Mastitis~what do I do now? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 6 Old 05-12-2005, 12:58 AM - Thread Starter
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I am nursing a nineteen month old and have just come down with mastitis. I woke with fever, chills, painful breast. The fever and chills have left the breast feels better but is still inflamed. Have prescription for antibiotics but am leary about taking them. What other options do I have? Also, doctor wants an ultrasound of my boob? Why? TIA for any help given.

Nursing student, (LAST SEMESTER!!!)Cloth diapering, cosleeping, breastfeeding mama to 4!!!
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#2 of 6 Old 05-12-2005, 02:28 AM
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Owie! I have one too, which is how I landed on this AWESOME site tonight- just surfing for info on natural cures. This is the first time I have had this- had a few clogged ducts with DD, but never anything worse. This time around (little guy is 10 wks old) I have the full-blown deal. I chose to take the antibiotics and have been on them since Mon morn. ( i was super sick over mother's day with raging fever, chills, nausea, and the hard part of the breast is 4" long...uggg) There are great suggestions on another thread for helping with mastitis- definitely check them out.... but my midwife warned me that the antiobiotics aren't a bad abcess is apparently MUCH worse than what we're going through.

One thing you can try- hurts like crazy, but has helped me nip them in the bud in the past...try hand expressing using the knotted area as the main's a bit yucky, but can help push the clog through. Lots of warm compress before you try this helps.

As for the U/S- from what I've read, there is some thought that they can use U/S to encourage the blockage to break up? but i've never heard of anyone who has had that done. Anyone??

Good Luck!

Brenda- Blessed wahmama to Sara(7) & Alex(5) 7/10 & 9/10 Living the crazy life with dh David & Charlie on our little urban farm!
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#3 of 6 Old 05-12-2005, 08:48 AM
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The very best thing you can do for mastitis is to enlist the help of your little one to nurse as much as possible. With mastitis you want to keep the milk flowing out as much as possible so your ducts stay nice and clear. If the milk just stays there you can end up with even more sore and inflamed breasts as well as plugged ducts. Also, get as much rest as possible... I always used to get mastitis when I'd get run down - I had it 5+ times but not in a long while since I can feel it coming on and if I just go to bed and nurse my dd like crazy then I can usually make it go away without antibiotics...

As far as helping with inflamation I've heard that putting cabbage leaves in your bra can help draw out the infection but I haven't tried this myself.

Take care and good luck.
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#4 of 6 Old 05-12-2005, 10:09 AM
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I had mastitis and my midwife (she is the smartest person I know)told me this.....

take 1/2 dropper of echineachea (diluted in a little water)
2 vitamin C pills
2 garlic pills

Every 2 hours......until the symptoms go away, I kept it up a day after the symptoms went away.

This worked amazingly well for me. Also as the pp said NURSE, NURSE and NURSE and RELAX.
I had my dp massage my breast with a warm wash cloth while I nursed too, this felt very nice.

Don't do antibiotics, they may cause thrush too, which you don't need.
Good luck

Monica mama of Joad(11-22-04)
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#5 of 6 Old 05-12-2005, 11:29 AM
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This article has great info about treatment, both conventional and otherwise:
* No: If symptoms are mild and have been present for less than 24 hours.
* Yes: If symptoms are not improving in 12-24 hours, or if mom is acutely ill.

* Most common pathogen is penicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus.
* Typical antibiotics used for mastitis:
- Dicloxacillin, flucloxacillin, cloxacillin, amoxycillin-clavulinic acid
- Cephalexin, erythromycin, clindamycin, ciprofloxacin, nafcillin
* Most recommend 10-14 day treatment to prevent relapse. Do not discontinue treatment earlier than prescribed.
* Consider probiotic to reduce thrush risk.
* Some mothers also use natural treatments.

* Nurse frequently & empty the breasts thoroughly.
Aim for nursing at least every 2 hrs. Keep the affected breast as empty as possible, but don’t neglect the other breast.
* When unable to breastfeed, mom should express milk frequently and thoroughly (with a breast pump or by hand).

