Mastitis is an inflammation of the breast tissue that results in breast pain, swelling, warmth and redness of the breast.

The disease is characterized by an increase in body temperature and chills. It most often affects women who breastfeed /lactational mastitis/, although it is also possible to occur in non-lactating women.

In most cases, the lactational form of the disease occurs within the first 3 months after birth, but it is also possible to occur later in the breastfeeding period.

Inflammation of the breast tissue can make a woman feel exhausted and downright collapse, making it difficult to care for her newborn child.

Sometimes the disease causes the mother to wean her baby early. But despite the inflammation, the woman can continue to breastfeed.

What are the symptoms?

Clinical manifestations of the disease can appear suddenly and are most often expressed in:

• Breast tenderness or unusual warmth to the touch;
• Generalized malaise;
• Breast swelling;
• Pain or constant burning sensation, most pronounced when breastfeeding;< br/> • Redness of the skin on the chest, often wedge-shaped;
• Body temperature 38.3 degrees Celsius or higher;

The lactational form of the disease usually affects only one breast.

In most cases, women develop flu-like symptoms and feel sick before they feel pain and redness in one of the breasts.

As soon as this combination of symptoms is established, a doctor’s consultation is necessary. He will probably want to examine you before confirming the diagnosis.

If you have had chest infections before, your GP can prescribe antibiotics over the phone.

If you don’t feel relief in symptoms 1-2 days after starting to take them, see your GP straight away to make sure your condition isn’t the result of a more serious problem.

What are the causes?

Blocked milk duct – if your breasts do not empty completely during breastfeeding, it is possible that one of the milk ducts in the breast becomes blocked and residual milk to accumulate, causing infection.

Bacterial penetration into the breast – bacteria from the surface of the baby’s skin and mouth may enter the milk ducts through a wound or small scratch in the skin of the nipple or through the open milk duct.


Bacteria can start to multiply which causes infection.

These microorganisms are not harmful to the baby, since every person has them. But they are not part of the usual bacterial flora of the breast tissue.

What are the complications?

When inflammation is not adequately treated or is associated with a blocked milk duct, it is possible for pus to accumulate and an abscess to form in the breast.< /p>

A purulent mass usually requires surgical drainage. To avoid this complication, it is necessary to consult a doctor immediately after the appearance of symptoms of inflammation of the breast tissue.

Treatment of mastitis

Treatment usually consists of:

• Antibiotics – a 10-14 day course of antibiotics is usually prescribed. The improvement of the patient’s condition usually occurs after 24-48 hours after starting to take the medication;

Painkillers – while waiting for the antibiotic to work, doctors usually recommend taking weak painkillers such as paracetamol or ibuprofen;

Correction of breastfeeding technique – it is necessary for the patient to make sure that she completely empties her breast when breastfeeding and that the baby bites the nipple correctly;

Staying in bed for a while and drinking more fluids to speed up the recovery of the infection. During this period, breastfeeding the baby should continue.

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