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Mastitis | No Sick Days for Moms

Mommies Don’t Get Sick Days

by tinysneakers

Tuesday night I found myself walking through the door of Maternity Admissions without my husband for the 2nd time this year. This time not to deliver my precious little boy, but with said boy in tow past his bedtime.


See, Monday night the bugger graced us with a beautiful, rare 4 hour stretch of sleep. My reward?



In my non-medical description, mastitis is an infection of the milk duct. It commonly occurs after having a clogged milk duct, which can happen when they’re not emptied well. Like when your baby suddenly goes longer than 2 hours between feeds. {Sleeping on my stomach could definitely have something to do with it too.}

Mastitis is evil. It’s the Satan of breastfeeding. Anyone who has suffered through it will tell you. I’m glad I’d heard the horror stories or else I might not have reacted so quickly. I’m convinced my speedy care is what got me through it relatively unscathed, at least in comparison to things I’ve heard.

I woke up Tuesday morning feeling like I’d been hit with a solid metal baseball bat under my left armpit. It was hard to carry the little guy, and putting him up on the changing table didn’t feel so hot. I casually mentioned to the husband that I thought I might have a clogged duct. I didn’t know what that felt like, but I was just guessing. I tried to massage it but that was just torture.

The husband left a few minutes later on a business trip. I rapidly plunged down the dark hole of impending sickness. I felt fine at first. I changed into some workout clothes so the babe & I could go for a run. While I was putting him down for a nap I got oddly cold. Freezing. I turned the temperature up in the house, put on socks & a sweatshirt, and curled up in a blanket in a chair next to the crib.

I guess the babe wasn’t done napping because he later fell asleep in my lap while eating. As we sat there, my head started pounding and I started feeling rundown and queasy. When he woke up I noticed his skin felt cool. He was already dressed warmly & normally he’s a little fireball of heat.

Then it dawned on me. He felt cool because I was so hot. Burning up. I took my temperature with the nearby baby thermometer. 102.

Uhoh. Mastitis, I thought to myself.

I naively thought I’d escaped this calamity after 5 months of relatively complication-free breastfeeding. Wrong.

I don’t remember the last time I had a fever. I called the doctor and got the 1st available appointment- the next day.

At this point there was no doubt in my mind what was happening. I was sick. As I sat on the bathroom floor in tears trying to find the energy to get that cute little naked baby in the bathtub, I knew I wasn’t gong to make it through an 8-wake-up-night on my own in this condition.


I called the midwife again to see if there was anything that could be done sooner. When she heard my symptoms & fever, she said there was no way I could wait until the next day. I’d have to come to the hospital for bloodwork & a  prescription for antibiotics.


So already PJ-ed baby in hand, we headed to the hospital. He stole the show of course- maternity admissions is used to babies in bellies. 😉

A few hours later I had antibiotics in hand and instructions for round the clock super doses of ibuprofen, hot compresses, frequent nursing, rest, fluids, & more rest.

The babe and I spent the next two days curled up in my bed, me half comatose to the world. Trying to entertain a baby that demands 110% of your undivided attention at all times is not easy to do lying down. But we did as much cuddling, nursing, and resting as we could.


We broke all the rules. He napped next to me in bed, he fell asleep nursing, we didn’t even think about nap timing. We just muddled through. And the times he wouldn’t put up with mommy tricking him to stay in bed, I just got up & did what I had to do to take care of him. It sucked, but as my mom knowingly said, mommies don’t get sick days.


{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Amanda Perry @ Sistas of Strength June 8, 2012 at 12:19 pm

You’re so right. Mommas really don’t get sick days. Hope you’re feeling better my friend.


Marci June 8, 2012 at 9:42 pm

That sounds absolutely miserable. I’d be crying for my own mom. Hope you’re feeling better!


Amber @ Bring In-the-Pink June 8, 2012 at 10:03 pm

I’m so sorry about your mastitis! I had a clogged duct once, and that was painful enough! I can’t imagine being sick along with it. I hope everything gets back to normal for your soon. And that your baby decides to sleep…goodness gracious!


Lee June 9, 2012 at 8:05 am

Hope you are feeling better soon!


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