Drs: Symptoms Of Mastitis + Severe Infection From Breastfeeding


The Drs: Severe Infection Of The Breast

The Doctors shared a picture with their audience, but explained that it was actually too graphic to be shown on daytime television. The reason they wanted to share it at all was to help people better understand the severity of one woman’s condition. Dr Travis Stork explained that what the audience was seeing was a photo of a breast with a severe case of mastitis, which led to multiple breast abscesses and after surgery, the picture showed the painful result.

Brooke has been living with the condition for three months. She explained that she gave birth to her daughter in December 2014, and about nine days later, she developed pain in her right breast. She noticed a little but but didn’t think anything of it. When she was pumping, she was getting large clumps of milk, and it was incredibly painful for her daughter to feed on that side. That night she got a high fever and the underside of her breast was red. Her heart rate was 150 and she knew she had to see a doctor.


The Drs: Infection From Breastfeeding

Drs: Symptoms Of Mastitis + Severe Infection From Breastfeeding

The Doctors explained how breastfeeding caused one woman to end up in the hospital with a severe infection. (elisfanclub / flickr)

Brooke said the reason she was so sick was because the milk ducts in her breast were getting clogged. She was diagnosed with mastitis, which is an infection in the breast. She had previously experienced a minor case of mastitis while breastfeeding her son, but it cleared up and she was fine. This time around she had to stay in the hospital for a few days before she was sent home with antibiotics. The nurses advised her to pump frequently in order to keep the milk moving.

One night, her fever went up to 104 and the redness was all over. The Doctors told her to abscesses had formed on her breast, about the size of quarters. She had the abscesses drained and two ounces of pus were removed. By the time the weekend was over, she had four abscesses. The doctors told her she needed surgery and she was back in the hospital for eight days.


After contacting The Doctors, Brooke went to see Dr Andrew Ordon for a consultation. Brooke shared that she was still healing and Dr Ordon said he could see that it was still leaking. The good news is that there’s always something they can do to improve her appearance.

The Drs: What Is Mastitis?

Brooke and her husband Jason joined the show. Brooke said she was feeling a lot better but still has to take some pain medication. Dr Ordon said the good news is that the acute infection is gone, but she will probably need a skin graft.

Dr Jennifer Ashton explained that mastitis is a general infection in the breast that is most common in breastfeeding women. It usually starts with a crack or fissure of the nipple, or just from an open portal that can introduce bacteria into the blood vessels that supply the breast. It can spread up the breast and into the systemic circulation. If untreated, it can cause abscesses. Mastitis occurs about 10% of the time in a breastfeeding woman, but this case was obviously extreme and rare.

The Drs: Symptoms Of Mastitis

Dr Ashton said you shouldn’t not breastfeed because you’re afraid of mastitis. A hallmark sign is streaking redness on the breast, but other symptoms include tenderness to the touch, feeling sick or having a high fever, swollen breast, painful or burning sensation, and skin redness. The recommendations are to continue breastfeeding.

The Doctors shared that Brooke would get her own Blue Therapy System so that she could do negative pressure therapy at home. Brooke would also be seeing a plastic surgeon to see if she is a good candidate for a breast reconstruction.

Have you ever experienced mastitis while breastfeeding your little ones? How did you deal with the infection? Would you consider not breastfeeding because the potential risks, or do you think breastfeeding is still worth it?


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