Justmommies /Parenting /Baby /Mastitis Symptoms and Treatment  





Mastitis Symptoms and Treatment

Mastitis, or an infection of the breast, occurs most often with lactating mothers within the first six months of breastfeeding. Breast infections can occur in non-lactating women, but is usually a sign of a more serious disease that requires immediate medical attention.


Mastitis can occur at any point while a woman is breastfeeding, but happens more frequently during the early post-partum period. This is when the mother and child are establishing their breastfeeding routine. Mastitis is believed to be caused by germs entering the breast through the nipple.

Mastitis: Signs and Symptoms

Mastitis usually appears suddenly and only affects one breast. It is extremely rare for mastitis to be in both breasts at the same time. The signs and symptoms of mastitis often come on very rapidly. A noticeable hard lump, swelling, tenderness or an area that is warm to the touch may present. Mastitis may also leave you feeling like you have the flu-body aches, fever and fatigue.

The belief used to be that breast milk from the infected breast was bad and that the baby would become ill if they drank it. This has been proven untrue. Women are encouraged to nurse from their affected breast.

Mastitis: Treatments

There are steps you can take at home to help you treat mastitis before it progresses. You should offer the affected breast first and change positions to ensure the breast is fully emptying. If nursing is too unbearable, pumping breast milk from the affected side should be performed.

Taking good care of yourself is an important step in treating mastitis. Research has indicated that stress and poor self-care contributes to mastitis. This is another reason to sleep when your baby sleeps. You should call your doctor if you notice no improvement from self treatment in 24 hours or if you are starting to become feverish. Your doctor will probably want you to come into the office for an evaluation.

Many times, doctors will prescribe an oral antibiotic series to assist your body in fighting off the infection. If you’re given an antibiotic, it’s important for you to take the medicine as directed for the prescribed amount of time. Even if you start to feel better, it is important for you to continue out the series.

If left untreated, mastitis can lead to a breast abscess. A breast abscess is an accumulation of pus inside the breast. Treatment for a breast abscess may require a doctor to make an incision into the breast to drain the infection.

Mastitis Prevention:

You may be able to prevent mastitis with the following tips

  • Do not allow your breasts to engorge. Offer frequent feedings. If unable to feed, pump.
  • Only wear good supporting bras. Under wires should be avoided.
  • Get plenty of rest, but avoid sleeping on your stomach.
  • Wash your hands before and after breastfeeding.
  • Ensure your baby is latching on to the breast properly.
  • Apply lanolin in between feedings to your nipples to help prevent cracks.
  • Know what to look for so that you can treat mastitis early at the first sign of trouble.

Other articles you may like

How to Calm Your Crying Baby
Babies cry because they can not talk.

Beyond the Nursery: Nursing with Confidence
Breastfeed your baby with confidence.

Breastfeeding Message Board
Support forum for moms who breastfeed.


What's Popular

Baby Acne
The 411 on Baby Poop
Umbilical Hernias and Granulomas
Infant's Growth Calculator
Newborn Jaundice
Baby Gas Pains: How to Help Your Baby
Breastfeeding Calculator
Formula Feeding Calculator
Breast Milk Storage Guidelines
Cradle Cap
Dealing with Teething
How to trim baby's nails
Choosing a Pediatrician
Choosing Whether Or Not To Circumcise Your Child

Pregnancy & Parenting Message Boards | Chats | Topics A to Z Pregnancy & Baby Tickers | Pregnancy Calendar |
Baby Names
| Due Date Calculator | Pregnancy Week By Week | Social Networking for Moms
Signs of Ovulation| Signs of Pregnancy | Signs of Labor

Baby Articles: Newborn Jaundice | Baby Acne | Baby Soft Spots | Cradle Cap
Teething | Diaper Rash | Baby Signing | Babywearing | Cloth Diapering

Home | Contact Us | How to advertise | Terms of service | Privacy Statement | Community Guidelines

Copyright 2003-2012, All Rights Reserved.