mastitis and stopping breastfeeding — The Bump

mastitis and stopping breastfeeding


 I have been breastfeeding and I recently developed mastitis in both breasts.  The breasts are soooo painful I can barely lie on them and it is going on 4 days now. I am on antibotics from the doctor, but I understand the antibotics cure the infection, not the underlying clogged duct problem.  I have been following the normal protocol, pumping all the time, applying heat and massaging but its not getting better.  '

Indeed, half the time when I pump now, my output is 1/3 of what it used to be 4 days ago, I am guessing cause the milk is not getting out from the clog? Does anyone know if that is normal with mastistis and clogged ducts?

 Also (no judgment please!) I decided I no longer am going to breastfeed.  I am not sure how to stop safely while at the same time getting rid of the current clogged ducts and then not developing mastitis or clogged ducts again when I stop.  I am concerned that the constant pumping I am doing now to unclog the ducts is just going to make stopping harder and continue the cycle. One friend advised that since I already have the clogs, I should start trying to decrease my supply now by slowly pumping less each day for a week or so since my body is already not expressing that milk.  However, I am concerned then that these clogged ducts will never heal since the only thing I heard to make them better is to pump and nurse more and more. Catch 22?  I dont even know how to effectively ask my question since I am just soooo confused with what to do! I want the pain to stop and I want pumping and breastfeeding to be over with as soon as possible!

Any advice is much appreciated.



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Re: mastitis and stopping breastfeeding

  • aetgaetg member
    If you have mastitis I wouldnt stop bf now, that will just make the problem worse. When i got mastitis the dr actually recommended more frequent feelings.  Are you just pumping? The baby will be able to remove milk much better than the pump, it was the only thing that helped me when I had reoccurring clogged ducts.  Lechithin is a supplement that could also help.
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  • aetgaetg member
    Yes pumping less is also normal with clogged ducts because the milk isn't all coming out.
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  • I can't give you any advice about ending breastfeeding. We aren't there yet! I think if I was in your position, I'd deal with the clogs/mastitis first. Once that clears up, then work on switching to formula.

    As far as the clogged ducts go, I also noticed that the output was much less. It's because the milk is backed up, and not coming out well. That's what makes it so painful.  When I've had clogged ducts, I take ibuprofen to help swelling first. Then I do what you've been doing - heat, massage, feed/pump frequently. Honestly, I wouldn't do anything else all day, but sit on the couch with the heating pad, pump, and baby.

    I agree with PP, that you might want to reconsider nursing for right now. LO has always been better with working out a clog than the pump.


    Me: 29  DH: 33
    Married April 1st 2017 <3
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  • I also had mastitis and it feels like death! Mine came with a 103 degree fever. DO not stop breast feeding while you have mastitis!! You can develop an abcess in your breast...this is from my OB and husband, who is also a doctor. Manage the pain with Tylenol, warm compresses, and use a pump of it is too painful to put the baby to your breast. The antibiotics should take effect within 3 days and once the infection is under control it is safe to stop breast feeding. (but you may find that your milk production slowly returns and the pain is gone and decide continue.)

    I know it sucks but you will make it through! 


  • I also had mastitis and it took me about 1.5 months and 4 different antibiotics to get rid of it. Finally I realized that the pumping was actually making it worse and causing more clogged ducts. It was also causing me to overproduce. I finally stopped pumping and exclusively breastfed and it actually worked. I was able to pump again about a month later and was fine. Good luck to you.
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