what is mastitis
what is mastitis

Mastitis is a breast tissue infection that can occur during breastfeeding and is caused by three main ways:

Milk can build up in your breasts because its being made faster than it’s removed which then causes milk stasis.

A bacterial infection can develop from sore cracked nipples.

A blocked duct that has been left untreated can progress to mastitis.

If you have mastitis you may find your breasts are:

  • Red and blotchy
  • Hard and tight
  • Tender and sore
  • Hot
  • Swollen
  • A lump or lumps (known as a blocked duct). This is caused by by milk in getting into your breast tissue instead of your milk ducts.

    Because of infection you may also feel:

  • Flu –like symptoms
  • Tiredness
  • A high temperature
  • Headaches
  • Feverish chills

    How to treat Mastitis:

  • Don’t stop feeding as this will make the milk build up worse. Mastitis won't hurt your baby.
  • Seek medical advice straight away, if the infection has settled in for a few days you may need to be prescribed anti-biotics.

    Self help methods:

  • Try putting warm flannels on your breasts before feeding to soothe and increase milk flow.
  • If your baby fails to empty your breasts during feeds, gently express the rest with a breast pump
  • Rest as much as possible.
  • Drink plenty of fluids to help flush the infection from your system
  • Over-the-counter painkillers, such as paracetamol or ibuprofen will help reduce pain and to reduce pain and high temperature- a small amount of paracetamol can enter the breast milk but it is not enough to harm your baby (aspirin is not safe to take while breastfeeding).
  • Wear loose clothing without a bra until swelling has reduced

    Find out ways to avoid mastitis here…

    Help your baby latch onto your breast properly. Read our step by step picture guide to breastfeeding

    Babyexpert.com 29/06/2011 07:18:00
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