Mastitis :/

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jemima_puddleduck
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Joined: Mon Nov 12, 2012 3:22 pm

Mastitis :/

Post by jemima_puddleduck » Tue May 09, 2017 6:24 pm

Hi!
Just wondering if anyone can help me with my concerns?
I fed my eldest daughter for 4 years, never got mastitis once. 6 months after weaning, I became pregnant with my second daughter. She's 4.5 months old now and I've had it twice :( The first time was during her first wonder week at 5 weeks old, the second time was today. I have small breasts, but tend to produce a LOT of milk. The first bout was in my left breast (the one that doesn't fill up as much - I'd ignored it a little, as the right breast was going crazy with engorgement, etc, so I imagine I didn't give it enough attention and - mastitis! yay!). Over the past weekend, my right breast was filling up more than usual, and my daughter was a quite fussy with it (wonder week, and my let down is super fast on the right breast). I guess I just assumed I was over the worst part of engorgement and maybe pumped once or twice to relieve it, but didn't worry too much. Sunday it was quite sore, so I made sure I pumped when needed, used ice packs to calm the swelling, etc. By Monday morning I was fine, and all back to normal. Then I woke up at 5am this morning to feed, and I was in a world of pain (same area that was sore on Sunday). Antibiotics again :(
A couple of things I want to know:
1. Is this likely to affect my breastfeeding relationship with her? My goal is to get to 2 years with her, and then see how far she wants to take it (I never planned to feed my eldest until she was 4, it just happened!). I'm worried the mastitis is going to mess things up?
2. My doctor wants me to keep pumping and said it's something I may have to keep an eye on the entire breastfeeding journey - not letting it get too full, regularly pumping, etc. I'm a bit concerned that this is only going to exacerbate the problem - the more I pump, the more milk my body will produce, the more I"ll run the risk of mastitis. Or is this just what I'm going to have to do? I'm quite an anxious person, and I don't want to be constantly worrying about having a pump handy, having "full" breasts, etc. I was so anxious about my breasts getting full and getting mastitis with my eldest, and I wanted to take a more "laid back" approach this time... and it's gotten me here :/
3. How can I have not had it with one child, but get it with the other? For now, she sleeps fairly well at night - I have been setting an alarm for months now, to make sure I wake up to feed her, or pump if she's not awake, otherwise I get engorged. So on top of that, I haven't been able to "enjoy" a child that sleeps, as my boobs take the full priority over sleep... and I don't get a lot of sleep because of it. My eldest is now at school, so the option of having a sleep in, or taking the morning slowly and being able to take time to pump, give her a really long feed isn't an option :(
Am I over reacting? My main worry is the breastfeeding relationship suffering. Or the fact that the mastitis will get worse if I continue to get it?
Thanks :)

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Little Tiggermum
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Re: Mastitis :/

Post by Little Tiggermum » Tue May 09, 2017 9:34 pm

call us please 1800 686 268...there are lots of questions I'd like to ask about this including feeds during the day etc.
how much do you pump when you do? do you empty the breast or just pump enough to get comfortable?? generally if you're trying to reduce your supply, then you probably would only pump for comfort and not emptiness ( to reduce the 'lets make milk' reflex in your breasts).
talking to us on the phone can also help with the anxiety
DD#1 Boozo 15
DD#2 Puddins 12
DS Emperor Bulldog 9
DS2 Pumba 4
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Ducks
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Re: Mastitis :/

Post by Ducks » Tue May 09, 2017 9:35 pm

Hi there. Mastitis is awful isnt it?!
My experience was that I had repeat bouts of mastitis with first (6 times in 14mths).I don't think it affected our breastfeeding relationship as he really didn't care if i had mastitis and i kept feeding him as normal through each bout (through gritted teeth at times) He fed til he was 2 when i became pregnant with my 2nd and weaned him as i suddenly hated breastfeeding. I really wanted to avoid the same problems the second time around so i worked really hard to manage my over supply better. I ended up blockfeeding in 6hr blocks, which seems pretty extreme looking back! I didn't intend to do that but #2 used to feed and then sleep for 3hrs (unbelievable after my 1st!) so when i decided to feed off one side for 2 feeds before changing to the other side for the next 2 feeds, that took me to 6hr blocks! As she started sleeping less i continued feeding from my right side between 12 and 6 and left betweeb 6 and 12. Until one night i forgot to look at the clock and fed off the side that seemed most full and from that point onwards i stopped block feeding because i didn't seem to need it any more. It must have been around the 3 or maybe 6mth mark at a guess? I didn't ever get mastitis with #2.
For me, the key to preventing mastitis was reducing my supply. I think regular pumping would have increased it. Certainly when i tried to build a freezer stash of milk to return to work with #1, i had to pump only a little at a time or I'd end up engorged and sore the next day.
This is what worked for me, i hope you find a solution to the repeat mastitis. Good luck and let us know how you are going.
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jemima_puddleduck
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Re: Mastitis :/

Post by jemima_puddleduck » Thu May 11, 2017 11:43 am

Thanks Ducks and Little Tiggermum for your responses :) I'm sorry I haven't replied sooner, I haven't had a chance to get near the computer!

