Mastitis while breastfeeding

By: Narisa R.

Mastitis is possibly the most distressful problem you may receive when trying to breastfeeding. In most cases mastitis involves just one breast at one time. And so what is the cause?

Mastitis is a result of inappropriate positioning or catching on of the baby. Accordingly the milk is not drained properly from the breast and milk duct gets obstructed. Another possible causes is skipping breastfeeds as you do not prefer to feed in the public or among the visitors, or baby is sleeping and you do not want to wake up him or her.

Whenever you recognize the sensation of an obstructed milk duct you possibly able to keep off it going on into mastitis by lightly massaging your breast in the shower or bath. Massage downward toward the nipple. You may find a little lump which vanishes because the milk duct becomes released. You can try breastfeeding the baby more frequently and again massaging the tender area toward the nipple as the baby sucks. Some other good method is to try expressing milk with breast pump.

Current advice by the doctor is to go on feeding from the involved breast even if it is in infection. This infection will not injury your baby. However, the last thing that you may need to do is to feed by the involved breast at all because it make so sore. This will just make things worsened and maybe you end up with the abscess. If this occurs youíll need to get abscess drained by your doctor.

If you are worried about your baby drinking milk from the affected breast, a good choice is to express and discard the milk. Feed only from the other side. Your body can adapt. It will go on to provide adequate milk for the baby from the unaffected side. As long as you express the milk regularly from the involved breast the milk supplying will be maintained. As the infection subsides you can return to your normal breastfeeding pattern.

If you start mastitis and it doesnít resolved within a couple of hours youíll probably need an antibiotic drug and so talk to your doctor. Be sure to tell him youíre breastfeeding then an appropriate antibiotic drug can be ordered.

To prevent a recurrence be sure that you position your baby properly. Check that he (or she) is not sucking on only the nipple but that he (or she) has a well mouthful of the areola as well.

Mastitis commonly clears up totally within a few days and so put it in perspective. Do not abandon breastfeeding just because you have the mastitis. Make sure that you donít get mastitis again by doing these: correct the baby position, feed upon requirement and donít skipping breastfeeding.

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Narisa R. works as a medical doctor in Thailand. She is also an online editor of this website : Pregnancy And Childbirth Information Center. ( For further information please visit her site.

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