Dealing with Mastitis Peruvian Style

yanten plantI think after having such an easy birth I got a little ahead of myself and felt like I could do more than I should have done without any major consequences. Unfortunately, that consequence came in the form of mastitis which is awful if you know anything about the infection. It is an infection in the boob that happens when a duct gets clogged. It can also happen by bacteria getting in through dry cracked nipples. I am convinced it was from the clogged duct and dehydration.

Last weekend Marco and I went out both Friday evening and Saturday evening. Each time was only for a few hours but when you are getting very little uninterrupted sleep and you add one alcoholic drink to that, you are asking for trouble.

I went to bed fine but woke up with terrible pain in my right breast. I thought it was a clogged duct or just needed to be drained but once I stepped into a hot shower and immediately started getting chills, I knew something was up.

I immediately got into bed where I continued to convulse and writhe around in agony for an hour as my fever climaxed. I have no idea what the high actually was but I did know I needed to get some medicine. I called my midwife and she prescribed Dicloxacilina, an antibiotic for mastitis. Thank goodness the pharmacies here allow you to buy antibiotics over the counter. The pharmacist gave my mother in law 6 pills to take every 8 hours. I took them every 12.

It cost 3 soles for all 6 pills.

I was considering going to the ER but I am so glad I didn’t because I was able to continue to nurse Christopher and I didn’t have to get out of my bed.

I took some paracetamol for the fever too which is just acetaminophen.

The following two days were rough and very very slow accompanied by excruciating exhaustion. I relied heavily on my mother in law as my mom had to leave the same day I got the fever. Thank goodness for family. I seriously don’t know what I would have done without them since my husband had left for a work trip for a week the same day as well.

I probably would have called my best friend to see if she could have come over and played with Leah for a little while, while I tried to nurse myself back to health a bit. I was so incapacitated though. All I can say is thank you to my mom, mother in law and step son for taking care of the kiddies.

One of the ways I recuperated from mastitis was to use a plant called Llanten or plantain in English. The plant is known for being an expectorant, demulcent,  diuretic and astringent. Therefore, perfect for bringing down inflammation among other things. (See the link for more info.)

I boiled it and then poured it over my breast using a rag. It helps to leave the leaves in and put them on your breast as you pour the boiled water over the breast. It helps with inflammation and is commonly used on cows who have the same problem according to my mother in law. I definitely think it helped and it can be found at any market here in Lima where they sell herbs and plants.

Other than that I just rested and drank lots and lots of water. Massage was also good and nursing through the pain as well. I still have some soreness and my milk supply has definitely gone down but I am positive I can get it back up with pumping and nursing on demand.

I am determined not to get it again too and it is supposedly much more likely for a mother to get it again if she has had it once. Be damned mastitis! I got too many other things to worry about as a mom of two now.

  • Lynn Chamberlin

    Actually, your mother spent much more time nursing you than watching the children. You were pretty darn sick on Sunday. So glad you are better.

    • Amy

      Yes, you did. Thank you! However, if you weren’t around I would have asked Julie to watch the kids more than care for me as they would have needed attention and as bad as I was if I had had to take care of myself more I would have done it. It definitely would not have been easy.

      • Lynn Chamberlin

        I am glad that there were enough “older ones” to go around: to take care of you and to keep up with your two “babies”. No more sickness, now!