Breastfeeding: Why Am I Experiencing Breast Pain and Fever?
I am 22 years old and am still nursing my daughter, who is nearly two. Every night, I nurse for about half an hour, but the last couple of days I have experienced tremendous pain in my right breast, which is accompanied by a high fever and flu-like symptoms. The breast is sore to the touch while my left breast is fine. What has caused this?
You have mastitis (a breast infection), if not an actual breast abscess, and you need immediate medical attention -- call your doctor right away. Treatment consists of oral antibiotics, Tylenol and hot compresses to the affected breast. Continue to nurse from that side as well. Most of the time the antibiotics we use for breast infections are OK to use while nursing. If your infection requires an antibiotic that is incompatible with breastfeeding, then you can maintain your milk production by pumping and discarding your breast milk while on that medication. If neglected, a simple mastitis or an early abscess can become a difficult-to-treat abscess. This may necessitate not only antibiotics but also surgical drainage of the abscess. It should never get to that point if you seek medical care as soon as you note the combination of breast pain, redness in the breast, warmth to the touch and fever.
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