Life After Birth: The Boob Flu

Life After Birth: The Boob Flu

I recently experienced something that easily makes the list of Top 5 Weirdest Things to Ever Happen to Me. My husband named it the boob flu, but to the rest of the world it’s known as mastitis. And man was it weird.

Mastitis is inflamed breast tissue and is typically the result of a clogged duct. It is most common when there is a lot of engorgement happening and can easily get infected and may need treatment from a doctor.

My baby is fourteen months old and I decided it was time to cut down (even more) on the amount of times in a 24-hour period I was nursing her. We were down to roughly three times when mastitis came around. It was a Friday night and I barely felt any pain until it was almost bedtime. It felt like a clogged duct, which I had had multiple times previous. The pain grew rapidly and feeding her before laying her down for the night didn’t relieve my discomfort. In a one-hour period, it escalated from not being able to feel anything at all to incredibly painful. Painful enough to take an ibuprofen (which I rarely do) and pull out the heating pad.

And it’s a dang good thing I grabbed that heating pad because BAM I was freeeeeeezing cold, had major chills, a fever, and felt overwhelmingly nauseous. I literally felt like I was hit by a truck. A cold truck. Maybe an ice cream truck? Thankfully, everything I was reading on the Internet said it was pretty normal to experience these symptoms, so that was reassuring. I thought I was going mad. Symptoms were literally popping up left and right and I was crazy uncomfortable yet oddly entertained by the whole thing.

That night was long and I spent half of the next day in bed sleeping because I was super exhausted. But by Saturday evening I was totally fine, with just a slightly sore breast. I’m telling you, it was weird. And do you want to know the weirdest part? The whole side of my boob was bright red. Like all the way to my armpit! At first I thought it was just from the heating pad, but the redness lasted for several days.

They say the number one best thing to help with mastitis is to nurse as often as possible… So there went all of my weaning progress and I was full-on newborn status nursing my toddler! She’s a cuddly one, so she had an enjoyable weekend. And now I’m slightly terrified of weaning too quickly and creating this problem for myself all over again, wish me luck!

So that is my brief encounter with mastitis, also known as the boob flu. I sincerely hope you haven’t had to deal with this but if so, did you get freaked out and entertained all at the same time like I did?? One thing’s for sure; the word mastitis has taken on a whole new meaning for me!

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