My baby is a few weeks old, and I have a high fever and pain in my right breast. I think it might be mastitis. Did you get it?
Our Mommy MD Guide’s reply: Yes, and mastitis is horrible. I had read about it in all the pregnancy books, so I was aware of the symptoms: pain, swelling, and redness in the breast, often in a wedge-shaped pattern; feeling ill like you have the flu; and a fever of 101°F or higher.
When my baby was 12 days old, I had just nursed her, but I started feeling really tender on the outer side of my left breast. I laid down for a nap, thinking it would pass. But I woke with a 104°F fever and aches and pains that felt like the worst case of the flu you could ever have.
My husband, who’s also a doctor, started me on antibiotics, and by the second or third day I started to feel better. You can’t mess around with mastitis; it can get very serious, very fast and may end up as multi-organ failure.
When to call the doctor: If you think you have mastitis, call your doctor right away. Mastitis is a serious condition. Your doctor will probably want to see you to confirm the diagnosis. Oral antibiotics are usually very effective in treating this condition.
—Sadaf T. Bhutta M.B.,B.S., a mom of a three-year-old daughter and 18-month-old triplets and an assistant professor and the fellowship director of pediatric radiology at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences and Arkansas Children’s Hospital, both in Little Rock