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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 infect the mammary glands, giving rise to the symptoms of mastitis.

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About this article

Author: Dr Idan Ben-Barak PhD, MSc, BSc (Med)
First answered: 07 Jul 2015
Last reviewed: 17 Oct 2018
Rating: 4.8 out of 5
Votes: 1075 (Click smiley face below to rate)
Category: Nipple problems during breastfeeding


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