Monday, 29 October 2012

Mastitis - You Bitch!

Despite exclusively breastfeeding Mini Cheddar, 3 years ago, I never suffered with mastitis.

I now count myself very lucky.

Tiny Ched turned 7 months yesterday and on Friday the most incredible pain in my right breast woke me at 5.30am. I couldn't touch it. The pain started in my armpit and went all the way down to my nipple (ooh there's a word I've never used on my blog before!).

I also felt dreadful. I was aching and shivery.


Even though I'd never had mastitis before I was totally aware of the symptoms.

I got worse.

A lot worse.

An hour later I felt so awful I started crying which woke Matt up.

"I think I've got mastitis" I wailed.

He passed me some painkillers and lay there with me until 8am when we could phone the doctor. Both kids were still sleeping soundly. Isn't it just typical that the first day of half term, the first day with no alarm call or school run, I get woken by an achy tit with the sparrows fart?

Sod's law with bells on!

I was too ill to feel angry though.

I phoned the doctor and managed to get an appointment at 8.50am. Thankfully the painkillers had kicked in and I was able (just about) to drive myself down to the doctors while Matt looked after the children.

The doctor confirmed it.

"You're lucky you've caught it fairly early" she said prodding (as gently as she could) my, now red, boob as I winced in agony "It really is quite horrendous if it gets really severe. You did the right thing coming down straight away".

This was early? Man alive what must the pain feel like if its really severe then? I honestly could have passed out it was that bad when it woke me.

I was aching all over and shivering too. I felt 10 times worse than having full-blown flu.

Mastitis is more common in the first few weeks of breast feeding so I stupidly thought I was pretty safe. How wrong I was. Apparently it was TC clamping down on me during feeds because of his severe teething (that's a whole other post in itself!) that has caused the problem. Thankfully my doctor was well aware of it having breastfed her child for 2.5 years!

I'm not alone in my sufferings with mastitis. The mere mention of it on Twitter and a fair few of my lovely followers told me horror tales of hospitalisation, pain worse than labour and so on.

The doctor gave me a high (but safe in breastfeeding) dosage of antibiotics and anti-inflammatories and told me if I didn't start to see improvement by the morning to get myself to the emergency doctor or A&E - apparently she was concerned about it being an abscess. Nasty.

To cut a painfully long story short, I spent the rest of Friday in bed. At one point I was wearing pyjamas, socks, 2 (yes 2!) dressing gowns and under a 13.5 tog duvet with a blanket and I was still shivering. I couldn't sleep. Although I was tired I felt too ill to even sleep.

I tried to feed TC through it but he started to develop diaorreah on Friday afternoon and by Saturday, even though the drugs were starting to make me feel better, they had upset his stomach and he couldn't keep any feed down at all.

I had no choice (after consulting the doctor again) to stop breastfeeding him and switch to formula.
Sat 27th Oct - possibly the last breastfeeding
picture I will ever take :( It must be fate I took this.

I've mentioned before that Tiny Ched wouldn't take a bottle. Well, it seems he now loves the bottle all of a sudden. The taste of my drug-filled milk has turned him away from my bosom.

I'm heartbroken.

Yes my boobs are aching and I hate expressing and throwing my contaminated milk down the sink but the pain of not being able to feed my little boy is more upsetting. I wanted to stop breastfeeding when I was ready, not when some nasty-assed inflammation decided it was time.

I'm still hopeful I can re-establish a bit of feeding with him once the drugs are out of my system but something tells me this may be an abrupt end to the breast bond with my boy.

So, to anyone who's breastfeeding or about to breastfeed, heed my warning. If you suspect mastitis (although the bitch got me whilst I slept) go straight to your doctor, do not pass go and do not collect £200! It's pretty serious.

Also, if you're a cow, my friend has some prevention medicine*

*Obviously cows don't read my if they'd be interested in my moooooosings! Yup, I'll get my coat.


Ramblings Of A Suburban Mummy said...

Been there, true agony right? You've described how I felt exactly, luckily I managed to keep expressing even though as I did it felt like I was being stabbed in the boob with a red hot poker! I had also got in front and had milk in the freezer! I also know how it feels to stop bf point blank and can only say that warm flannels will be your friends x

Katie pollyrabbit said...

Oh I'm sorry you've had mastitis...and even more sorry that it has cause an abrupt (but hopefully temporary) end to feeding; I can only imagine how heartbreaking that would be. :-( I've been v prone to blocked ducts (have had lumps the size of tennis balls..yeouch), and have narrowly avoided the big M several times. Hoping you get better v soon and can start feeding again. x

LauraCYMFT said...

