My breastfeeding journey with Braden was flawless. Truly - picture perfect. He latched well from minute 1, we both weaned together, I never had cracks, infections, the only little blurp was that I had discomfort for 1/2 a day when we finally weaned and stopped.
This time? He's had some latch "issues" that end up not bothering me or affect his feeding or weight gain (obviously!), but that I believe contribute to his spitting up issues. I had a tiny crack and a bit of bleeding for a day or two that cleared up easily.
Then this Tuesday I woke up with a really sore left breast. I was texting my SIL Laura (cuz what else would I do with any kind of baby or nursing issue?) and she figured if I had mastitis I would feel like I got hit by a truck. Well, literally after that nursing session and when we were done texting, I got chills, could not warm up had a very very low grade fever and extreme fatigue. Sure enough, upon further inspection I felt heat and saw redness on the inside of my left boob.
Laura told me to keep nursing, pump, pump, pump, and to do hot, warm compresses. Luckily, nursing didn't hurt at all and even with deep massage and palpation, that was bearable too. Luckily my sweet friend Jac was around to give me similar advice too and I was hopeful that I wouldn't have to go on meds. I felt much better that afternoon, but then got the chills again in the evening.
I woke up feeling better again and really wanted to do anything I could to avoid going on antibiotics, because I don't like the overuse of antibiotics in our society as it is, plus I do NOT like the side effects that I get from the antibiotic I knew I would be prescribed.
But...I wasn't diligent enough...or maybe my body just didn't want to heal on its own. I just couldn't commit to pumping every hour or two, my breast always felt pretty empty as it was and was never hard or engorged. I just couldn't do it. Not with a toddler and a baby to take care of.
I know I'm not...but I feel like a little bit of a failure. I've had these minor problems with breastfeeding this time, and it hasn't gotten me down with the actual breastfeeding at all, I just wonder why it was smooth sailing with Braden and I've had these few problems with Ethan?
Anyway, we hosted our 3rd annual friends holiday dinner party on Thursday night and I was feeling on the mend. I still had the redness and soreness but I systemically felt much better...until I put Ethan down. I took off my sweater to nurse him to sleep and by the time I was done, I was FROZEN. Checked my temperature and it was 37.6 (99.7, Americans ;). Not even considered a low grade fever, but hot enough for my body to react. I put on 2 sweaters to warm up, mingled for a bit longer with our guests and then headed to bed at 9 with my boob more red than it had been.
I threw in the proverbial white towel and headed to the doc in the morning. I was diagnosed with "classic" mastitis, likely streptococcus vs. staphylococcus and was put on Keflex for 10 days. I hate Keflex. But, this time I'm taking acidophilus with it, and that's all I'll say about that.
I'm 3, almost 4, doses in...and the redness is down drastically and it's not as sore to touch. I can feel a hard spot now which I will keep trying to get rid of manually and with the pump. Ethan is nursing well, but I can tell he doesn't 'like' that side as much, Laura said it can taste salty to them...so I don't blame the poor guy!
So...pray for my boob, will you? If it's not a lot better by tomorrow, I need to go in for IV which I do not want to do. I am thinking with the healing I've seen thus far this won't happen, but you never know.
Have you ever had mastitis? How did you deal?
Just as a nurse and a mom, I had to get it checked out to clear my mind. I'll keep you posted if we hear anything.
No more hospital visits...okay!