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Old 28.04.2012, 15:47
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Mastitis remedies?

Currently battling mastitis and it's very painful. My midwife recommended quark compresses but it would be helpful to hear of any other remedies that worked for breastfeeding mums. I'm hoping to avoid antibiotics.
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Old 28.04.2012, 15:56
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Re: Mastitis remedies?

I had it twice, without ATBs. Usually, the ducts are mechanically blocked. If you don't feel like discussing the details here, pm me, otherwise, I will quickly tell ya - warm them and rub, in circular motion, and then harder strokes towards the nipple, the best it is after you had hot herb tea and standing under a hot stream of shower (heavier let down is good for a clean up). Then you pump, best is in the shower still, under hot shower. If it is mechanical, thicker milk residue will come out of the clogged duct and within a few hours, you are good to go. By the way, babies are the best to fix your problem since they help unblock it. Which you cannot do under meds, you would have to pump and dump. Good luck, it is not as horrid as people make it sound, definitely not a reason to quit nursing, that's a bad myth.

I tried quark as well, but it did not do much, nothing for the mechanics of the problem. Just soothes, do it atfterwards.

It is also good, between the tea and shower, before you massage, bend over and shake your breasts, eventhough it will be probably uncomfortable, mastitis is painful. But it will help release whatever stuff didn't get out on time.

Make sure you nurse and pump super frequently right afterwards, since mastitis usually happens when babe is sleepy or tired to eat properly, monitor the demand and pump more if your babe didn't eat much.

Here is KellyMom's good read on mastitis. Monitor yourself, though, too, if you have heavy duty fever, etc. get checked.
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Last edited by MusicChick; 28.04.2012 at 16:10.
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Old 28.04.2012, 16:34
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Re: Mastitis remedies?

Use baby oil when you massage as its much easier. Also change babies feeding position to help keep all the ducts cleared. I think their bottom lip is the strongest when they suck so if you can change position so their bottom lip is closest to the painful side- does that make sense?

Hot compresses to help the let down, in hospital the midwives filled size one nappies with hot hot water and then wrapped them round my boobs- it was sheer bliss!

Hope this helps, I had it once and didn't realise until the fever kicked in and I needed antibiotics. Was bloody awful at the time so I feel your pain!
good luck
x
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Old 28.04.2012, 16:37
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Re: Mastitis remedies?

Cabbage leaves. They are a traditional remedy for mastitis. Put raw cabbage leaves between your skin and your bra, the cabbage will draw out the heat. When the leave wilts change it for another one.
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Old 28.04.2012, 21:18
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Re: Mastitis remedies?

Mastitis usually starts with a blocked duct:
https://www.breastfeeding.asn.au/bf-.../blocked-ducts

Basic info on mastitis here:
https://www.breastfeeding.asn.au/bf-...93mum/mastitis

If it progresses to chills/fever (feels like onset of flu) then you need to seek medical attention. There are certainly antibiotics that can be taken when breastfeeding. please ignore anyone who tells you to stop breastfeeding or to 'pump and dump' - directly breastfeeding your baby as much as possible, then expressing/gentle massage to try to clear the blockage, warmth before the feed, cold after the breast is clear, and it should be getting better within a few hours.

You can repeat-feed off the side that is giving you trouble - but then you might end up with mastitis on both sides.

There are other remedies and advice for women who experience repeat mastitis.

For me, it was always caused by leaving it too long between feeds (left baby with grandma to go to a wedding) or by wearing a bra or tight clothing... I ended up needing to go 'bra free' as much as possible, and wearing nursing bras that did not have underwires (pretty difficult to find when you are a C-D cup or larger).

The 'good news' is that as soon as the breast is cleared, you will feel a lot better within a matter of hours...

Get well soon!

Oh, and yes, it hurts...it hurts to clear the blockage too - you could consider taking some sort of basic painkillers (I'm pretty sure paracetamol or ibuprofen are fine when breastfeeding - they give much stronger stuff to mums in the postnatal area).... but if you do take painkillers you still need to make sure you are clearing the blockage/breast and dealing with the mastitis....
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Old 28.04.2012, 21:57
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Re: Mastitis remedies?

Ditto swisspeas advice, I had high fever and could not stand up (never mind hold the baby!) as blood pressure dropped so low, with antibiotics it improved within 12 hours and I could still breastfeed. Quark compress was about as useful as a chocolate teapot, but maybe it was just too late for that.

Btw I subsequently developed thrush in milk ducts which may or may not have been triggered by the anti-biotics, causing several months of extremely painful breastfeeding until a smart lactation consultant and a willing doctor got me the right medication. Just something to keep in mind if you do get the meds and subsequently have problems... if I'd known more about it I would have been much pushier with the docs early on and save myself months of tears.
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Old 28.04.2012, 22:16
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Re: Mastitis remedies?

At hospital the midwives gave me some Flector tissugel to put on my breast. It diffuses anti-inflammatory and analgesic substances for 12 hours and you can still breastfeed. Mefenacid (Ponstan) can also be taken safely while breastfeeding.

I second the cabbage advice too.
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Old 29.04.2012, 08:40
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Re: Mastitis remedies?

Many thanks for the responses and the pm's I received. Fever is down but breast is still red and sore. I'm using a hot water bottle on my breasts and back before feeding. I'm also expressing milk in the shower when my breasts are warm. My husband picked up some ice packs specifically designed for breasts and I use these after feeding. I have been changing position when feeding, so I sometimes feed upright in a chair and other times in bed.

