Women's Health


It is pain and inflammation in the breast tissue, sometimes there can be a lump and some redness around the painful area, and the inflammation can turn into an infection. Mastitis mainly affects breastfeeding women, and often occurs during the first three months of childbirth, and it can also infect the woman even if she is not breastfeeding.

The Reason:
When breastfeeding an infant/child, Mastitis is usually caused when milk builds up in the breast faster than it is removed and this leads to blocked milk ducts, it can be caused by:
  • The infant is not latching on to the breast properly.
  • Forgetting to breastfeed or not breastfeeding the baby.
  • Feeding from one breast more than the other
  • An injury that damaged the milk duct or gland.
But if the mother is not breastfeeding, it may be due to infection, as infection can occur if the nipples are cracked, or through a nipple piercing.

Inflammation usually affects one breast, but sometimes it can affect both. Signs and symptoms often develop quickly and can include:
  • Red spots on the breast (feeling of swelling, heat and pain when touching the painful areas).
  • A lump or hardened area of breast tissue.
  • Feeling tired and have a fever (may be flu-like symptoms).
  • Headache and nausea.
  • Secretions from the nipple.

How long does mastitis last?
When you notice early signs of Mastitis, the treatment is quick and easy, but if the pain persists for more than a few days, this may be a sign of infection, so you should go to the doctor.

If left untreated, it can lead to a breast abscess. This type of abscess usually requires surgery.

  • The main treatment to do is to continue breastfeeding (although it may be very painful), because by stopping breastfeeding the obstruction will increase, but if you get an infection, breastfeeding will not harm the baby (although the taste of the milk may be slightly salty).
  • Ensure that the baby is latching on to the breast correctly and feeding 8 to 12 times a day (including at night), trying to put a warm cloth on the breast before feeding; This will help relieve pain.
  • After feeding, make sure to drain any remaining breast milk by hand or with a pump.
  • When feeling no improvement and that continuing to breastfeed regularly does not make a difference, consult a doctor.
  • he doctor may prescribe antibiotics to treat the infection, but if the infection develops into an abscess, it must be treated surgically.

Some ways in which the risk of infection can be reduced:
  • Breastfeeding if possible.
  • Feed the infant frequently and on demand (long gaps between feedings can lead to a buildup of breast milk in the breast).
  • Ensure that the infant is properly latched on to the breast.
  • Wait until the infant has finished breastfeeding.
  • Exchange between breastfeeding positions to fully empty the breast. 
  • Ventilate the nipples in the air after completing the feeding.
  • When stopping breastfeeding, try to do so gradually.
  • Avoid tight clothes and bras, and wear loose clothes that do not press on the breast.

Ways to help relieve pain and inflammation:
  • Drink plenty of fluids.
  • Have good rest, take the baby to bed and fed frequently (8 to 12 times each day including night)
  • Suction of milk between and after feedings; To make sure all of the breast milk has been removed.
  • Medicines (such as: paracetamol and ibuprofen) can reduce pain, although some paracetamol can enter breast milk, but it is not enough to harm the baby.
  • Avoid wearing tight clothes and bras that can restrict the flow of milk.
  • Relieve pain by applying warm compresses to the breast every few hours. A warm shower may also help.
  • Gently massage the affected area (if it is not too painful) on and around the affected area in a gentle circular motion starting from the outside of the affected area towards the nipple.

Last Update : 28 May 2023 11:27 AM
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