Before nursing
* Use heat & gentle massage before nursing
- Warm compress. Try using a disposable diaper: fill the diaper with hot water (try the temperature on your wrist first to avoid burns), squeeze the diaper out a bit, then put the inside of the diaper toward the breast. This will stay warm much longer than a wet cloth.
- Basin soak. Fill sink or bowl with hot water and submerge breast in water while massaging the plugged area toward the nipple. Some report better results when epsom salts are added to the water -- add a handful of epsom salts per 2 quarts (2 liters) of water. Rinse with fresh water before nursing, as baby may object to the taste.
- Hot Shower. It can be helpful to massage in the shower with a large-toothed comb. The comb should be drawn through a bar of soap until it is very soapy and then used to gently massage over the affected area in the direction of the nipple.
* Loosen bra & any constrictive clothing to aid milk flow.

While nursing
* Nurse on the affected breast first; if it hurts too much to do this, switch to the affected breast directly after let-down.
* Ensure good positioning & latch. Use whatever positioning is most comfortable and/or allows the plugged area to be massaged.
Note: Advice to point baby's chin (or nose) toward the plugged area is outdated and was based on the idea that the milk ducts take a nice, direct route to the nipple - recent research tells us that this is not true, and that a particular duct might begin in one area of the breast but can "wander" in many different directions before terminating in any area of the nipple.
* Use breast compressions.
* Massage gently but firmly from the plugged area toward the nipple.
* Try nursing while leaning over baby so that gravity aids in dislodging the plug.

After nursing
* Pump or hand express after nursing to aid milk drainage and speed healing.
* Use cold compresses between feedings for pain & inflammation.

* See also How do you treat a milk blister?"

This article has specific alternative treatments:
" * Take mom's and baby's clothes off, get into bed and nurse, nurse, nurse (mastitis appears to be the body's way of telling mom to SLOW DOWN). Get as much rest as possible.
* Between feedings, use a cold compress on the breast to help with any inflammation. Some moms use hot compresses directly before nursing, but others prefer to stick to the cold. Compresses/poultices that can be helpful:
o Make a rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis) infusion: to make an infusion, add 2-4 teaspoons of fresh or dried rosemary to a cup of boiling water. Infuse (steep) for 10 minutes, then strain.
o Use a fenugreek seed poultice;
o Make a dandelion (Taraxacum officinale) compress: boil about an ounce of minced dandelion root in two to three cups of water until only half the liquid remains; use compresses of the resulting brew.
* When your baby nurses on the affected side (use that side first), massage the breast towards the nipple. Massage the breast often during feedings and between feedings to help loosen the plugged area.
* If there is a fever, mom can take
o Raw garlic - At least 2-3 raw cloves per day, 4-5 cloves a day if possible. Chop a clove into 5 or 6 pieces and then swallow the pieces whole like pills.
Raw garlic acts as a broad-spectrum antibiotic, without the added antibiotic side effects of the development of antibiotic-resistant strains of bacteria, or the development of yeast infections or thrush. The antimicrobial property in garlic, allicin, is very sensitive to heat and is destroyed when cooked. In order for it to work, it needs to be raw. Swallowing the cloves with orange juice helps with the taste for some. Allicin is also what gives garlic its pungent odor, so the deodorized garlic capsules that some companies offer are essentially useless, if they are being taken for the antimicrobial properties. However, deodorized garlic is still beneficial for its blood pressure reducing properties and for stimulating the immune system.
o Tincture of echinacea, 3-4 times/day
o Tincture of Oregon grape root, 3-4 times a day
o Vitamin C (3000-5000 mg/day megadose)
o Another option: Mix a dropperful of echinacea tincture, three cloves of raw garlic and four to six ounces of carrot juice in a blender and drink the mixture every two hours.
* A very warm shower can help - let the water just run over your breast.
* You can also take ibuprofen, which will help with inflammation and pain.
* If the mastitis does not improve or gets worse after using this treatment for 24-48 hours, contact your doctor - you may need antibiotic treatment."

And here's one more article that should help (has some homeopathic remedy suggestions):

HTH! Good luck!

Griffin 2/04

Mama to two sweet boys, a 7yo superhero.gif and a toddler coolshine.gif.

The intuitive mind is a sacred gift and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift. - Albert Einstein

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#6 of 6 Old 05-12-2005, 11:44 AM
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I had a major clogged duct last week with a big red spot on my breast. It didn't get any farther than that because I did the disposable-diaper thing, which was incredible. Those stay hot for a long time. (I was actually glad that I keep a few in the house!).

Get well soon.
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