Re: Little Tiggermum - I did end up calling the ABA that night to ask a few questions. I felt a bit better after doing so, and had a lovely counsellor on the phone to speak to. I'm more than happy for you to ask me some questions if you have some advice/ideas to help me? More than happy to answer on here, or if you'd prefer a private message? My daughter feeds on demand - generally quite regularly during the day, then in the evening she seems to cluster feed. She sleeps well at night though, and I do wake her once to feed her. She sleeps in our bedroom, and after the feed during the night, I leave her in our bed. Most of the time she latches back on before we get out of bed, but it's not guaranteed. Because I have such an oversupply of milk, I was advised to pump a little out for comfort if needed. For months, I was having to pump after her night feed, as I was so full. I kept reducing the amount pumped, and was at a stage where I was only pumping once a week during the night, and occasionally during the day if needed, but not regularly. I tried to put an ice pack on my breast after pumping, to "calm" my breast down to slow the production somewhat. I didn't always do it/wasn't always possible if we were heading out for the school run, etc, but I tried most times. I imagine she feeds regularly during the day to make up for the longer stretch overnight? By regularly, I mean that 2 hours max would be the longest between feeds (this is from roughly 7am - 11pm). I generally wake her 5 hours after her last feed at night, to prevent my engorgement. She only takes one breast per feed, as she feeds until she is either asleep, or full. She is making fantastic weight gains (anywhere from 100-250g a week! Which I was told is huge for a breastfed bub!) so I know she's draining me well... I just fill up so quickly afterwards.

Thanks for your advice as well, Ducks :) I was seriously considering block feeding a couple of months ago, to manage my over supply better. It all started to calm down a bit, so I decided not to - although because she feeds so often during the day, if she's had a smaller than usual feed (like a "snack") and wants another feed say, 30-40 minutes later, I will feed from the same side again if it's still fairly "full" feeling. It's so frustrating, as I was only saying to my husband last week "I think my boobs have finally settled down." I really thought they had, so when I felt a bit fuller than usual over the weekend, I didn't stress too much (which is the OPPOSITE to how I would normally act, grrr! Was trying to be calm, and not a worry wart!) and just assumed they would work themselves out. I was a bit reluctant to pump, as I didn't want to increase my supply again. But then I ended up with mastitis, which is so frustrating! The counsellor I spoke to on the phone suggested putting Lecithin on my food? Did you try that at all? And also suggested that for some people, their diet can affect the risk of it? Apparently she knew someone who was more susceptible to it when they ate fattier, richer foods? It only struck a chord with me, as I have a healthy diet (but I certainly don't deprive myself of treats - I still enjoy chocolate, chips, etc) but the two times I got mastitis, I noticed I had been eating a bit more processed/fatty foods than I normally would - this time, over Easter and school holidays, I found myself eating a bunch of Easter eggs every day (how did we end up with so many eggs this year?!) and eating lots of chips, processed foods, etc - much more than I would in a normal week, anyway. Not sure if just a coincidence, or if something to it?

Thanks again to both of you for your help :)

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Little Tiggermum
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Re: Mastitis :/

Post by Little Tiggermum » Thu May 11, 2017 8:38 pm

sounds like you got a good result. I'm glad you got to talk to someone. Please remember to call us any time you need... and also if you want, you're always welcome at the local group meetings? Do you know who your local group is?
I haven't fed for over a year now and still love catching up with my group ( not so often now that I work full time and night meetings don't work for me either)
There is a lot of experience in ABA and the specialized counsellors are usually happy to be contacted if you need to speak to someone who has been there done that.
DD#1 Boozo 15
DD#2 Puddins 12
DS Emperor Bulldog 9
DS2 Pumba 4
Can't get to a breastfeeding support group? http://mumsright.libsyn.com

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Ducks
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Re: Mastitis :/

Post by Ducks » Thu May 11, 2017 9:45 pm

Yes i did try lechithin on my food but no idea if it helped. I didn't use it consistently tbh.
I wonder if the different feeding patterns of my babies as newborns affected my mastitis too. My 1st was a frequent feeder, never more than 2hrs between feeds (often very frequent day and night) while my second seemed to really get full on a single feed and then have a big break before the next feed.
Anyway, i hope you have beaten the mastitis. I second tiggermums suggestion of meeting your local ABA group. I met some lovely women in my local area that way but lost contact when i started work again unfortunately.
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