Mastitis, Cracked Nipple, & Pumping

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-12-2011
Mastitis, Cracked Nipple, & Pumping
2
Thu, 07-14-2011 - 10:45am

Hi Ladies,

I have a cracked nipple because of DD's new habbit of tugging on my breast while eating (She'll be 7 months next week). It's been around for a few weeks now and I haven't managed to get it to heal. I ended up with mastitis on Tuesday--when I called the OB's office the RN asked me several times if I noticed any swollen lymph nodes (I was having a lot of pain in the armpit area), at the time I hadn't, but by later that day I noticed a definite lump in the armpit area and I'm not 100% sure if it's a lymph node or a clogged duct. I'm guessing that I got mastitis because of the cracked nipple, but I'm not sure of that either. I'm on antibiotics for the mastitis and they're helping tremendously.

I work full-time, and DD is usually too impatient to nurse, so I essentially EP and maybe nurse once per day. I'm honestly a little scared of nursing her until the nipple heals because I've noticed that whenever she nurses she makes it worse. Also,

iVillage Member
Registered: 10-27-2006
Thu, 07-14-2011 - 2:13pm
Ouch, hope you're feeling better!
The best way to deal with plugs/mastitis is to nurse. It's OK to EP -- better than nothing -- but baby is more effective at removing milk. Have you used all purpose nipple ointment (APNO) before? You can make it yourself with equal parts polysporin (brand name), cortisone, and lotrimin (last two OK if generic). That may decrease pain and speed healing, just apply after every feeding.
I remember having a pump output decrease when I had mastitis. I don't think it's the meds. I just recall being very run down and it hurt to do massage and breast compressions.
For me, my supply bounced back. But my DD was younger. At around the six month mark many moms see a dip as baby starts solids and becomes more distractible. Some extra nursing and pumping should bring it back up.
iVillage Member
Registered: 10-27-2006
Thu, 07-14-2011 - 2:15pm
Oh sorry, one other thing that can complicate supply at this age is the return of AF. I would get an output dip and nipple pain for the first few days of each period (some moms have it with ovulation instead). If that's it, then it's definitely temporary!