Breastfeeding and Having Mastitis

Just like I promised, I’m here to share some info as well as share my experience with mastitis. Are you familiar or have heard what mastitis is? Well, I personally haven’t heard of that condition until I personally experienced it. As a new mom, there are lots of changes that I have to adapt to. While there are some adjustments that I can easily come to terms with, there are some that take quite some time to adjust to. Experiencing mastitis is one of them.

When I was pregnant, I was excited to breastfeed my little one. I have heard all the good things about it—how it creates an unbreakable emotional bond between the mother and the baby. And truly, nothing can compare to the experience of having the opportunity to feed your child. It’s just unbelievable how our body can change and all of a sudden create a supply of milk to provide what a baby needs. But if there’s one thing that I am not ready for, it is the painful condition that is called Mastitis.

If you do not know what mastitis is, it is an infection of the breast tissues that causes redness, swelling, excruciating pain, fever and even, chills! Sadly, I experienced all of the said symptoms. A few days after our baby’s first month, I noticed a lump and swelling in my left breast that won’t go away. I keep breastfeeding and still, it hit me hard and fast. Shortly after I had joint aches, chills, and then a spiked fever higher than 101. I had to greet my mama (December 12) a happy birthday from my hospital bed. On top of all that, I feel inexplicable pinching pain every time I try to feed my little one. It was heartbreaking and discouraging.

Manual Pumping while Breastfeeding

breastfeedingPIN IT!

medela manual breastpumpPIN IT!

The infection comes as a result of clogged or plugged duct. There are plenty of things that may cause this condition: the most common is when a baby does not latch to the breast properly, or a tongue tie which results to having a hard time emptying or sucking the milk out of the breast.

I have consulted my obstetrician and had been given tips to manage my “supply” to avoid engorgement. OB and Lactation Consultant have both advised me to try out sunflower lecithin to thin out the milk, heat and cold compress, as well as massages to prevent the condition from occurring again. Unfortunately, it came back and this time on my right breast. UGH!

Using Milkies Milk Saver to Collect Drips

milkies milk saverPIN IT!

I came to a point that I’m ready to give up on breastfeeding (and I felt so guilty when I almost did!) just so I can end all the pain that I am feeling. Total MOM GUILT!!! But every time, I take a look at my baby, and I see how happy he is when he is breastfeeding, I always find the courage to push through! That sweet little smile and cute little eyes always give me the strength to continue. The bond that it created for us melts away all the worries I have and provides that strength I never knew I have so I can continue to press forward.

To date I am still on medication to fight any infection from happening, pain reliever to combat the pain, and still breastfeeding as well as pumping to empty my breast properly. What I have noticed is that I tend to have an extra feeding a day and so I have been collecting and freezing. I am trying to wean off that extra feeding so I produce just enough to avoid engorgement and repeat mastitis.

breast milk stashPIN IT!

According to my doctor as well as the International Board Certified Lactation Consultants (IBCLC) I spoke to, mastitis can reoccur. While it is not the case for most mothers who breastfeed, I already had it twice. It is heartbreaking and VERY painful but I’m willing to go through mastitis any time as long as it means that my little King would be healthy, happy and content!

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Comments

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  • Bethany

    I’m so sorry to hear this, but you should be ever so grateful that you’ve got a beautiful healthy bundle of joy ☺️

  • Sarah Bailey

    I have to admit I have heard of mastitis but I didn’t know much about it. It sounds like an absolutely awful thing to have had to have gone through, especially so soon after having a child..

  • Welcoming 2018, What’s life like with a Newborn, and Goals - Editorials of Angela Ricardo

    […] check out my post ❝ Breastfeeding and Having Mastitis ❞ to find out what I have learned and discovered from my […]

  • Kayleigh

    That photograph is so beautiful and natural. Thanks for being so honest and open. Enjoyed reading this.

  • Welcoming 2018, What life is like with a Newborn, and Goals - Editorials of Angela Ricardo

    […] check out my post ❝ Breastfeeding and Having Mastitis ❞ to find out what I have learned and discovered from my […]

  • Ana De- Jesus

    Oh my goodness bless you. So sorry to hear that you have mastitis and have been in pain. I really hope that the swelling goes down for you x

  • Jenni

    I too suffered from this with Lucas but things got better, eventually

  • Rhian Westbury

    You have no reason to feel guilty for almost giving up as you have to think of your own health and comfort as well as what’s best for your baby x

  • Helen

    I had heard of mastitis but haven’t experienced it. It must be awful being in so much pain every time baby feeds. Well done for perservering with it despite having it.
    Mum guilt will get you whatever you do so don’t feel too bad if you do have to stop eventually.

  • The London Mum

    Touch wood I have never had to deal with mastitis. It sounds awful from what friends have said, and it’s certainly a worry as my daughter reduces the amount she feeds.

  • Alison Rost

    Mastitis is not a pleasant experience. I have had that too and like you, I had to continue breastfeeding because I had to keep the little human healthy and happy.

  • Helen at casa costello

    I’m lucky enough never to have suffered from mastitis but I hear from others that it is excruciating. I’m sorry you were so unlucky to get it twice.

  • Ben

    Hey there, thanks for sharing this story. It is quite sad but it also seems like your a positive person and finding your way. Wish you all the best in tackling this situation 🙂

  • Charli

    Oh my gosh, mastitis sounds so painful. Everything I hear about breastfeeding kinda puts me off but I guess you only really hear the horror stories, never the stories of it being perfectly fine!

