Today’s post discusses the Signs and Symptoms of Mastitis. I experienced an awful case of Mastitis while breastfeeding my daughter.
Last week I was sure I had the flu. Aches. Exhaustion. Headache. Fever.
One thing told me it probably wasn’t the flu though… and that was a big, sore, achy, fire filled breast.
I couldn’t touch it without flinching. I almost threw up from the extreme pain I felt when the water hit my chest in the shower. And when Annabelle nursed… I thought I was going to pass out.
Friday I went to the doctor and she diagnosed me with Mastitis.
It is an infection in your breast tissue that results in swelling, burning sensation, discomfort, warmth, and redness. Your breast may feel hard, engorged, and excruciatingly painful to touch. Symptoms can appear suddenly and mimic the flu. A fever of 101 may also be present. Generally, mastitis occurs within the first three months of breastfeeding. HOWEVER, clearly it can happen at any time since I’ve been BF for over 13 months. Mastitis is usually caused by a clogged duct or bacteria entering your breast from your skin or your baby’s mouth.
The Signs and Symptoms of Mastitis
You should contact a doctor immediately if you are experiencing any symptoms. The doctor will most likely want to see you to diagnose you, but will also check to make sure there aren’t any abscesses or clogged ducts. My doctor found a tiny lump… and is sending me for an ultrasound… but hopefully it isn’t anything bad. Oral antibiotics, lots of nursing/pumping on the affected side, and warm moist compresses are the cure (You can read more here).
I’ve been on antibiotics for 6 days now and the pain has almost subsided. My breast is still a bit swollen, and if it is bumped the wrong way it hurts. Nursing Annabelle and pumping for the first few days was horribly uncomfortable and torturous. The pain was unreal – worse than anything I’ve ever experienced – but Motrin/Tylenol helped. Also, I have to make sure I drink TONS of water.
All breastfeeding Moms should be aware and informed about Mastitis. Know the symptoms and what to do if you start feeling run down.
I can’t imagine having had Mastitis during the first few months of breastfeeding. I had enough issues with latching and soreness, so to put an infection on top of all that would’ve been discouraging and devastating. Sometimes women wean their children early if Mastitis arises. Don’t Do It! Stick through the pain and give your baby the nutrients he/she needs.