Thursday, August 12, 2010


I came down with Mastitis just a few days after Rob's family reunion and our big move down south. It lasted a full week and I was the sickest I've been since I was newly married and almost killed myself painting our East Point house in the dead of winter with no open windows (this leads to pneumonia and bronchitis). Come to find out there is a good reason why they say to paint in a well ventilated room.

Since Eli was almost 6 months old when the first case of mastitis- the bane of nursing mothers - hit, I think it was most likely due to fatigue from the move and chronically low iron. (I ran out of iron pills shortly before the move and didn't bother to get anymore thinking I would just wait until we got to GA to replenish my supply--great idea.) I woke up one Monday morning with some serious flu like symptoms and a red, aching, sore chest. I'd learned in La Leche to stay in bed with baby, nurse nurse nurse, and drink plenty of water. By late afternoon, though, I decided I may need to call my midwife because my symptoms were only getting worse with a temperature 103 point something and climbing. I got an antibiotic and spent the better part of the next week in bed and making life easy switching over to disposable diapers and catching up on lots of TV.

About a month later, earlier this week, I found myself with similar symptoms, though not quite as severe. I knew the storm was brewing. I preemptively went to bed and tried the au natural route to healing. I felt awful passing along antibiotics to Eli the first go around and thought I may be able to avoid them this time since my symptoms were much more mild. Though after a day of trying and another really high fever, with the 2nd case of mastitis in a month, I decided I should go to my old ob/gyn nurse in Conyers.

Fearing the worse - (remember I hate drs. offices and hospitals and acknowledging I need them, I tried my best to talk Rob into taking me home from the hospital an hour before Eli was born and only went in the first place because he threatened to pick me up and put me in the truck himself. Can you imagine being picked up mid-contraction? PAIN!) - I imagined I had defective mastitis prone breasts that pooled milk and that they would have to stick me with needles. How could I continue to nurse Eli (painful, yet relieving though it was during the illness) knowing this could happen again, let alone nurse future babies if my lot was to get mastitis again and again?

Turns out it's very unlikely for one to be prone to mastitis. They think that the first antibiotic (Dicloxicillan, a narrow spectrum form of penicillin- which treats the most common form of the infection) was the wrong med for my case and I've actually been sick since late June just suppressing the illness enough to get by. Whew- I thought I was just especially pathetic and whiny the past couple weeks.

The new Rx seems to be working well and I'm thankful to be getting rid of this for good. I still feel guilty giving Eli trace amounts of the antibiotic but everyone's assured me that the amount is so minimal that it's perfectly safe. First time mom that I am though, every time he cries now I'm sure he's suffering from side effects from the drugs :( -- Hopefully this feeling passes in the next few days.

I got a lot of great information and support from a website on all kinds of nursing related issues, our bradley instructor/la leche league leader, and Rob's sweet parents who nursed me back to health during our supposed to be fun visit with them in June.

1 comment:

  1. you trooper! i cannot even imagine. i have hear that mastitis is hellacious. i am so glad you have found out what was causing it and are feeling better!