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Thread: mastitis & antibiotics while nursing

  1. #1
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    Default mastitis & antibiotics while nursing

    I developed mastitis out of the blue yesterday. I had no breast pain, but all of a sudden I had a bad headache followed by full body aches and stiffness. I checked my temp and it was normal, but I decided to look at my breasts in the mirror because I was suspicious and my right breast had a big pie shaped red area. I nursed and pumped immediately, used hot compresses, and massaged but 3 hours later my temp was 101.3 and was shaking with the chills.

    I was prescribed keflex but I'm worried how it will effect my baby. I exclusively bf and have considered feeding him stored milk and formula for a week while I'm taking the abx, but I think it would be a huge struggle because he's not used to bottles and it would break my heart. My obgyn assured me it was safe while nursing, but if any of you have any tips or experiences you could share wth me I would appreciate it. Thank you.

  2. #2

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    I was on A LOT of antibiotics following the birth of DS1. I had a post OP infection and I was on a cocktail of 3 different kinds as soon as I was admitted to the hospital and then went home with Cipro for a week. The only one they said I couldn't nurse with was Cirpo. I had to pump and dump that week.

    They wanted to give me Keflex in my first trimester with DS2 due to a bladder infection, but after I did some research I refused it and requested amoxicillin. I got the whole "it's safe during pregnancy" routine but stood my ground and the amoxicillin cleared up the infection. From what I remember, my issues were with pregnancy (I was also still BFing DS1 at the time).

    I just looked Keflex up on my LactMed app and it looks like there's a small risk of diarrhea. You could request another antibiotic if you're not comfortable with that, or you could add some probiotics to your diet, and his, to hedge your bets.

    I think you're fine taking it, but I totally understand your reticence and concern.
    Dorcas (36) DH (37) 3/13



  3. #3
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    Thank you Dorcas I took the first dose this morning and I'm so glad I did because I feel awful. My hubby is going to pick up some probiotics this afternoon for both me and baby.

    Anyone have recommendations or experience with baby probiotics?

  4. #4

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    Its fine. Babies are prescribed Keflex, my 8 month old is actually on it right now for 10 days. Like the previous poster said it may cause diarrhea, he's been having watery stools since we started.
    mom of 2 girls and 2 boys... 6,4,2, and 8 months

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    I hope you feel better soon! Mastitis is just awful!!

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    Thank you Bridget and MissKerri

    This is the worst, I can't believe how bad I feel. My temp is constantly going up and down and I can't seem to unplug the duct. I called my obgyn and they called me in a different prescription that is more effective for mastitis. I called the nurse at their office this morning before I took the keflex just to be sure I was prescribed the correct abx and the nurse said yes without checking. The nurse I just talked to asked the dr and they wanted to change it immediately. Ugh, I just want to feel better so I can care for my baby properly

  7. #7

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    I ate a ton of garlic when I had mastitis. I chopped the clove up and swallowed it like a pill. They say it makes the baby nurse more too because they like the taste. But I really have no idea how anyone could know that! Lol. I do believe garlic to have healing properties and fight infection.

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    Can't help you with your questions. But thinking of you. Hope you will fast feel better
    Sabrina [33], DH [33] and our precious shaka-girl


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    Thanks Sabrina
    Bridget, did you have to take antibiotics as well?

  10. #10

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    I took antibiotics the first time I had it. I let it go too long when I had my first because I'd never even heard of mastitis. I called the online nurse and she said it was just the flu and not to come in! Even though she knew I was nursing my 10 day old, she never mentioned mastitis. 3 days later my fever was 104 when I finally went to the ER because I was shivering, freezing on an 80 degree day in Hawaii, and they admitted me! I stayed 2 nights and had IV antibiotics even when I went home for the next 10 days.
    The second time was with my 3rd child. I recognized the symptoms immediately and started eating garlic. I'm talking 5 cloves a day, and I kicked it. But id have gone in for sure if the symptoms hadn't dissipated right away. You want the antibiotics for sure but the garlic might help kick it as well.

  11. #11
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    Bridget, that's sounds awful! I'm so sorry you went through that while you had a newborn at home Were you able to continue nursing? My doctor switched me too dicloxacillin and I'm feeling improvement today, so hopefully I've seen the worst of it.

