For whatever reason I’ve had a bump in calls related to post partum breast infections lately. Plus, I had a request for this Anxiometer post over a year ago. I guess I’ve been slow to type because I’ve always felt a bit dumb on the topic, and also because I know that every lactation consultant can go way deeper.

Nevertheless, with regards to when to head to an ER, these words move the dial:

Red Flags:

  • Fever
  • Obvious abscess
  • Dehydration (less urination is your gauge)
  • Diabetes
  • IV drug use
  • No longer producing milk
  • Air under the skin (gas gangrene)
  • Past infections needing hospitalization
  • Pain not controlled by ibuprofen or acetaminophen

Happy Words

  • No redness
  • “I can still breast feed, but I’m just feeling really sore.”
  • “I’m so over this breast feeding thing, and God has to be a guy, because no woman would ever invent this!?” (VS)

Unless you’re looking super sick, our decision tree is remarkably boring in the ER. If infection, give Keflex. If Keflex allergic, then look up an alternative. Warm compresses, acetaminophen, ibuprofen, and call or refer to a lactation consultant. Keep breast feeding on the affected side to limit engorgement. But Vanessa would recommend not fully emptying if you use a pump to avoid hitting hyperdrive. Warm showers and manual “milking” too can help.

What am I missing ladies? More important for me and Vanessa today… weaning. Any tips beyond mustard?

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