We Interrupt Our Previously Scheduled Program

Let’s discuss the topic of mastitis.

According to Merriam-Webster, mastitis is “inflammation of the breast or udder usually caused by infection” while Wikipedia says that “Mastitis is the inflammation of the parenchyma of the mammary gland (breast in primates, udder in other mammals). It is called puerperal mastitis when it occurs in lactating mothers and non-puerperal otherwise. ”

According to me, mastitis is like being broadsided by a bus. It is a train wreck that comes on without warning and makes you a quivering, shivering mass of miserableness.

This is the second time I have had mastitis. The first time I thought I just had a very brief bout of flu. But if all the flu you have ever had the misfortune to catch were condensed into a 6 hour period, then that, THAT, is what mastitis would feel like.

I am not really one to make much of an illness but I kid you not when I say I have never experienced chills like that, shaking so hard, no matter how hard you try to hold yourself still it only works for about 10 seconds. Your teeth chatter, you shoulders quake, your hands quiver so madly, you would think you had the palsy.

And then there is the naseau.  One just feels quite a bit better after ejecting the damage.

And of course the rock-hard lumps in your boob. And the child who won’t nurse because mastitis, it changes the taste of the milk, it’s neat like that. So you are reduced to tears of pleading please, please, please nurse!! at 3:37 a.m. (And he finally does and you are very relieved)

These symptoms pass within the night for me. I have no idea what other mamas’ experiences are. I don’t usually go around asking, so how was your mastitis? 

The day after leaves you feeling enervated, unenergetic and like someone has punched you in the boob multiple times.  In other words, fanTASTic.

So it’s not all fun and games out there in the world of Breastfeeding. “They” (the ubiquitous ‘they’) say that mastitis can be brought on by stress (a first birthday? stress? check), fatigue (check; see previous), cracked nipples (check), etc. “They” also say that Mama should spend the day in bed nursing and let someone else take care of the daily routine. “They” must have their heads stuck in a box if they think most mamas have that luxury, at least not after the newborn stage!!!

So: be good to yourself, nursing mamas.  The quest to avoid mastitis is the perfect excuse to take things easy!


4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Lil Bro B-dawg
    Oct 03, 2008 @ 07:00:05

    That sounds terrible. So sorry you had to experience that!


  2. Amberlina
    Oct 03, 2008 @ 17:08:47

    Remember the INFIX from LING 390? I think this would be the proper time to use it.
    FAN-insert infix her-TASTIC


  3. Olivia
    Oct 03, 2008 @ 18:17:59

    Five times…that is how many times I had mastitis in a 12 month period. FIVE. According to my doctor I’m just prone to it. It does absolutely feel like the worst flu ever. Each time I ended up with antibiotics because it *just wouldn’t die* I’m sorry to hear you have it too. That’s no fun at all. Hoping you feel better soon!


  4. ~m
    Oct 04, 2008 @ 18:46:28

    B, just remember this if Rach ever has to deal with it!

    Amberline, that is my new expletive: Fan-infix-tastic. Expressive! Witty! Miles-friendly!

    Olivia, oh, poor you! Five times?? Oh, man. Here’s hoping you don’t have to deal with it again. Five is enough!


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