Weaning & Mastitis

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-25-2010
Weaning & Mastitis
Sun, 05-23-2010 - 10:22am

I'm 3.5 months post partum and the past week has been particularly tough. First, I got a blister on my nipple, then my boob got really sore and tender and resulted in a bout of mastitis. I took tylenol and pumped the breast every 2 hours. Yesterday was the first day that my boob didn't hurt at all and I went back to my normal pumping schedule (5x/day). Well, overnight I noticed that the same boob felt tender again. And now it feels full, even after I pump. I'm thinking this is going to be another round of mastitis so, as a precaution, I am going to pump more today and call my dr for a prescription for antibiotics because I don't think I really got rid of the infection.

So my question is this, how is a person supposed to wean when mastitis is a possibility? If the way to get rid of mastitis is to pump more, wouldn't that send a signal that more milk needs to be produced?

My goal was to pump until C was 9 months old but after this week I don't know if I will be able to make it to that. But on the flip side, I'm afraid I'm going to be pumping forever because I'm afraid to drop/reduce pumping if mastitis is a possibility. Either way, I'm just feeling really discouraged :(

iVillage Member
Registered: 10-25-2009
Sun, 05-23-2010 - 2:12pm

I just wanted to say I'm so sorry your going through this.

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-30-2010
Thu, 05-27-2010 - 1:26am

Hi there. So sorry to hear about your mastitis issue. I can completely sympathize and relate. I am 4.5 months in and have started weaning. I've been prone to clogs ever since the beginning and have had mastitis twice. The last time I got mastitis was when I first decided to wean. Its much better now and I've managed to get myself down to pumping 2x/day and am very comfortable doing so (not engorged etc). My tips for you are:

1) Don't try to wean until your mastitis is cleared up

2) Once you're all better, start weaning by adding more time between pumps. This way you'll stimulate the nipples less often but when you pump, you'll still be able to completely drain the breasts and prevent clogs/potential mastitis

3) Try taking lecithin supplements to prevent blocked ducts which could lead to mastitis. I have noticed a HUGE difference since taking this. I used to get plugged every day or two and now, knock on wood, I went from 4x to 2x without a single clog or any discomfort. Here is more info on it http://www.positivelybreastfeeding.ca/learn/Newman/Block&Mastitis.htm

Best of luck to you!

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-06-2009
Sun, 05-30-2010 - 5:18pm

I went through a lot of what you are describing in the beginning months of pumping as well.
I learned that there are two types of mastitis: infectious and noninfectious.
Infectious mastitis will cause you to feel flu-like, you may have a fever, and the affected area of your breast will be VERY painful, red, and hot. This requires antibiotics.
Noninfectious mastitis is more of a tenderness and the area may be pink and warm. It does not require antibiotics.

I was finally able to break out of this cycle of fullness and sometimes mastitis by learning how to hand express to fully empty my breasts after I pumped. Once I mastered this I never again suffered from unresolved clogs. If I had a clog I could always get it out this way WITHOUT HURTING MYSELF!

To hand express: after pumping dangle your bb over a mixing bowl. Using wet fingers (either with BM or water) to "milk" the nipple. I used my thumb and forefinger. Start at the base of the nipple and try to get a good spray going. It just takes a little practice. You might be surprised to learn how much milk the pump leaves behind.

If you need better instructions on this just reply to me and I will be happy to be more descriptive.



BTW I pumped for 16 months. IKWYM about wanting to wean now but I believe the hand expressing might really help you. Try it!

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iVillage Member
Registered: 06-25-2010
Fri, 06-25-2010 - 12:53am
I have had 2 horrific cases of Mastitis and about 9 clogged milk ducts since starting EPing 5 months ago. The 2 times I had Mastitis I felt like I was going to die -- no worse feeling. I am wondering the same thing now about trying to ween without risk of Mastitis. I just could not bear it again. I call it my "near death" experiences because I have never been so sick in my life, with the exception of pneumonia at age 14.