What is mastitis?
Mastitis is often used interchangeably with the term breast infection, but mastitis may also be due to an inflammation. Often a reddened area is noted on the breast. Inflammatory or infectious mastitis may develop for reasons similar to those for plugged duct development, and the same interventions usually are helpful.
It is especially important to keep the affected breast "empty" through frequent breastfeeding or pumping at regular intervals. It is also very important to rest and keep hydrated by drinking a lot of clear fluids. You can also take ibuprofen or acetaminophen for the discomfort. If you develop flu-like symptoms or your temperature increases to 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit (38 degrees Celsius) or higher, call your doctor. An antibiotic probably will be prescribed for 10 to 14 days. Be sure you take the entire course of the medication or you may experience a recurrence.
- Grantham, Paula, RN, BSN
- newMentor board-certified, academically affiliated clinician