Causes, treatment, symptoms of mastitis

DEFINITION

Mastitis

 is an infection of the breast tissue that results in Breast pain, swelling, warmth and redness. You also might have Fever and chills. Mastitis most commonly affects women who are breast-feeding (lactation Mastitis), although sometimes this condition can occur in women who aren’t breast-feeding.

In most cases, lactation Mastitis occurs within the first six to 12 weeks after giving birth (postpartum), but it can happen later during breast-feeding. The condition can cause you to feel run down, making it difficult to care for your baby.

Sometimes Mastitis leads a mother to wean her baby before she intends to, but continuing to breast-feed, even while taking an antibiotic for the Mastitis, is better for you and your baby.

SYMPTOMS

With Mastitis, signs and symptoms can appear suddenly and may include:

  • Breast tenderness or warmth to the touch
  • Generally feeling ill (malaise)
  • Breast swelling
  • Pain or a burning sensation continuously or while breast-feeding
  • Skin redness, often in a wedge-shaped pattern
  • Fever of 101 F (38.3 C) or greater
  • Although Mastitis usually occurs in the first several weeks of breast-feeding, it can happen anytime during breast-feeding. Lactation Mastitis tends to affect only one breast

    CAUSES

    Breast-feeding is a learned skill, and poor technique can lead to milk being trapped in the breast, a main cause of Mastitis. Other causes include:

  • A blocked milk duct. 

    If a breast doesn’t completely empty at feedings, one of your milk ducts can become clogged, causing milk to back up, which leads to breast infection.

  • Bacteria entering your breast.

     Bacteria from your skin’s surface and baby’s mouth can enter the milk ducts through a break or crack in the skin of your nipple or through a milk duct opening. Stagnant milk in a breast that isn’t emptied enough provides a breeding ground for the bacteria. The antibacterial properties of your milk help protect your baby from the infection.


  • RISK FACTORS

    Risk factors for Mastitis include:

  • Breast-feeding during the first few weeks after childbirth
  • Sore or cracked nipples, although Mastitis can develop without broken skin
  • Using only one position to breast-feed, which may not fully drain your breast
  • Wearing a tightfitting bra or putting pressure on your breast from using a seatbelt or carrying a heavy bag, which may restrict milk flow
  • Becoming overly tired or stressed
  • Previous bout of Mastitis while breast-feeding
  • Poor nutrition
  • COMPLICATIONS

    If Mastitis isn’t adequately treated, or it’s related to a blocked duct, a collection of pus (abscess) can develop in your breast and form a breast mass or area of firmness with thickening. An abscess usually requires surgical drainage. To avoid this complication, talk to your doctor as soon as you develop signs or symptoms of Mastitis.

    TREATMENTS AND DRUGS

    Mastitis treatment usually involves:

  • Antibiotics. 

    Treating Mastitis usually requires a 10- to 14-day course of antibiotics. You may feel well again 24 to 48 hours after starting antibiotics, but it’s important to take all the pills to minimize your chance of recurrence.

  • Pain relievers.

     Your doctor may recommend a mild pain reliever, such as acetaminophen (Tylenol, others) or ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin IB, others).

  • Adjustments to your breast-feeding technique.

     Make sure that you fully empty your breasts during breast-feeding and that your infant latches on correctly. Your doctor may review your breast-feeding technique with you or may refer you to a lactation consultant for help and ongoing support.

  • Self-care.

     Rest, continue breast-feeding and drink extra Fluids to help your body fight the breast infection.

  • If your Mastitis doesn’t clear up after taking antibiotics, it is important to follow up with your doctor so he or she can decide if you need further testing.

    LIFESTYLE AND HOME REMEDIES

    To get your breast-feeding relationship with your infant off to its best start — and to avoid complications like Mastitis — consider meeting with a lactation consultant. A lactation consultant can give you tips and provide invaluable advice for proper breast-feeding techniques.

    Minimize your chances of getting Mastitis by following these tips:

  • Fully drain the milk from your breasts while breast-feeding.
  • Allow your baby to completely empty one breast before switching to the other breast during feeding.
  • Change the position you use to breast-feed from one feeding to the next.
  • Make sure your baby latches on properly during feedings.
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    Hello____ my name is faith,and a nurse by profession loves taking care of people especially your health. I am here whenever you need me,for everyday care or life-changing care,you can count on me to keep you and your loved ones safe and healthy.

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