    I haven't been able to clear the plugged duct yet, doesn't it need to be unplugged to heal?

  12. #12

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    I took antibiotics 4x for mastitis while nursing #5, and was able to beat it naturally another half dozen times or so. Sometimes for me the fever preceded any other symptoms and in those cases the natural methods didnt help at all. At least not quick enough for me to feel like it was working.

    The best way i ever found to resolve a clog was to gravity feed. Lay the baby on his back, then position yourself over baby with your breast hanging down completely unrestricted to nurse. Take off your bra, and let the breast dangle kind of shake and massage and apply heat before and while nursing.

    The lump will resolve on it's own, even if you can't get it worked out. It's the whole supply and demand thing, the duct isnt getting emptied so it stops producing. once the clog dissipates the duct can start producing again. It can happen that it just shuts down, but others can make up for it.

    Mastitis sucks, big time!

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    Quote Originally Posted by runningmomofmany View Post
    I took antibiotics 4x for mastitis while nursing #5, and was able to beat it naturally another half dozen times or so. Sometimes for me the fever preceded any other symptoms and in those cases the natural methods didnt help at all. At least not quick enough for me to feel like it was working.

    The best way i ever found to resolve a clog was to gravity feed. Lay the baby on his back, then position yourself over baby with your breast hanging down completely unrestricted to nurse. Take off your bra, and let the breast dangle kind of shake and massage and apply heat before and while nursing.

    The lump will resolve on it's own, even if you can't get it worked out. It's the whole supply and demand thing, the duct isnt getting emptied so it stops producing. once the clog dissipates the duct can start producing again. It can happen that it just shuts down, but others can make up for it.

    Mastitis sucks, big time!
    Great advice, thank you. I just tried doing this with my pump after applying heat and massage (baby is napping but when he wakes we'll try this position). I don't think it's unplugged yet, but over 2 ounces of milk came out of that breast and I haven't been able to get more than a drop pumping the last 2 days! Although he's been able to nurse from that side just fine, thankfully. I can usually get 5 to 9 ounces out of each breast with the pump in one sitting. I feel much better knowing that if I can't get the lump resolved the clog will dissipate on its own. For some reason I thought if I didn't clear it the infection would continue even with antibiotics. Thanks!

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    Poor poor thing!! Mastitis is the WORST! I had it when DS was maybe 3 months (it's all a blur lol). I actually refused the antibiotics. I was very very very sick for a week. It was probably a stupid thing to do, but I was concerned about the antibiotics reaching my baby. If I had it again (God forbid!) I'd take the antibiotics. It was probably the sickest I've ever been. I really hope you are feeling better soon. Rest (haha) and stay hydrated as much as possible and pump pump pump pump and nurse! Feel better!

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    Quote Originally Posted by kmrk336 View Post
    Poor poor thing!! Mastitis is the WORST! I had it when DS was maybe 3 months (it's all a blur lol). I actually refused the antibiotics. I was very very very sick for a week. It was probably a stupid thing to do, but I was concerned about the antibiotics reaching my baby. If I had it again (God forbid!) I'd take the antibiotics. It was probably the sickest I've ever been. I really hope you are feeling better soon. Rest (haha) and stay hydrated as much as possible and pump pump pump pump and nurse! Feel better!
    I couldn't imagine being that sick for a week while caring for a newborn! Good for you for making it through without antibiotics. I'm so upset about how they are affecting my baby's perfectly untouched intestinal flora, and now he has watery diarrhea and I still have 8 days to go. And the clog is still there. I officially HATE mastitis.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Melturtleluv View Post
    I couldn't imagine being that sick for a week while caring for a newborn! Good for you for making it through without antibiotics. I'm so upset about how they are affecting my baby's perfectly untouched intestinal flora, and now he has watery diarrhea and I still have 8 days to go. And the clog is still there. I officially HATE mastitis.
    Yep, it is the worst. I actually had never heard about it, read a post on here about someone having it, and got it like 2 days later!! Such a weird coincidence. I told my mom that if I hadn't of had to take care of the baby I would've gone to the hospital. The probiotics should help LOs digestive issues and as long as the antibiotics start working soon, it'll be worth it! LO needs his mama feeling better!

