Having breastfed my two older boys with absolutely no issues whatsoever, I was definitely not prepared for Friday night.
Friday evening was tough for Wesley, my one month old, as he seemed to want to cluster feed. He would nurse for short period of time, get a bit fussy and want off the breast or simply fell asleep after a short time. For a few hours he was attached to me in this state. He got exhausted and finally after feeding for a longer period of time, took almost a three hour snooze. I fed him around 11 pm and went to bed as usual. My husband went to sleep in the guest bedroom so that he would be well rested and could give me a break in the morning.
I woke up to Wesley’s cries at about 3 am and realized I was shivering. I sat up and felt excruciating pain in my left breast (the side I was sleeping on).
So painful that it literally took my breath away.
I immediately thought back to a conversation years ago from my lactaction consultant about mastitis and figured that was probably what I was experiencing. I also recalled that I should continue to breastfeed and since Wesley was still crying I figured that is what I should do first.
It wasn’t easy.
Just trying to lift him was a struggle, especially since I was shaking so badly from my chills. When I propped him up on my nursing pillow and very gently tried to lift my breast to him I completely lost it. I started to sob.
And I mean sob.
He latched just fine and started to eat but I was a shaking, shivering mess.
For almost 20 minutes I sat like this while researching mastitis on my iPod…
Until my husband heard me and came in to find me crying uncontrollably as I held our one month old baby. What was he to think? His heart sunk in his chest until he saw Wesley move.
I couldn’t even talk.
I handed him Wes and in between sobs explained what was happening. I made my way downstairs to get Tylenol and ibuprofen. I also drank some water and grabbed our heating pad while Joe changed Wesley and came to join me in bed. Within a half hour I felt so much better and the chills had gone away. I thankfully wasn’t running a fever.
When I awoke my breast felt a lot better and while it was still a bit tender, I nursed on that side as much as possible all day. Although did get a bit achey, I never did develop a fever, which is why I didn’t go into the doctor. I doubted without a fever that I had an infection and thought I’d wait and see if I got any worse.
I’m happy to say that I have almost no symptoms now except for a very slight tenderness. Because Wesley has such a great latch, I’m assuming this occurred due to a missed feeding, compression on the breast from laying on that side and not having emptied the breast from the last feeding. You can bet I’ll be more diligent to not let this happen again.
For all you breastfeeding women out there who have experienced this before, I HAD NO IDEA.
No idea at all that anything with breastfeeding could be so painful.
I understand how some have been driven to leave breastfeeding early because of the pain. However, if it does happen to you, know that you can breastfeed through it and that can help to not only provide relief, but fix the problem altogether.
I am going to keep an eye on it and if anything worsens, you can bet I’ll be calling my healthcare provider.
Has anyone else gone through this? Was it this painful for you?