I’m a first time mom and I’m regularly pumping and breast feeding as I work from home. One evening right before dinner I was breastfeeding my daughter and I felt tremendously sore on my left breast when she was pulling milk from me and I thought it must be from my work out. I had worked out chest that day and I was feeling sore right by my bra strap/underarm area so I figured that’s it.
The next morning my fiancee says something to me about his opinion on a matter and I get super emotional. Completely uncalled for and so irrelevant. The only time I get emotional is when I’m about to get sick with a cold/flu so I told him, I’m just being sensitive because I’m feeling sick. At around 4pm that same day I start losing my appetite, I feel chills but I’m sweating at the same time and I was like spot on, I’m sick.
It was weird to me because I hadn’t been around anyone other than my baby, my fiancee and when I worked out my complex gym was empty.
I take my temperature at about 8pm that night and I’m at 102.4 F. I’ve researched the topic on breastfeeding while you’re sick and you should continue to breastfeed or pump. I thought otherwise until I educated myself on the topic. Your body makes antibodies to fight your illness away so your LO should be getting that milk with those antibodies to keep him or her from catching whatever you have.
I call my midwives office the next morning and explain to her the symptoms, and she asks me if I feel a lump in my breast, if it’s tender, red, inflamed…? I say no to all of the above other than being a little sore, but only when my LO feeds, probably because of my workout. She advises I come as soon as I can that day to examine me. I’m at her office within two hours. She feels my breasts and tells me I have mastitis and I need to be on an antibiotic that I take 4 times a day for 10 days. 40 pills. **pills that don’t affect my breast feeding** I rarely take medication, not even ibuprofen, but she told me the symptoms would only get worse and I would keep feeling flu like symptoms without it.
My point in this blog is that I skipped right by the clogged milk duct phase and went straight into the infection: mastitis. I had no real signs leading me to believe I had mastitis other than feeling like a had an extreme fever with flu like symptoms and feeling a little sore in my breast… and I had full blown mastitis.
To prevent this from ever happening to you, I recommend buying Sunflower Lecithin which is supposed to thin your breast milk out a little (with no other effects). It’s linked right here and I chose this one because it’s soy free, non-GMO, etc. I don’t take one daily as recommended, rather one every other day.
I also recommend drinking a kombucha, yes kombucha, every day or every other day. My midwife informed me that taking in simple probiotics can keep you from ever having clogged milk ducts or mastitis. I take zero probiotics, but I love me some kombucha. I love it so much I learned how to brew my own and it keeps me from spending that $3.99 for the GTS brand (the Kevita brand carries lactic acid and more than one kind of sugar which is a no no for me.. more on that later). I’ll do a separate blog on how to brew your own!
Would love to hear your thoughts, if you’ve experienced clogged milk ducts or mastitis or if you have any questions!