  17. #17

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    Are you giving him a probiotic? I just opened the capsules and put it directly on DD's tongue, but they do make a loose powder for infants.

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    Quote Originally Posted by runningmomofmany View Post
    Are you giving him a probiotic? I just opened the capsules and put it directly on DD's tongue, but they do make a loose powder for infants.
    I haven't given him any, but I've been eating dairy free yogurt and started taking probiotics yesterday. But after seeing his diarrhea this morning I'm going to buy some infant probiotics asap. Do you give your DD children's probiotics?

  19. #19

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    I have given one specific for babies, but i have also just done about 1/4-1/2 capsule of adult. i think it all tastes the same, and there are no side effects from it so a specific dose isnt very important.

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    I would just rub the tip of a baby spoon in her mouth, stick it in the powder then stick the spoon back on her tongue.

  21. #21
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    I was told it was important to get the probiotics made for infants and I pumped and mixed it in a bottle with the BM

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    Thanks ladies! Thankfully there has been no more diarrhea since I switched from keflex to dicloxacillin.

    I've tried every suggested technique out there and still no luck on un clogging this duct. I hope it just clears on its own at this point.

  23. #23
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    You Poor Mama! I just dealt with a clogged duct and I was so sore for 3 days. Just to add to all the advice - even after the clog is resolved you will have redness and soreness for a couple of day and some times up to 1 week with mastitis. To prevent further clogs and mastitis once a day nurse him in cradle hold, football hold and laying down. Also do the gravity nursing once a day. It will all help the baby to apply pressure with his gums to different ducts while nursing (even with most perfect latch the baby's suction may not be perfect) . And of course watch how he latches every time. Hugs. Glad you are better!!!

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    Thank you Varya

    Owen just had some blood tinged mucous in his diaper after a big day of non stop spitting up. I've already cut out dairy, soy, eggs, nuts, chocolate and a bunch of other things and I'm just at a loss. I feel like between mastitis and his food sensitivities I'm hurting him with my breastmilk which is devastating to me. I love breastfeeding him more than anything and I'm not sure if it's in the cards for us anymore

  25. #25
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    Could this be a reaction to antibiotics you are taking? I would call in and discuss with a doctor. Hugs. Your milk is not hurting him. He is still getting the best of it. Eric also spits up a ton.

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    P.s. If he does hAve dairy and soy intolerance switching him to formula now will he more complicated as he will need a specific type plus not a fact he will stop spitting up!

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    It could be the antibiotics although he had a much better day today. And I haven't seen anymore bloody mucous. He has his 2 month appointment tomorrow morning, so we will be able to discuss all of this then. I'm starting to realize the bigger issue here may be my ftm anxiety, I need to relax a bit! Thanks again Varya

  28. #28

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    Do you have an aggressive let down? If so, try nursing him in a reclined position. I've seen aggressive let downs lead to symptoms that mimic food allergy.
    Last edited by Nurse2008; 08-05-2014 at 10:07 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nurse2008 View Post
    Do you have an aggressive let down? If so, try nursing him in a reclined position. I've seen aggressive let downs lead to symptoms that mimic food allergy.
    I definitely have an oversupply/overactive letdown issue. I've been block feeding for weeks but haven't had much luck in reducing my supply. The last couple of days I've either hand expressed or pumped 2 ounces per breast before nursing so he didn't choke and spit up as much. I think that's what led to mastitis, I have to block feed and I always feel engorged.

  30. #30

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    Quote Originally Posted by Melturtleluv View Post
    I definitely have an oversupply/overactive letdown issue. I've been block feeding for weeks but haven't had much luck in reducing my supply. The last couple of days I've either hand expressed or pumped 2 ounces per breast before nursing so he didn't choke and spit up as much. I think that's what led to mastitis, I have to block feed and I always feel engorged.
    Try nursing in a recliner or laying down. It sounds awkward but it allows baby to take the milk at his own pace and slows the force of the let down by taking gravity out of the picture. I've seen it work, might be worth a try. You could also try pumping and bottle feeding for a few days to see if his symptoms improve. If so then you know its a letdown issue.
    Last edited by Nurse2008; 08-06-2014 at 03:21 PM.

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