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I'm posting with the hope of finding someone who has had a
similar experience and can offer some counsel.
I developed a huge breast infection about 3 weeks post-partum
which created a mass about 3 inches wide in diameter from
swollen breast tissue. It was like I had an orange in my
breast. My OB sent me to a surgical breast oncologist to rule
out a malignancy ... which was just ruled out via biopsy this
I was on the antibiotic Keflex for about 5 weeks and now am
going to have to go back on it again. The mass is still about
2.5 inches wide and there are smaller lumps that are red now as
I stopped trying to bf/pump at 4 weeks so it's not a breast
feeding issue. But when I google ''breast infection'' I can only
find info on basic infections -- not ones that result in large
Anyone been down this path? Any resources to suggest?
My husband, who is a surgeon, read your post over my shoulder
and had this to say: (P.S.-congratulations on the new baby!)
There are a couple of issues here. Was there any particular
organism cultured from the breast? If so,were they or it
susceptible to Keflex? Sometimes there are bacteria in breast
abscesses of recently lactating women that are anaerobic or
gram negative which don't respond well to cephalexin (keflex).
Also, if a woman is diabetic or has had previous infections in
the breast, there can be different bacteria that do not respond
well to keflex. Keflex is really good for staph. and strep.
Even if keflex was the right antibiotic, the levels in the
blood stream may not have been adequate to penetrate through
chronically inflamed fibrous tissue to reach the bacteria. If
infection remains it may require IV antibiotics and or surgical
incision and drainage, usually leaving the skin open to heal
in. This sounds worse than it really is because the breast
usually heals in very nicely after this is done, and you will
be a lot more comfortable.
I had a breast infection with a mass in my left breast around
the time my son was 6 weeks old. It was so painful.
I have the book 'Herbal For the Childbearing Year' by Susun Weed
and highly recommend it. I don't have health insurance so I
rely on home remedies a lot. Take this with a grain of salt
though, I'm not a physician or herbalist. Well, maybe an
amateur herbalist. =)
She recommended Marshmallow Root, Bee Propolis, and Echinacea,
among other things. We were in a hurry so we went to GNC and
found all of them there but they were pricey. You could
definitely find marshmallow root and echinacea much cheaper
elsewhere, not sure about the availability of bee propolis.
The directions for using these are in the book, I don't remember
exact amounts. I know that I took 3 echinacea capsules 3 times
a day for 3 days. I also took the bee propolis as pills. The
marshmallow root was in capsules and I opened them and poured
the contents into the water. I believe she recommends soaking
your breasts in it.. put a certain amount of the root in boiling
water, let it cool til bearable, then soak breasts in it or make
a poultice. I'd be happy to email you specifics if you like.
This treatment cleared it up in less than 3 days.
Also, you say that you are no longer breastfeeding. I would
recommend drinking some sage tea, and also a little extra
vitamin c and a, and some probiotics, since you've been on
I also developed a very painful lump about 2 weeks postpartum --
it turned out that it was an abcess (a staph infection)! This
was verified via ultrasound. However, if you're already seeing
an oncologist, I'm sure they would have checked for this. (In
my case, what started out as a case of mastitis quickly
progressed to an abcess. The site was red and tender and
throbbed, and I was running a fever). I was put on antibiotics,
but then also went in for a procedure where a radiologist,
using ultrasound to guide him, inserted a needle and drained
the abcess. As soon as the fluid was out, the breast felt
better imm! ediately. The sequence of events was that I first
went to my OB/GYN, then was referred to an oncologist, then was
scheduled for the ultrasound (done by a radiologist). This may
not be relevant in your case at all, but perhaps it's worth
asking your dr. if this might be a possibility. Best of luck.
Your situation rang a bell with me- I too developed a painfully
swollen mass in my breast the size of an orange a few weeks
postpartum. Mine was closer to my armpit. At first, I assumed
it was a blocked milk duct and kept applying warm compresses,
which just made it more painful. I contacted La Leche for
advice and they suggested that I might have an extra milk gland
(!) and to try icing it instead. It worked, and I didn't give
it another thought, except to tease my husband that he was
married to a three breasted wonder!
triple titted mommy
this page was last updated: Oct 7, 2008
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