Mastitis – What You Should Know

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The word might be uncommon to Sri-Lanka; however it is a common condition faced by many breast feeding mothers all around the world. The below given information will help you understand what it is and seek treatment.

What is ‘Mastitis’?

Mastitis is the inflammation of tissue in one or both mammary glands inside the breast. Mastitis usually affects lactating women, women who are breastfeeding, producing milk. Hence, it is often referred to as ‘lactation mastitis’. The patient feels a hard, sore spot inside the breast. Mastitis can occur as a result of an infection or a blocked milk duct. There are two types of Mastitis

– Non-infectious mastitis

Non infectious mastitis is usually caused by breast milk staying within the breast tissue because of a blocked milk duct or a breastfeeding problem. If left untreated, the milk left in the breast tissue can become infected, leading to infectious mastitis.

– Infectious mastitis

Infectious mamastitis caused by bacterial infection. It is important to receive treatment immediately to prevent complications, such as an abscess in the breast.

Symptoms that you are suffering from mastitis

  • Breast tenderness or warmth to the touch
  • Generally feeling ill
  • 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

When to see a doctor

In most cases, you’ll feel ill with flu-like symptoms for several hours before you recognize that your breast has an area of tenderness and redness. As soon as you recognize this combination of signs and symptoms, contact your doctor immediately.

Your doctor will most probably prescribe antibiotics to treat this condition, however if your signs and symptoms don’t improve after the first few days of taking antibiotics visit your doctor right away to make sure your condition isn’t the result of a more serious problem.

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