Gosh that sounds horrible!! I, too, would only have thought you could get mastits in the early stages of breastfeeding. I'm glad you are on the road to recovery although I am sad to hear you have had to stop feeding TC as it is really a lovely bond to share with them. At least he has taken to the bottle and he isn't screaming upset without his milk. Fingers crossed you can re-establish with him! Feel better soon!

Looking for Blue Sky said...

I had mastitis without breast feeding (weird but true) and that was pretty horrible, but this sounds 1000 times worse, really hope it clears up soon xx

Melksham Mum said...

Oh, I truly feel for you having suffered from it during my disasterous breat feeding of my first baby. It is an absolute bitch and can't believe how quickly it sneaks up and knocks you out. Hope you are feeling better soon and little 'un gets back on the boob x x

Helpful Mum said...

I feel for you. It really is horrid. I managed to get it with both of my children! My nan had it so badly that she nearly died. It certainly can be very serious.

scribblingmum said...

Deary me, that sounds awful! Poor you. Sorry too that you've been forced to stop as a result. Somehow it was harder to stop with my second - even though it was me deciding to stop - something about knowing it was most likely the last time. *sad face* XX

HELEN said...

wow that sounds terrible - poor you. I hope you're feeling much better now & you can re-establish breast feeding xx

SAHMlovingit said...

Thanks Helen. I'm feeling a lot better today thanks but it's been awful. I was going to email you at the weekend about meeting up for half term but I'm not sure I'll be up to it. Will email you in the next day or two anyway to sort something out or it will soon be Xmas! xx

SAHMlovingit said...

Yes, I think that's why it's hit me hard too as I don't think we will be having any more kids (unless we homed them in the shed!). That and being forced to stop *another sad face* xx

SAHMlovingit said...

Your poor Nan! How terrible. I think if it becomes an infected abscess it can be extremely serious. Sorry to hear you got it with both yours hun xx

SAHMlovingit said...

Thanks lovely. Yes it does just get hold of you so quick doesn't it. It's got so many people and all the stories I've heard haven't been nice either :( xx

SAHMlovingit said...

Thanks C. I heard that you can get it without breastfeeding too :( xx

SAHMlovingit said...

Thanks Laura. Apparently if your nipple cracks from teething (which is what happened with me) or from bad latching or something the infection gets in and causes the mastitis. As so many women have cracked nipples in the first few weeks of BFing it's more common. I'm still unsure as to whether I'll continue or not yet - so scared of getting it again for one thing and TC is teething soooo badly :( xx

SAHMlovingit said...

Thank you Katie. Lumps the size of tennis balls? Owww that sounds horrendous - you poor thing xx

SAHMlovingit said...

Thanks Annwen. Yup, true agony indeed...I'm terrified of getting it again it was that bad. Ahhh warm flannels *runs off to put some damp flannels in the microwave* xx

PhotoPuddle said...

I am so sorry you've suffered so much it sounds like such a horrible thing to go through. Huge hugs from me x x x

Abbey said...

Oh my god! That sounds bloody awful! Glad you are in less pain. Let's hope this is NOT the end of your breastfeeding journey with not-so TC. I got a little sad for you :(

Christina E said...

Oh my goodness, that sounds horrendous! And I hope you manage to re-establish breastfeeding TC - it's so heartbreaking when you don't get to make the decision. I hope that you're feeling much much better - I know it can be a serious condition. Take care xX

bod for tea said...

OUUUCCHH! I had terrible engorgement with Curly Girl that required the most excruciating breast massage to break down the solidified milk, but even that doesn't sound as bad as mastitis! Really feeling for you honey, I would be as disappointed as you, but do try to re-establish BF if you can. Sending bucket loads of positive vibes your way xxx *trembles at thought of going through this myself this time around*

SAHMlovingit said...

Thanks lovely....ooooh engorgment is awful. I had it far worse this time around than with MC in the beginning. As you know I'm feeling much better. Not going to try and re-establish BF though. Tough decision but details will be on the blog later tonight :( xx

SAHMlovingit said...

Thanks Christina. I'm not going to continue BFing - tough decision but one I think will be better for me and TC xx

SAHMlovingit said...

It was bloody awful. I'm over the worst of it now though. Thanks :)

SAHMlovingit said...

Thanks for the hugs. Much appreciated lovely xx

Mummyandthebeastie said...

It sounded horrendous!! Oh my god, you poor thing. Good job you got it sorted soon, they don't really warn you too much about it do they?! This has answered the bottle question. What a good little boy but I can imagine it was gutting :-( xx

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Mums make lists said...

Poor you! You're so right about seeing doctor as soon as you suspect, instinctive temptation to "soldier on" makes it so much worse.

I would love for you to link up this and your other breastfeeding posts at the Friday Baby Shower linky party. We've got an extra link up this week specifically for breastfeeding posts, Alice @ Mums Make Lists x

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