Steve and Angie

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Thursday, April 18, 2013

The problem of mastitis

This is a really long question / story that I'll try to squeeze in before Abby wakes.  I'm hoping someone will have a suggestion for me about how to avoid plugged ducts and mastitis.  **TMI warning** in advance

I had my first case of mastitis with Sarah (#2) and none with Nathan, but when Esther (#4) was born, I started getting what I would call "chronic mastitis", and I've had trouble ever since then.  A friend gave me disposable nursing pads when Ruth (#7) was a baby (I had always used washables until then), and it seemed to help.  Well, I'm currently recovering from my fourth episode in seven weeks with Abigail.  The line between plugged duct and mastitis is hard with me.  I usually don't call it mastitis unless I have the chills really badly, but usually I get very sore and achy and have "infected milk" even with just a plugged duct.  I don't usually get antibiotics, but I have three or four times.  I've wondered if I'm not completely getting rid of the infection, but it switches from side to side, so I'm not convinced that is the case.

I had the worst of my latest plugged duct on Ruth's birthday.  I generally do a lot to make their day special, but I ended up falling asleep while nursing that day, which is really unusual for me.  It is getting pretty hard to have a non-productive day every week or two.  I'm ready to start looking into options that can help.  I've wondered if eliminating sugar from my diet would help (I'm sure it wouldn't hurt), but that would be a VERY big lifestyle change for me, and I'm not sure I'm ready to go quite that far yet.  But I'm sure there has to be something that can help, so if you have advice, or can pass this along to someone that might have some advice for me, I would really appreciate it! 

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