Mastitis and Abscess?? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 8 Old 05-07-2010, 02:48 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I have been having a mastitis with fever for the past two days and I treated it with cabbage, an apple cider vinegar cocktail, an essential oil mixture from Germany. It didn't seem to go anywhere and my breasts looked awful with red streaks on them. I took Bryonia, a homeopathic remedy, yesterday at noon and my fever got a little higher (39.5 celsius). I emailed my acupuncturist yesterday to ask for an antibiotic name that would be safe for breastfeeding in case it doesn't get better over the weekend and she recommended to take abx right away as I might develop an abscess. She really is not western medical oriented so that she recommends that it is very rare. My husband got abx for me last night but I had no fever anymore and decided to wait until the morning to make 48 hours complete. Today I feel much better. The red streaks are lighter and not swollen anymore. I don't have a fever but my breasts are still lumpy - not so painful nursing or touching anymore though. I have the abx here and some probiotics but I am thinking I might not need it. What do you think? If I don't run a fever can I still get an abscess?
Thanks for your thoughts and insight on this!!!!

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#2 of 8 Old 05-07-2010, 03:51 PM
 
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I don't know if you can still get an abcess or not at this point. However, I would say that it's very possible that why your symptoms have gotten better that the infection itself hasn't completely cleared. If you find your symptoms recurring within the next 2-4 weeks, my experience is that you should definitely take antibiotics.

I had a very similar case that would wax and wane. Over the course of 4 months, I had 4 cases of mastitis with the last two becoming more severe than the previous. Ultimately, I had to take some very strong antibiotics to rid of the infections. I wish I had taken them after the 3rd round rather than the 4th round of infection.

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#3 of 8 Old 05-07-2010, 04:07 PM
 
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In my experience, if it is not a very strong abx it will not wipe it out, it will come back. Either do a strong abx or continue to treat it with natural methods, but stay on top of it! I would highly recommend using poke root tincture, which is safe for breastfeeding but not pregnancy.

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#4 of 8 Old 05-07-2010, 05:13 PM
 
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I know of one Mom who got an abscess after mastitis and did not have a fever with the abscess. She went several weeks before getting it checked out though, and her mastitis lasted about a week - so not necessarily the same as you. The abscess was nasty and needed surgical drainage, but Mom and Baby kept nursing through it all.
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#5 of 8 Old 05-07-2010, 06:37 PM - Thread Starter
 
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How do you know that you have an abscess if you don't have a fever? How big are they? I have always had very lumpy breasts with knots (not the bad ones). In my twenties I had it checked with a mammogram and was told that that's just how my breasts are. It was painful at some points when I had hormonal shifts without a baby. So I am wondering how to recognize an abscess.

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#6 of 8 Old 05-07-2010, 06:46 PM
 
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While I respect alternative modes of healing, considering that you previously had a fever, I would take the antibiotics and I would go see your primary care physician.

I'm sure that you already know this but....
I would not take the chance of risking mastitis or abscess. Mastitis can hit you like a train and mothers' do die from this. I have heard of cases where a woman complained of mastitis and within 24 hours she had passed because the infection over took her body.

An abscess can cause permanent damage to breast tissue and can therefore, impact your ability to breastfeed.

I would take the meds.

"Breastfeeding is a robust, biologically stable activity so central to our evolutionary identity that it names the class of animals to which we belong" (Breastfeeding Atlas, Third Edition)
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#7 of 8 Old 05-07-2010, 08:04 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mawood View Post
How do you know that you have an abscess if you don't have a fever? How big are they? I have always had very lumpy breasts with knots (not the bad ones). In my twenties I had it checked with a mammogram and was told that that's just how my breasts are. It was painful at some points when I had hormonal shifts without a baby. So I am wondering how to recognize an abscess.
I have just seen the one. The breast tissue was light red above the abscess, and as it got worse (they tried to drain it by needle twice before surgery) the tissue surrounding it got hard and inflamed.

If you are at all worried I recommend getting it seen by your health care provider.
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#8 of 8 Old 05-08-2010, 08:16 PM
 
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If the fever's gone, the redness is diminishing and it's not sore to touch, then you're probably fine. Try to nurse the baby with its chin pointing towards the blockage (may require assistance, depending on where it is!) That should clear out the block. Also, you can take a hot bath and when you've soaked for a bit, soap up your breast over the blocked area and *gently* run a comb over the skin over the blocked area toward your nipple. (This has the side-benefit of a completely valid excuse to sit in the tub for half an hour at least.)

If your fever returns or the area gets more red or more sore, don't hesitate - take the abx. Your acupuncturist is right, there is a place in the world for judicious use of abx and bad mastitis is definitely it. (Well, you know, along with the bubonic plague and stuff.)

Postpartum doula & certified breastfeeding educator, mama to an amazing girl (11/05) and a wee little boy (3/13).

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