November 9, 2008

A new nursing experience

So far in my journey as a mother, I have nursed (and continue to nurse) for a total of 38 months. And will probably nurse for another 10 months or more, and probably to the dismay of a lot of family who think I should have weaned already or expect I will at 12 months. I have been proud to say I nursed my kids with very little trouble. All three kids seemed to come out and knew how to breastfeed, latched on without difficulty and things went well with milk supply. (except when my freezer crapped out) Well, lately, Isaiah has been making me very sore again . He has 4 teeth, 2 on top and 2 on bottom and as he nurses, he's kind of raking his teeth against my nipple. He doesn't always do it, but he's done it enough that my nipples are sore like a new mom and they are peeling. Probably too much info, but oh well. He also bit me a couple weeks ago, and I'll tell you what, I yelped like a banshee, scared the crap out of Isaiah and he looked at me, quivered his lip and started to cry right along with me. He thankfully hasn't done that since, but the whole point is his teeth have been a little problematic lately. Never had that with the other two and I nursed them with almost a full mouth of teeth. Friday, I noticed that my right breast was achy from time to time, which I thought was odd. Then right before I went to bed, I noticed a firm, sore spot on the right side of right breast and thought, "Hmm, hope that's not anything to be concerned about". It wasn't a clogged duct, because I had one of those when Isaiah was just a couple weeks old. So I went to bed. I woke up a couple hours later, freezing cold. I layered 2 more blankets on top of my already heavy comforter, and continued to shiver. It took me awhile to realize that I was chilling from a fever, and not just cold. I had noticed that my boob hurt like hell, and so I stumbled downstairs to take my temp and find tylenol or ibuprofen. Temp: 102 and of course, I can't find anything but childrens and baby tylenol. I realized then I had mastitis. The whole side of my breast was red, hot, inflammed and very sore. It hurt just to touch it. And I was achy from the fever, disoriented and dizzy. By the time I got upstairs, I was so dizzy that I ended up vomiting. I was feeling great! Thankfully, in the a.m. I was able to call and get an antibiotic to help clear it up and today it already feels a ton better. We figured that with Isaiah raking his teeth across me, the skin got a break in it and bacteria traveled its way up the breast into the milk duct. Nursing for those few hours was quite painful, but the full feeling was worse. Thankfully, the last several feedings, he hasn't been raking his teeth across the nipple, so I think maybe my breast will heal now, because it looks battered. I know a lot of women end up with this multiple times while breastfeeding, and boy does it suck. It was hard for me to put a sore boob as the cause of the flu-like feeling I had. So, I send my ultimate sympathies to all those who have suffered from mastitis. Ah, the joys of motherhood!

10 comments:

Jessica said...

All I'm going to say is OUCH! and I'm glad you're feeling better...

:)

Jody said...

Oh yeah. Been there done that. I also nursed my infants for a year each. The third one suddenly took to biting my nipple when he was about 10 months old. He had to wean to a cup early =(

But he turned out fine lol.

Anonymous said...

my question is this. with the teeth coming in and the pain, why wouldn't you stop breast-feeding and just pump and feed him from a bottle he still gets the nutrients and you don't have the pain issue

Molly said...

Oh, crap; sorry to hear about the mastitis. I would have a hard time identifying that in myself while nursing a toddler, since you sort of start out looking for warning signs as you nurse a newborn but then start breastfeeding on autopilot and stop thinking it might suddenly become a huge challenge ... so I'm glad you figured it out quickly and fixed it. By the way, my son went through an occasional biting stage (right when he had those couple top and bottom front teeth, didn't quite know they were there yet, and was mouthy from other teething, too) and stopped very soon; people made lots of comments about how teeth are when you know to wean, but we had many further months of wonderful and easy breastfeeding.

DBS said...

Ouch, you are making my done with nursing breasts hurt. Glad you're feeling better.

Nurse Lochia said...

Anonymous, like I said, the nursing with teeth is getting better. I had just been sore up until the mastitis set in, and then it was painful, but now that the antibiotics are working, things are better. A lot of people develop mastitis while nursing and I've just been lucky to have gotten this far without trouble. He only bit me once, and he's been doing fine the last few nursing sessions with his teeth. If a baby/toddler nurses correctly, there's no need to wean when they get teeth because it usually doesn't make it any more uncomfortable. I guess I'm also just such a huge breastfeeding advocate that I'm not willing to call it quits just yet and Isaiah isn't either. We'll wean when he's ready or probably somewhere around 18 months. If he was biting on a regular basis, and if I continue developing mastitis, then yeah, I'd wean him.

Fertilized said...

winching ..... in .. pain

I have been used as a teething soothie lately myself .. BF or boob in mouth is the only thing to calm him lately

Anonymous said...

I find that even if it doesn't feel like a blocked duct, I express it right away. I have baby nurse on that side, and shower and express milk. I attack it. It gets sore, and I get annoyed, but then it doesn't develop into antiobiotic needing mastitis. I've even had it get a little flulike, and continued without antibiotic for a SHORT time. My problem is that with antibiotics, I've gotten thrush which is annoying and persistant. Therefore, if I can self treat, I do as long as I'm not getting truly sick. You know, I've nursed 6 babies and only developed mastitis with baby no 5. After that I've had blocked ducts and early mastitis several times since. It's frustrating as I had never had that problem nursing before. Don't understand why it's changed...

Anonymous said...

OUch, as a brand new mom (5 days) I am using Hydrogel pads from MEdela.....$$$$ but very well worth it!!!! Good luck, astrid

mommymichael said...

i can relate to the sore nipples part. with my first son it took us a month to get the hang of things. i walked around topless because anything on my nipples hurt too much.

second time around everything went without a hitch.

i haven't nursed a baby with teeth until just recently. my first son weaned himself after i got pregnant. i'm thinking he didn't like the taste of my milk with pregnancy hormones... weaned at 10 months, didn't get teeth until 11 months.

so this is allll very new to me. i've been bitten once so far, and i'm praying he doesn't find it a hobby. we did much like you did! i yelped, and we both cried.