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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've been reading and searching other posts about recurring mastitis, but haven't found anything with a similar frequency. I'm fighting off my third infection in the last three months, and they've been almost exactly four weeks apart!<br><br>
I haven't gone for antibiotics, and would rather not - a round during childbirth gave us thrush problems. Which might not yet be totally cleared up, and also contributing to the problem.<br><br>
I've been trying to boost my immune system, taking lots of vitamin C, garlic caps. This time it's in the other boob, so I'm thinking it's not just a plugged duct that isn't clearing.<br><br>
Anyone ever heard of a hormonal factor? This once-a-month thing is coinciding with PMS. Nothing to be done about avoiding that, if it's triggering the flare-ups! But the timing does seem sort of obvious.
 

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My friend had recurrent mastitis (she posted here many months ago). Her son was tongue-tied (short frenulum) that caused him to chomp instead of latch on correctly. He would squeek when he nursed! Even after it was cut he didn't nurse correctly since the muscles weren't developed in utero because of the short frenulum. She ended up having to do OT with him to develop those muscles so he would nurse correctly and eventually she stopped have monthly mastitis. You need to find a REALLY good lactation consultant and/or OT to help you. I'll see if I can find her old post. Good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks. Although I don't think we have any latch problems, it doesn't hurt to check, right? I've got the number of the local LC around here somewhere. I'll dig it out.<br><br>
Meanwhile, anyone else have any suggestions? I'm all ears!<br><br>
Thank you!
 

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Hi! I had a problem with recurrent plugged ducts (that fortunately never turned into mastitis). I got them every few weeks for months and months when my son was a baby.<br><br>
A few things:<br><br>
a) Make sure you're getting as much rest as possible. One of the biggest reasons women get plugged ducts and mastitis is because their body is overworked and overtired. I know it always made me laugh when the doc told me to get more rest. (Ha! With a baby and a toddler!) But try. It seriously helps.<br><br>
b) Make sure your salt intake is sufficient.<br><br>
c) In addition to rest, nursing a lot on the bad side, hot compresses on the breast, etc., a homeopathic remedy really helped me as well. I took Hepar Sulphur and Phytolacca every three hours (I alternated every three hours). That helped to clear up the duct much faster (within hours, sometimes).<br><br>
Anyway, once my son got older, the plugged ducts came with less frequency. I hope you find a solution!
 

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Hi Melanie,<br>
I've had frequent, recurrent mastitis, (15x) although not quite on as regular a basis as you have. Bless your heart!<br>
I've never <i>specifically</i> heard of the menstural cycle causing mastitis, but I can imagine how it might affect it. I tend to get mastitis whenever I'm especially stressed or tired. I feel like I'm just prone to mastitis, and stress or sleeplessness can open a little gap in the immune system that allows it to develop. PMS could certainly cause stress or sleep disturbances that might mimic that.<br>
Another thought would be that hormonal changes throughout the cycle could be causing fluctuations in your milk supply that might either cause plugged ducts (if the supply increases), or changes in your little ones nursing patterns, such as more frequent nursing(if the supply decreases).<br>
Or it could be unrelated or something else entirely...<br>
As far as suggestions go, you're already doing some of the same things I do to boost the immune system (Vit C and Garlic), which is great. Lecithin is <b><i>wonderful</i></b> for preventing plugged ducts. If I had to choose just one supplement, that would be it.<br>
Echinacea would be a good addition whenever you start to notice an infection, but it loses effectiveness if taken on a regular basis. If you're cycle is regular enough, you could try adding some just before you would expect an infection to show up. Maybe talk to a herbalist or naturopath.<br>
Thrush can definately lead to irritation and problems that can leave you open to mastitis. You may want to look at some more remedies to completely clear that up if you think it's still active. If it's been active for a long time, you might even talk to your doctor about a course of diflucan to really wipe it out. Make sure they give you enough though (see kellymom.com for Dr. Jack Newman's yeast protocol). It takes a much higher dose to clear up ductal yeast that it does for the usual vaginal yeast infections.<br>
Really, Really try to make sure you're getting enough rest that time of month. (easier said than done with little ones, I know)<br>
You can also try getting multiple pump bottles of hand sanitizer to use before every nursing session. You might want to try to use it on your baby's hands too, since (i'm assuming) he's old enough to be mobile, and is probably picking up germs from the floor and bringing them straight to the breast. My daughter loves handwashing when I'm doing it with her (scrub, scrub, scrub!! lol)<br>
If you notice any cracks or other trauma on your nipple or breast, you can try treating it with a little dab of neosporin to help prevent it from becoming a point of entry for germs. Just a tiny bit should absorb well enough that you shouldn't have to worry about wiping it off, but if you still see any on the nipple when you get ready to nurse, <i>very</i> <i>gently</i> wipe it away.<br>
A LC or LLL Leader could probably offer you some more suggestions that my mommy brain can't come up with right now. There are also a lot of comfort measures that can make the infection more bearable and lessen the duration.<br>
Ibuprofen is your friend!! Nothing OTC lessens inflamation better for me.<br>
Heat vs Cold is an individual thing... Heat right before nursing can help the milk flow better, but it can also aggravate the pain of the inflamed tissue or a sore nipple. Cold packs can be very soothing, but also inhibit letdown for some moms. I like a little bit of heat right before (sometimes with cold right on the nipple, if it's been tender), and cold aftewards and between sessions.<br>
Rest, Rest, REST!! and then some more rest!! Mastitis can sometimes be our body's way of telling us we're taking on too much.<br>
Hope some of this rambling helps, and I hope you feel better soon!!
 

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I just wanted to completely echo Heather's post. Daily evening primrose oil might also help you-- it's helpful for all kinds of breast stuff that's reactive to hormonal changes.
 
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