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FAQ Frequently asked questions
What is mastitis?
Mastitis is an inflammation of the breast tissue. It commonly occurs in women who are breastfeeding, usually within the first three months. It typically causes pain and redness in the breast.
What are the symptoms of mastitis?
Signs and symptoms of mastitis include: discomfort or pain in the breast; a red and swollen wedged area on the breast; a blocked milk duct or lump; shivers and aches; high temperature or fever, and; tiredness and weakness.
What causes mastitis?
Mastitis is caused by an infection in the breast. It begins with a duct in the nipple becoming blocked, usually in breastfeeding mothers. Bacteria from the surface of the skin or baby's mouth get trapped in the blocked duct or enter via cracked nipples. These bacteria …
Who can develop mastitis?
Risk factors for mastitis include: having had mastitis before; blocked duct due to poor breast drainage from improper attachment of the baby to the breast; cracked nipples (though it can also occur without cracked nipples), and; restricted milk flow due to tight …
How is mastitis diagnosed?
Mastitis can be diagnosed by your doctor after a physical examination and observation of your signs and symptoms including fever, chills and tenderness of the breast. A red, tender wedge-shaped area on the breast is also an indicator of mastitis.
How is mastitis treated?
It is important to begin treatment at the first signs of mastitis. Common treatment is oral antibiotics to fight the infection in your breast. It is important to tell your doctor if you are allergic to penicillin. Painkillers, such as acetaminophen, can also be …
Will mastitis clear on its own?
Mastitis will not clear on its own. It is important to start treatment with antibiotics as soon as possible to avoid any complications, such as an abscess forming. If mastitis is identified and treated early, the condition will generally improve within 48 …
Can mastitis be prevented?
To help prevent mastitis, it is important to ensure that milk is draining well. Blocked milk ducts can be due to missed feeds, the breast not draining well, or the wrong feeding position. If there is an oversupply of milk, you can speak to your health provider or …
About this article
Author: Dr Idan Ben-Barak PhD, MSc, BSc (Med)
First answered: 07 Jul 2015
Last reviewed: 19 May 2018
Rating: 4.8 out of 5
Votes: 1076 (Click smiley face below to rate)
Category: Nipple problems during breastfeeding