First-time mum reveals how mastitis – the agonising side of breastfeeding that no one talks about – left her with sepsis

Remi Peers, 25, of the MamaClog blog, said she was in "excruciating" pain when she developed mastitis – which turned into full-blown sepsis overnight, because she didn't know the signs.

Her breastfeeding journey was difficult right from the moment Rudi, now two, was born – because it took five days for Remi's milk to come in.

Posting on Instagram, she added: "When I got home, problems started to arise – my nipple literally cracked in half.

"I have never felt such pain, I dreaded every feed, but persisted with tears in my eyes until I was healed.

"(Nobody taught me that breastfeeding could be painful, nobody taught me what a good latch looked like)".

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Let's talk about public breastfeeding. (And that includes posting pictures on social media.) Every day on instagram I will see a comment on a breastfeeding mums picture such as "you're just using that baby to attention seek" or "urinating is natural too, but you don't see people doing that in public" This is exactly why we need #normalizebreastfeeding You know there is a real problem when breasts have become so sexualised that women are shamed for using them for their actual purpose. Motherhood should not be censored. Nursing mothers should not be segregated. Women should not feel like they have to put their lives on hold until they've finished breastfeeding. People should not expect them to cover their baby's heads with cloths or hide in bathrooms while the rest of their family eats together. Let's get a discussion going on the subject. Even if you disagree with public breastfeeding. This is a topic that gets such a fire burning inside me. I just don't understand how society has gotten to the point where it's ok to see breasts on billboards yet it makes people uncomfortable when they are used to feed a baby. Ultimately it's all to do with not being able to accept women's duality. As both sexual and nurturing. And that needs to change. Let me know what you think! Even though I have strong opinions, I'm always willing to listen to view points that differ from my own! 🙂 . . . . . #normalizebreastfeeding #breastfeeding #breastfeedwithoutfear #breastfeedingmom #breastfeedinginpublic #publicbreastfeeding #fedisbest #breastisbest #informedisbest #nursinginpublic #extendedbreastfeeding #takebackpostpartum #stopcensoringmotherhood #feministasfuck #feminism #devinefeminine #freethenipple #goddess #sacredfeminine #bodypositive #motherhoodrising #motherhoodunplugged #liquidgold

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But nothing could prepare her for the pain of what was to come – mastitis.

She added: "I remember waking up at 3am shivering, putting on my dressing gown and extra blankets and trying to feed my son. The pain. It was excruciating.

"I was shaking and sweating but freezing to my bones. At 5 am I woke up my boyfriend (Ryan) and told him I thought I needed to go to the hospital.

"We got my stepdad, a doctor, he took my temperature and said it was slightly high but to take a paracetamol and try and sleep.

"7am comes, I've had no sleep, and now I'm vomiting, he takes my temp again. 40C. I had developed sepsis overnight.

"This was because I was not able to recognise the more subtle signs of mastitis (as I had seen no redness that day)".

What is mastitis?

Mastitis is a condition which causes a woman's breast tissue to become inflamed and painful.

It's most common in breastfeeding mums, in the first three months after giving birth.

In breastfeeding women, it's often caused by a build-up of milk – because the baby is having problems latching on.

Symptoms include:

  • A red, swollen area which feels hot and painful to touch
  • A breast lump or area of hardness
  • A burning pain which is either continuous or only occurs during breastfeeding
  • Nipple discharge – which may be white or contain streaks of blood
  • Flu-like symptoms – including aches, a fever, chills and tiredness.

If you have these symptoms, speak to your GP straight away.

Sepsis is a serious complication of an infection, which can lead to multiple organ failure and even death if left untreated.

Remi was rushed to hospital, given morphine, anti-sickness tablets and the strongest antibiotics possible.

She was also separated from her baby for two nights, writing: "I was heartbroken."

Remi says she repeatedly asked for a breast pump during her stay, because mastitis gets worse if the milk isn't drained, but staff told her they were "struggling to find one".

She wants to raise awareness because she says it isn't acknowledged how hard breastfeeding really is –  and mums shouldn't be sen out into the world uninformed.

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Fam ??

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Remi said: "Women are not expected to give birth alone.

"But somehow today they are expected to breastfeed alone and not share their experience with others, and this is why so many breastfeeding relationships end before they've even really started.

"Breastfeeding is HARD. It needs to be taught and it needs to be learned.

"Just like walking, talking, reading and writing – it may be natural, but it does not always come naturally."

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Chrimbo PJ kinda night ⛄️❄️

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Remi continued with breastfeeding and says it became a lot easier from three months in.

She first shared her story on the one-year anniversary of her hospital appointment, and re-posted it this year.

Yesterday we reported on a mum who revealed she regrets having sex so soon after giving birth, but was worried her partner would cheat.

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