I appreciate the tip about going without a bra. Interestingly enough, I started wearing a bra just a few days ago (after a mostly bra-less pregnancy) and even though it has no underwire, I didn't find it that comfortable and I suspect this may be the culprit. Yes, it's hard to find a good nursing bra, especially when I'm a DD right now.

Again, thanks to all. I'm not quite in the clear yet but the fever down is a good sign. =)
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Old 29.04.2012, 10:23
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Re: Mastitis remedies?

thats good news! btw i liked the Medela nursing bras and found them quite comfortable, think I got them from the regular apotheke next to our local Migros. But I was/am a lot smaller than you which probably helped!
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Old 01.05.2012, 23:42
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Re: Mastitis remedies?

I used cabbage, too!
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Old 01.05.2012, 23:57
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Re: Mastitis remedies?

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thats good news! btw i liked the Medela nursing bras and found them quite comfortable, think I got them from the regular apotheke next to our local Migros. But I was/am a lot smaller than you which probably helped!
I had Anita ones and they worked well..It made me chuckle since I played in a band called Anita Fix, so wearing Anita underwear felt like a total overkill

Glad OP is doing better. Changing positions was essential for me in lactation stress, I normally didn't do football one, but when there were troubles emptying, that one was a savior.
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Old 02.05.2012, 17:22
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Re: Mastitis remedies?

Unfortunate update. The fever spiked back up again and went really high. I called the midwife and she came around and did a bunch of "natural" stuff. I'm not really one to believe in these approaches but since I was desperate to avoid antibiotics, I tried them.

She gave me a poultice for my breast, some homeopathic drink to sip throughout the day and an acupuncture treatment that was bloody painful. I had to beg her to take a couple of the needles out when she put them in as they were excruciating. I've got blue bruises around red marks from them now. She said if I didn't experience relief by the next morning, she'd do another treatment in two days. So she did a second treatment.

Meanwhile, I'm now on day 5 of a fever that goes down occasionally for an hour or two, then rages back up toward 40 again. I finally called a doctor for a home visit today and got a prescription for antibiotics. He believes it's not a duct issue but a bacterial one, particularly as I had problems with very raw, sore nipples when I first started breastfeeding.

I'm wondering about infant probiotics? Not sure if this sort of thing exists/is safe but my husband is checking it out at the pharmacy. Again, thanks for all the tips, most of which I diligently followed. But unfortunately in my case, I'm having to hit the last resort of meds. I still feel guilty, like I should hang on another day or two but I think I've really given non-med approaches a good go.
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Old 02.05.2012, 17:51
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Re: Mastitis remedies?

Don't feel guilty. If you tried all the tips and still you have a problem then it is probably a bit more complex. Good luck.
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Old 02.05.2012, 18:09
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Re: Mastitis remedies?

Your midwife is a charlatan,please,get rid of her..looks like to me you do need them atbs,check with your doc.when i had to have them,i didnt want to pass them so i dumped pumped milk,since i always rotated a couple of litres of frozen bm in the freezer.but someatbs now are usable,consult your obgyn and pharmacy boss.good luck and,no guilt!
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Old 02.05.2012, 18:12
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Re: Mastitis remedies?

Dont feel guilty.Wish you a speedy recovery!!!
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Old 02.05.2012, 18:13
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Re: Mastitis remedies?

ow! is all I can say. I never had mastitis but blocked ducts and I found them worse than childbirth...

I hope you are better soon and it will all be a distant memory that fades away!
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Old 02.05.2012, 18:39
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Re: Mastitis remedies?

Thank you again for all the kind words. Yes, I've been encouraged to still continue to breastfeed. I've now got some probiotics for me to take. I also have some for my baby. It's a sachet and he takes one a day, which we can split up.

Since I take antibiotics 3x daily at 8-hr intervals, the plan is to feed before a dose, and then give him 1/3rd of the sachet following the first feed after my antibiotic dose. I'll post another update on whether this appears to have been helpful in preventing/minimizing side effects such as infant diarrhea. At that time, I'll share brand info..etc too if it works.
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Old 02.05.2012, 20:28
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Re: Mastitis remedies?

Look, don't worry about the antibiotics. I've had to take some when my baby was 6 weeks old due to a nasty strep throat.

Tests (from the LLL) reveal that only a very tiny quantity passes in the milk. Much much less that what your baby would require if HE needed antibiotics.

My daughter took some probiotics as well.

The long-term effects of breastfeed totally and massively exceed the small quantity of meds passing in your milk for a few days.
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Old 02.05.2012, 23:02
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Re: Mastitis remedies?

If you are worried about the antibiotics, then just pump and then throw it away until you've healed.

I had to at 6 weeks and my baby switched beautifully to baby formula (Beba HA hypo allergenic) until I got off the antibiotics.

Mastitis is downright painful.
I hope you're feeling a better.
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Old 02.05.2012, 23:14
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Re: Mastitis remedies?

You did the right thing! You tried everything, and the midwife too. It looks like you wanted to avoid the antibiotics, you almost did So did the midwife. I work with a bunch of Mastitis "Breasts", a lot of times it works naturally and sometimes it doesn't. The antibiotics they give you are save to take while breastfeeding. Don't worry too much about it anymore and enjoy the fever and pain free state
BTW ... Acupuncture can hurt a bit, shouldn't be excruciating though... just for next time
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