Breast Infections and Inflammations
What is lactational mastitis?
The most common type of breast infection is lactational mastitis. This happens when
a person is breastfeeding. The nipples become cracked and sore. This allows bacteria
from the baby's mouth to enter the ducts and rapidly multiply in the milk. Sometimes
an infection also occurs because of a blocked milk duct. In both cases, the breast
becomes hard, reddened, hot, and painful.
Treatment for lactational mastitis
Treatment will depend on your symptoms, age, and general health. It will also depend
on how severe the condition is.
Your healthcare provider may suggest trying to unblock the duct with warm compresses
and massage. They may also prescribe antibiotics and an analgesic for pain. Your provider
will advise completely emptying the breast of milk regularly. Emptying the breast
completely will also help prevent lactational mastitis. In some cases, lactational
mastitis progresses and forms a pus-filled infection (abscess). This is a more serious
condition that may need drainage.