Mastitis is a breast infection that typically occurs in lactating women. It is caused by a blocked milk duct, which leads to inflammation and infection in the breast tissue.
Some common causes of mastitis include:
- Engorgement (overfullness) of the breasts
- Improper breastfeeding technique
- Cracked or sore nipples
- Stress and fatigue
- Smoking and alcohol consumption
- An infection, such as a staph infection.
Symptoms of mastitis include breast pain and tenderness, breast swelling, warmth and redness, a fever, and flu-like symptoms.
Diagnosis of mastitis typically involves a physical examination, and blood tests or a breast milk culture may be done to confirm the diagnosis.
Treatment for mastitis includes antibiotics to clear the infection, pain relief medication, and continuing to breastfeed or pump the breast milk. Applying warm compresses to the affected area and massaging the breast to help unclog the blocked ducts can also be helpful.
It’s important to rest and get enough fluids to help the recovery process.
If left untreated, mastitis can lead to a breast abscess, a serious infection that requires prompt medical attention and may require surgical drainage.
To discuss diagnosis and treatment options, please book an appointment with our specialist.
To learn more about mastitis, please click on https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/mastitis/
Dr Ibrahim Yahli MD MRCPsych