Posts Tagged ‘mastitis’

Warning signs to look for after having a baby

Thursday, May 10th, 2018

Your body worked hard during pregnancy, helping to keep your baby healthy and safe. But your body also changes after having a baby. While some changes are normal and help you recover from pregnancy, others may be a sign that something may not be right. Seeking medical care is the best thing you can do if you have any of the following warning signs or symptoms:

  • Heavy bleeding (more than your normal period or gets worse)
  • Discharge, pain or redness that doesn’t go away or gets worse. These could be a sign of infection in your c-section incision or if you had an episiotomy.
  • Intense feelings of sadness and worry that last a long time after birth. These could be a sign of postpartum depression (also called PPD). PPD is a kind of depression that some women get after having a baby.
  • Fever higher than 100.4F
  • Pain or burning when you go the bathroom
  • Pain, swelling and tenderness in your legs, especially around your calves. These could be a sign of deep vein thrombophlebitis (also called DVT), a kind of blood clot.
  • Red streaks on your breasts or painful lumps in your breasts. These could be a sign of mastitis, a breast infection.
  • Severe pain in your lower belly, feeling sick to your stomach or vomiting
  • Vaginal discharge that smells bad
  • Severe headaches that won’t go away
  • Vision changes

Call your health care provider or dial 911 right away if you have any of these signs or symptoms:

  • Bleeding that can’t be controlled
  • Chest pain
  • Trouble breathing
  • Signs of shock, such as chills, clammy skin, dizziness, fainting or a racing heart
  • Seeing spots

If you feel like something is wrong, call your provider. It is important to get help so that you can enjoy being with your new baby.

For more information

Sore and cracked nipples

Monday, April 27th, 2009

breastfeeding37468747_thmWhy doesn’t anyone ever tell you that breastfeeding isn’t as easy as falling off a log?  It’s not.  It takes work and lots of effort.  There is a technique you and your baby need to learn, and since neither of you has ever done it before, there’s a lot of trial and error.  You eventually catch on, but often not without a few casualties, liked sore or even cracked nipples.

Nipples can become sore and cracked if the baby isn’t latching on properly.  Even if you’re doing everything “right,” you can still have very sore nipples in the first week or so.  (Think of wearing a new pair of shoes.  They may fit, but they may give you a blister in the beginning.)  Sore nipples can become cracked and very painful.  Here are some things you can do to prevent or treat this:
• Be sure your baby is latching on correctly when he nurses (putting his lips and gums around the areola, not just the nipple).  Take a look at this picture guide to breastfeeding.
• Before you remove your breast from your baby’s mouth, use your finger to break the suction.
• Change positions with each feeding so the baby’s mouth doesn’t always put pressure on the same part of your nipple.
• Make sure your breasts are clean and dry between feedings.  Exposing them to air and sunlight is helpful, as is just letting them air dry.
• Don’t wash your nipples with strong soaps or use perfumed lotions
• Avoid nursing pads with plastic linings or clothes made out of synthetic materials.  Sometimes a drop of baby lotion on each nursing pad is soothing.
• Nurse often, because your baby sucks harder when he’s really hungry.
• If nipples are very painful, try using a nipple shield.  It covers the areola and nipple and the baby sucks the milk through it.
• If the nipple becomes cracked, you may need to keep your baby off that breast for a few days to let it heal.  Express milk to avoid engorgement.

Call your doc if you come down with any symptoms of a breast infection, mastitis.

Mastitis – ouch!

Monday, June 9th, 2008

Mastitis is an infection in the breast that can really hurt. It occurs when a milk duct becomes inflamed from germs that enter the breast, usually during breastfeeding. Nipples sometimes become cracked or sore, especially if the baby isn’t latching on properly, and germs take advantage of the opportunity to set up house.

When a breast becomes infected, it’s often very sore, swollen and hard to the touch and sometimes feels hot. The area may redden and you might come down with a fever.  If you develop any signs of mastitis in one or both breasts, call your doc.  She can prescribe antibiotics to tackle the infection before it gets worse.

Acetaminophen (Tylenol, etc.) can help reduce your fever and take the edge off the pain. So can applying warm compresses several times a day. While you might be tempted to stop breastfeeding, it’s actually better if you continue to nurse or pump your milk. Emptying your breast will relieve the pressure and make you feel better.  And don’t worry about the infection reaching the baby.  It won’t cross over into your milk.  The antibiotics you take won’t harm your baby either, but his poop might change color a bit.

Make sure your breasts are clean and dry between feedings.  Be sure your baby is latching on correctly when he nurses (putting his lips and gums around the areola, not just the nipple).  Call your doc if you come down with any symptoms of mastitis.  Left untreated, an abscess could form that might require surgical drainage under local anesthesia. The sooner you nip it in the bud, the more comfortable you will be.