Mastitis Misery and How to Avoid It (For PDX Moms Blog)

Writing @ PMB (1)

I knew I was clueless about breastfeeding, but I had no idea it could mean a trip to the operating room for mastitis. I was simply befuddled that breastfeeding could be so difficult. It’s natural, right? Babies need to eat to survive; surely it should be simple despite the voices saying it wasn’t. Nevertheless I stood corrected.

I tried to stay patient when she wouldn’t latch on, and I cried with relief three days later when we met with a lactation consultant, and figured it out. The lady was a Godsend to a 20 something, desperate, emotional, first-time mom lost in the clutter of breast pump parts, nipple shields, and gigantic peek-a-boo bras.

After helping my new babe and me get the rhythm and rhyme of this nursing dance, the consultant explained that I had enough milk to feed triplets, but I was engorged, and she was pretty sure I had the beginnings of a mastitis infection. I followed her suggestion and scheduled an appointment with my OBGYN. The diagnosis was confirmed, I was given antibiotics, and sent on my way. I should have gotten better in a couple days, but I didn’t. Instead, the condition advanced, and the infected area was increasingly red, hot, and tender. I was weak with flu-like symptoms, and got little sleep, but I just figured that was typical for new moms. I had no way to reference what normal was supposed to be.

I thought I only had to endure the pain until the antibiotics did their thing, but then one day I got out of the shower and pressed the worsening red area, only to discover deteriorating skin and a seeping wound. It was as if the infection was trying to force itself from my body. ALL FROM BREASTFEEDING!Keep reading at Portland Moms Blog.

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