Mastitis problems - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 3 Old 09-28-2010, 05:02 AM - Thread Starter
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I'm so frustrated right now I don't know what to do.

My baby is two months old.

A month ago I had mastitis. I woke up with a fever, a huge red patch on my breast right breast (outside), and lots of pain. I went to the doctor and she gave me antibiotics and pain killers.

I heard from friends that I should hire a specialist to come give me a massage, and show me what I'm doing wrong. We paid about $250 for a specialist to drive here (we live way out in the countryside). She said it was because I'm nursing in bed, and my breasts are too heavy. So I started nursing sitting up.

My baby went through a growth spurt, and ate a ton. Then apparently finished his spurt, and stopped eating so much. He usually "snacks" through the day, and does marathon nursing at night when he gets fussy. I'm OK with this, and it's been good for our relationship.

Last Thursday night I again had the same symptoms. Same breast, but a different place (inside). I went back to the doc and got more antibiotics and pain killers.

It's Tuesday, and I'm still on antibiotics. I have been breast feeding a lot on the right side and doing it in many different positions to try and make sure I'm clearing all the ducts. The inside spot has stopped being red... but now the UNDER side of my breast is all red and tender. I'm feeding my son now and I've got shooting pains through my breast. It can't be an infection (I don't think) since I'm still on antibiotics.

I have F-cup breasts. I don't wear a bra unless I'm going out (I heard bras can cause mastitis). I'm still having engorgement every morning

I've read "Womanly art of breast feeding"
I had two different specialists help me get started off in the hospital with a good latch
I had a lactation consultant watch me breast feed once before
I hired a lactation consultant to come help again when I got mastitis the first time.
I'm going to yet another breast feeding class weekend after next, to try and figure out what's going on.

My biggest problem I think is that the doctors here and lactation consultants don't know what to do with me. I live in Korea, and women here don't have large breasts. I really love breast feeding my son. I'm getting horribly frustrated though, and I don't know what to do.

Can anyone help me with advice?

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#2 of 3 Old 09-28-2010, 07:41 AM
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Oh ouch mastitis is sore, but you can do everything yourself to ease the pain and unplug the block. You can take pain killers and antibiotics but unless the block in the plugged duct is unblocked it will never go away and could get even worse.

Don't panic you can do this by yourself; use hot compresses, by hot I mean really really hot, as hot as you can stand without burning yourself, apply the damp hot compress to the affected area, let it sit there for a while but not until it is cold, and then nurse your baby with the chin pointing in the direction of the affected area, this sometimes can take some nursing gymnastics but it's really worth it, you can put baby on the bed and you go on all fours over the top of baby and make sure that the affected area is directed to the chin of the baby, keep doing this and nurse as often as you can to unblock the plugged duct, you will feel bruised and sore but it will go away.

You can massage yourself, start at the top of the breast and with the palm of your hand move slowly down the breast in a gentle but firm cirucular movement do this all around the breast and not just in one spot, and then nurse baby, you can also do this in the shower or bath so that you have lots of heat there to melt down all that creamy milk that is causing the block.

Do you think that you are managing an over active letdown (OAL) or over supply (too much milk)? Once you have got over the worst - make sure to try and tell your GP what you did so that if she ever is faced with this she knows what information to give her future patients - hopefully she'll take it well!!

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#3 of 3 Old 10-04-2010, 11:51 PM - Thread Starter
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I was gone so I couldn't reply to this - Thanks for the insight. I did that and I must have unplugged it cuz I had a little milk fountain for about 20 seconds.

I'm not sure what the problem is. It's definitely NOT a strong let-down reflex. I can barely feel when I let down (sometimes not at all) and vary rarely have any kind of spray or leaking when he suddenly stops nursing.

It might possibly be an oversupply, but I don't think so.

I kind of think that it's because of my son's nursing style. He doesn't like big meals - he's a snacker. He'll suck for about 5 minutes, then be done for 20-45 minutes.

Also this seems like it might be happening after a growth spurt? He ate a ton for several days, then suddenly just lost interest in eating and slept most of the time. Not sure what to do about that, except hope it changes as he gets older???


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