them so they can prescribe me abx. So far it's 99.3


Motherhendoula, my dh is being wonderful and taking care of the kids. The problem is the kids want to be with me since they don't like to see me this way. My three year old saw me cringe last night while I was nursing his younger brother and he started shouting to ds2 "Hey don't hurt mama!" Lol 


Anyway last night was a horrible night because my toddler would not sleep and he kept waking up a lot to nurse which I guess it's a good thing even though I felt like crap. The thing is dh unfortunately ended up making him a warm bottle while I pumped because every time he'd nurse he'd nurse a little and start crying. It makes me wonder if my milk tastes different than normal. He's nursing fine on the other side even though he only nurses a little on the affected side. Another thing that I'm worried about is I've been pumping this whole time but I feel like hardly any milk is coming out. Is this normal? I guess it could mean that I emptied my breast? I hope so because I'd hate to be running out of milk. So far I'm taking raw garlic with lemonade for a natural abx, and am sending dh to the store for some vit.C and echinacea. Thank you guys again, having this completely sucks. I'd take my kid's bites over this lol. I feel like I have the flu with the world's worst migraine. Sorry for the rumbling, okay going back to sleep...thanks again

post #5 of 10

awww....id tell you i feel your pain - but i have been very lucky to NOT experience this!  Just stay in bed, let the kids come in to nurse while laying down - they say the infection should not alter the taste of the milk - but really?  who can confirm that? then again - it could be the raw garlic!  lol  try and get the more compliant child to nurse more often on the affected side.   and tell DH  we say thumb.gif 

Also - take a pain killer,  basic Tylenol would be OK while it still hurts this much. 

post #6 of 10

Feeling like you have the flu makes it almost definitely mastitis. I just got over mastitis.. for the THIRD time. The first time I had it when DD was only 6 weeks and I was still very engorged.. it was so bad, I felt like I had the flu, the chills, I was shaking, there was this shooting pain all the way from my breast to my shoulder around to my back, and by the time I went to the doc for abx, I was crying. As in crying, in public, waiting to see the doc. Never known pain like that.


I do not like pharma medications of any kind and always try to avoid them, but with mastitis I have found only abx will get rid of it. This could possibly be because of the density of my breast tissue? No idea. But it hurts too much to wait around. I now give it about 18 hours to start getting better or I just start taking the abx. Also ibuprofen will both reduce the pain and help open up milk ducts and is safe to take with a nursing toddler. I try to always steer clear of ibuprofen because of the thinning of intestinal lining issue, but with mastitis, it helps the most. 


Keep offering the affected side.... he doesn't want to nurse because the milk is partially blocked and coming slowly. But you've got to drain it. If he won't nurse and not much is coming from pumping, you may also want to hand express on that side, massaging your breast in the shower.


hug2.gif I know this is the worst! Hope it passes for you as quickly as possible.

post #7 of 10
Thread Starter 

Holy Cow anjsmama three times huh?! You basically described how I'm feeling. I'm sorry you had to go through it three times hug2.gif. Yeah I can barely stand the pain this time. I've been nursing him on the affected side lol and he's been nursing but I guess that'd explain why he's only nursing a little at a time. I've been doing vit. C and echinacea like a pp mentioned. I've also been doing warm diaper compresses and raw garlic along with ibuprofen. My kids are playing at the neighbor's for a couple hours and normally I'd be okay with it, but I feel so bad that they have to see me this way and I can't fully be there for them.  The truth is I hate being on abx, but in this case I'll take whatever for the pain and to nix it. Tomorrow if I'm not feeling better then I'll be calling my mw again. She said they'll do abx if my fever goes up, my other worry is giving my toddler thrush from abx yk, but if I do have to take it then that's okay too. I think those of us that know the horrible pain this is would be willing to do anything to nip it in the bud. I'm going in the shower while my kids are at the neighbor's and massaging the heck out of my breast lol. Thanks for your kind words. Oh almost forgot to ask you once you got over it, did you have a bruise afterwards at all? 


Motherhendoula count your blessings! This stuff hurts! I think the worst part is the psychological aspect for me. The fact that I have two little toddlers that I can't be fully there for them and when they see me crying in pain they start apologizing lol. I think in my case since we were getting over strep throat my immune system made extra antibodies to pass on to him and my body as a result thought it was an infection so hence the inflammation and the body aches, and fever. At least that's what I think and from reading about it, but I could just be rambling lol anyway I don't know. All I know is this makes me miserable. I'm off to hand express and massage it in the shower since I'm feeling a little better.

post #8 of 10

I really hope you're feeling better by now, but if not - please take the abx!!! I have had mastitis 3 x as well.  I know, for me, that when it turns flu-like, then I need the meds.  I seem to be especially vulnerable when there is other illness around.  The worst time I had it was when older DD had croup, I was up a lot with her, and ended up with bronchitis and mastitis and 104 myself.  Please try to be as aggressive as you can as you really do NOT want to get an abscess.  I found that leaning into a bathrom sink full of very hot water worked better than showers and compresses - something about the gravity,

post #9 of 10

Oh and my baby DD refused the affected breast too to add insult to injury!  I do think the infection changes the taste or something.

post #10 of 10
Thread Starter 
Ismama as soon as I read your post I went and did it for a long time. I noticed while doing it that my bm is very stringy. Anyway that really helped because earlier when I was taking a shower and doing the same thing I started feeling lightheaded. I haven't had a letdown yet, in fact my milk is coming out very slowly. So do you mean like when you still have the chills and flu like symptoms after like 18-24 hours of not feeling better then you take abx, or if your breast in particular don't get better within that time then you take it? Just curious since I've never had this. I feel better as far as my chills and aches go and my fever is down but my breast is still very sensitive and warm to the touch and still hurting a lot. I've been trying to nurse as much as possible even if it means a little bit but every hour. And I've been pumping and hand expressing all of this to avoid an abcess. I'm leaning toward calling my mw and asking her to prescribe an abx for me tomorrow just because with the abx putting an end to this I don't have to worry about an abcess forming (provided I'd still keep doing what I'm doing to prevent it as well). That's what really scares me. This is bad enough I can't even imagine what an abcess feels like. Thanks again for the tip
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