Mastitis and Antibiotic Resistance

There is a new campaign across the North West to combat antibiotic resistance.

Up until recently, I have never needed to use antibiotics, that was until I suffered from Mastitis.

Mastitis is a condition which causes breast tissue to become painful and inflamed. It’s most common in breastfeeding women, usually within the first three months after giving birth.

When I first started breastfeeding I was aware of Mastitis being talked about over different social support groups. Although I knew it was a pain in your breast I wasn’t truly prepared for how awful it was.

It was a few weeks ago now but I woke up I the middle of the night with a really sore breast on one side.  Even though C was still asleep I ended up having to express some milk because I was that engorged and in that much agony.  I was hoping that when C next woke she would have a feed and it would ease and that would be that.  I wasn’t prepared for the agony however when she next latched on to feed. I took me back to the early breastfeeding days of the toe curling stage. I looked online and thought that it was probably a blocked milk duct causing the issue, everywhere mentioned to keep an eye out for flu-like symptoms. I spent the day feeding C at every opportunity hoping that it would solve the problem, but it didn’t.

My plan was to get through the day trying everything I could think of to help ease the pain. The worse thing you can do is to stop feeding as that will only lead to engorgement and increase the pain. Some people believe they should not feed when they have a breast infection, however, this is totally wrong!

I had read that over-the-counter painkiller, such as paracetamol or ibuprofen, help to reduce any pain or fever.  I tried these at first but ended up going to the doctors where I was given antibiotics as I still had a fever and felt like death.

I had woken with a headache but as this wasn’t that unusual for me I didn’t really think anything of it. It was around lunch time that I started shivering, I only noticed as J kept asking me why my teething was making a funny sound.  It was at this point I had a feeling it was something more than a blocked duct.  I managed to bundle the children into the car and get around to my MIL’s house.  I felt like death and I think I cried twice by this point as I was struggling to cope with a tiny baby and a toddler whilst suffering.  I managed to get an emergency appointment where the doctors gave me some antibiotics.  Luckily within a few hours of starting taking them, I felt 100x better, by the next day I felt back to normal. I’m not sure how I knew but I was always aware that the more antibiotics you take the less effective they become. I was extremely lucky that the antibiotics helped me so quickly.

antibiotic resistance

I was shocked to learn recently that it is estimated that 5,000 deaths are caused every year in England because antibiotics no longer work for some infections – that’s 13 people every day.

One in four people in the North West has never heard of antibiotic resistance

Antibiotics are an important tool for doctors and healthcare professionals to help treat serious bacterial infections.  However, antibiotics are being used for everyday viral infections, such as colds or flu, where they are not effective. I know some people who seem to want antibiotics for the first sign of a cold.  The problem with this is that the antibiotics can become less effective each time they are taken, the bacteria can become resistance to antibiotics which mean that the bacteria will be passed on and it becomes a vicious circle.

By only taking antibiotics when really necessary we will help reduce antibiotic resistance and save you from passing on the resistance bacteria to other loved ones.


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