Hi all, I could use some advice. I think I have mastitis, which is nuts, because I've been nursing for over two years, and I'm only just having such a thing happen now.
I had a bump that I thought was a pimple, and (sorry, I know I'm gross), I picked at it. Yesterday, I noticed that a kind of red halo had swollen around the bump, and there's a kind of arm of the halo travelling up my breast. The halo is warm to the touch, but it doesn't hurt unless I poke at it. It also feels a little harder than the rest of my breast. I don't have any fever or other signs of being ill, so I'm not quite sure what to do--does that sound like mastitis to anyone who has dealt with it?
I called my OB/GYN today, but they never called me back to schedule the appointment. If I don't hear back by tomorrow, I'll wake up early and call my GP. I shouldn't go to the ER for this, right? I'm still able to nurse, and it doesn't bother me except that it looks kind of scary.
I can think of two things that may have caused it.
One, I'm wearing ill-fitting bras. I know, I know. I just bought a bunch of new (underwire) nursing bras a few months ago only to find that my boobs have shrunken and the cup size is too big. Bras are pricey, though, so I just have been wearing them.
Two, I've been nursing my daughter at night in an odd way--on my back, with her head cradled on my shoulder and my boob kind of bent in a weird position. It's comfy, but maybe it's causing some trouble, as that bump is right where my breast would be positioned unnaturally.
Is there any possibility that I don't need a doctor or antibiotics, that I can treat this at home, change my bras and nursing habits, and this will just go away?
Breastfeeding should be avoided in the infected breast when an abscess is present.
Pain relief: A warm compress applied before and after feedings can often provide some relief. A warm bath may work as well.
If heat is ineffective, ice packs applied after feedings may provide some comfort and relief.
Avoid using ice packs just before breastfeeding because it can slow down milk flow.
Drink plenty of water -- at least 10 glasses a day. Eat well-balanced meals and add 500 extra calories a day while breastfeeding. Dehydration and poor nutrition can decrease milk supply and make you feel worse.
You may need to be evaluated in a hospital's emergency department if the breast pain is associated with other signs of an infection (such as a fever, swelling, or redness to the breast) and if your health care provider cannot see you promptly. The below symptoms require emergency treatment:
A persistent high fever greater than 101.5°F
Nausea or vomiting that is preventing you from taking the antibiotics as prescribed
Pus draining from the breast
Red streaks extending toward your arm or chest
Dizziness, fainting, or confusion