  • emma white

    Thank you for a post like this so many mums struggle on in silence, I know a friend of mine suffered terribly with this and she was very unwell

  • Dee Jackson

    Oh wow. I never knew about this until I read your post. II am happy you’re a mom and am sorry to hear about your condition. I wish you the best.
    -Dee ♡

  • Chrissy Faery

    Oh gosh, I’m so sorry you’ve been going through this! It sounds so painful, and emotionally difficult too! Thanks for bringing awareness to this – I’m sure it will be helpful for lots of new and prospective mums! xx

  • kirsty

    I myself didn’t breast feed so I can’t imagine how tough it must be for you with all the pain and infection. I do hope the experience will become a happier one for you.

  • Mellissa Williams

    Oh bless you, mastitis is awful and so painful. Thank you for writing this post, I think a lot of people hear the name of the condition but don’t actually know much about it

  • Dannii

    I was lucky that I never got it in my year of breastfeeding, but I have heard that it can be very painful.

  • Yocana talaia

    I have never heard of mastitis am so sorry to hear that you had to go through that.

  • Yocana talaia

    Really sorry to hear what you had to go thru.

  • Lauretta at Home and Horizon

    I’m sorry to hear about what you’re going through. Just stay strong for you and your family. I think it’s always best to seek the advice of your specialist when deciding what’s best for your health too.

  • Jemma @ Celery and Cupcakes

    Breastfeeding a newborn can be so demanding without illness to add to it, I’m so sorry to hear you have suffered from this and glad you’re on the mend 🙂

  • LavandaMichelle

    Aw, this doesn’t sound so great. I’ve heard of this before and I appreciate your candidness. I hope you find a way to deal with this situation. 🙂 Wishing you luck! Stay optimistic.

  • GiGi Eats

    When we have kids, my husband totally wants me to breastfeed but I am not going to lie, I totally don’t!!!

  • Terri Beavers

    I got mastitis and thought I was going to die, seriously. I was too embarrassed to ask what I should do until I finally went to the doctor. It made me hate breastfeeding and I quit at that point. I wish I had a computer way back them to find posts like this that are helpful.

  • Baby Isabella

    Thankfully my mummy didn’t experience mastitis with me when breast feeding, but its not nice and very sore I’ve heard. Some great advice here x

  • Tanya Brannan

    Oh Honey, My heart really hurt for you when reading this post. I had Mastitis when I gave birth to my twins, and it was so painful, more so when I realised that my babies were starving as they couldn’t get any milk from me.
    I am glad that the medical professionals are really supporting you in this matter! xx

  • Dana Peller

    Breastfeeding can be tough, You just never know how things will go — no matter how much you try to prepare.

  • Emma-Louise Dean

    I have to say I’ve never heard of this before, so I can’t really comment much on it – but at least you have a happy and healthy bundle of joy! 🙂 xo

  • Sheri - A Busy Bee's Life

    Wonderful that you are shedding light on this. I never heard of it either. Breastfeeding didnt work for me so I had to bottle feed.

  • Ada

    As someone who isn’t yet a mom, I hadn’t heard of this. It sounds painful and I appreciate you shedding light on the topic.

  • nicol

    I’ve not heard of mastitis before and it definitely isn’t fun to deal with especially when you’ve dealt with it twice already

  • Joanna

    I admire you for writing this harsh truth post. Many women won’t talk about it. It was sad to hear about the guilt of not being able to breastfeed your son. I am glad though that there are solutions and he can still enjoy your breast milk.

  • Nichola - Globalmouse

    Ugh mastitis is the worst isn’t it? I hope you don’t have to deal with it again.

  • Kiwi

    Wow i had no idea about mastitis. Sorry you are going through this but you are so strong. There are several women who would of just gave up but you have pushed through, so happy you are having a better breastfeeding experience.

  • Rachel

    Lovely, natural pictures of you and your little one. I haven’t had children yet but my sister says breastfeeding and mastitis can be really painful 🙁

  • Chelle dizon

    You are a very brave and selfless mom, I always remind you that your health and wellness comes first. That’s very important. I love your photos beshy!

  • Rachel

    I’ve not heard of this before, sending you all of the positive vibes! xo

  • Miljana

    I remember my struggles were like yours are. Stay strong, I bet you can do it anytime! 🙂

  • Ravmeet kaur Oberoi

    This must have been such a difficult decision for you to make. It is brave of you to share this story with us. I hope you and the little one have a happy and healthy life.

  • Becca Talbot

    I’d never heard of mastitis before reading this post – so I learnt something new today! I think it’s absolutely fantastic that you’re here sharing your story and lots of helpful information for other breastfeeding mums out there x

  • TeeShares

    I’ve heard mastitis is painful so I’m sorry to hear about you. God job breastfeeding though – it’s the best!

  • Curlywhippedtee

    I love your 1st picture for this article. Absolutely beautiful! I had trouble Breastfeeding so I’m always eager to hear others stories. Thanks for sharing.

  • Valerie

    Thank you for posting and informing others about mastitis. I think this is one of the things nobody tells you when you’re pregnant! I had mastitis with my 2 kids, and this last time they had to drain my breats which was EXTREMELY painful !! I use a manual pump when I’m out and i have an electric one at home! Thanks for this post and good luck to you momma! You got this❤️

  • Nisha

    Breastfeeding is a very difficult journey every mother goes through!

  • Thena Franssen

    I’m sorry to hear of this as I know it can be so painful. It will get better! <3

  • kylie cre8tone

    Well done for being able to breastfeeding and I’m so sorry to hear about mastitis… However, having a baby is the best thing happened to mummy’s life..

  • Marysa

    I exclusively pumped for six months with my first baby, 16 with my second! It is definitely a lot of work to nurse and/or pump. Mastitis can be pretty scary!