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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

The information on MommyMDGuides.com is not intended to replace the diagnosis, treatment, and services of a physician. Always consult your physician or child care expert if you have any questions concerning your family's health. For severe or life-threatening conditions, seek immediate medical attention.