What Is Mastitis?
Mastitis is an inflammation of the breast, which can be caused by blocked milk ducts (non-infective mastitis) or bacterial infection (infective mastitis).
What Can Cause Blocked Milk Ducts And Mastitis?
- Problems in breast feeding such as poor breast drainage and engorgement
- Wearing a bra that may be too tight
- The use of nipple creams that can harbour bacteria.
What Are The Symptoms?
Symptoms include areas of your breast feeling painful, red and swollen. You may also experience flu-like symptoms such as chills, fever or aches.
How To Avoid And Treat Mastitis
- Feed from the affected breast first
- Gently massage the affected area towards the nipple while your baby feeds as it may help move any blockage
- Try different feeding positions, see Breastfeeding Positions
- Check that your bra is properly fitted
- Get lots of rest and drink plenty of fluids.
Please Note: If you have a blockage that doesn’t clear within 12 hours, or you start to feel unwell or feverish, contact your healthcare professional straightaway. They may suggest an antibiotic to clear the infection or anti-inflammatory medication to relive the pain.
If ever in doubt, always ask your healthcare professional.
To speak to your local lactation consultant, contact the Lactation Consultants of Australia and New Zealand: https://www.lcanz.org/find-a-consultant.htm