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Mastitis | Blocked duct | Osteopathy | Kew

Is there a treatment for mastitis?

The combination of my engorged breasts and my baby’s little face and mouth were enough to create my mastitis nightmare.
At 3am when my first son was 3 weeks old I awoke with a sharp pain in the side of my left breast.  We had been having latching issues from day dot, I was stressed at every feed, taking up to 1 hour to even get a latch-no kidding.
I had seen a lactation nurse at 2 weeks due to this problem and she recommended using a large medela nipple shield to help baby latch.  It worked a charm-my mastitis was not the fault of the nipple shield, I had been feeding him so much better!   babies
But this night I had too much milk left.  I didn’t realise mastitis was the problem and woke in the morning with more pain…still not realising it was mastitis (I know right…what a goose!)  I honestly just thought I was engorged and the pain was from fullness, I thought I just had to pump it off, feed the baby, settle it down.
My husband and I went for a lovely walk around our local parks.  I was getting intermittent sharp jabs…you think I would have realised by now…nup, still oblivious (talk about a baby fog).
That afternoon, a friend visited, baby was asleep and this burning, aching pain became relentless.  The skin was an on-fire red and I had a fever.    I felt the desire to manually express so I went to have a shower…fainted in the shower.  I was a bit catus by this stage.  Passing out, trying to feed, in enormous pain, unable to take a step without crying for the pain in the breast.

Of course this was inconveniently a Saturday avo so we called an after-hours GP who arrived around 7pm.  I did know by now what was wrong but it was really late into the piece and for the next 6 days I was in all-sorts.  I kept fainting, ran fevers, my milk supply dropped, my baby cried, my husband stressed, I was on anti-biotics, using cabbage leaves, heat in the shower 2-3 times a day to gently massage my breast (but we now had a plastic garden chair there for me to sit on so I didn’t faint while standing).  To be honest, it was a horrendous time.
The skin on my breast actually turned black from the infection and peeled off.  It was a pretty sick little boob for a while.  Anyway no abscess developed and after 6 days the left side was better.  Would you believe though, that I got it in the right breast the next night.  I knew in a flash…how could I not!  It was a 24 hour episode, no excruciating pain…just painful with fevers.
If only I had known that ultrasound therapy may help mastitis.  I have always had therapeutic ultrasound at my Osteo clinic for strains, sprains etc.  A couple of years later, a lactation consultant I was speaking with asked me if we treat women with ultrasound for mastitis.  My response was “tell me more”.  Since this day, our clinic is still one of the few offering this service to women like you.
I was lucky enough to get through these 2 episodes, build up my milk supply from the dribble I had left after 3 weeks of anti-biotics.  I breastfeed Baby 1. until 15 months (when I became pregnant with the next cherub).  Many women like me can overcome the challenge Mastitis creates.  Mastitis does not have to be the end of your breast-feeding relationship if you don’t want to give it up!
Don’t wait til you are really suffering…have a read of our Mastitis page and find out how we may help you!
If you would like to speak to us or book an appointment call 9859 5059.

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