DefinitionMastitis is a breast infection seen in nursing mothers. It is more common in women nursing for the first time, and usually happens within the first three months after delivery.   The symptoms include redness, warmth, and a tender lump in one breast, associated with fevers and a generalized ill feeling. Occasionally sore and cracked nipples can predispose a woman to mastitis.
What to do to ease the symptoms…
  • Continue breastfeeding, starting on the affected side
  • Pump if you are unable to breastfeed to ensure that you empty the breast
  • Increase your fluid intake
  • Reduce your salt intake
  • Use acetaminophen or ibuprofen as needed for pain and fevers
  • Heat will encourage milk letdown, ice will help with swelling
  • Massage the breast to help with milk drainage from the infected area
  • Avoid tight fitting bras
  • Wash your hands frequently
  • Schedule an appointment with a lactation consultant if you have any concerns about your nursing technique
  • Take the antibiotics prescribed by your physician as directed
  • Call your physician if your symptoms persist or worsen despite the antibiotics
  • Keep the scheduled follow-up appointments so that your doctor can reexamine the breast to check for an abscess


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