Mastitis is an infection of the breast tissue that results in breast pain, swelling, warmth and redness. Many women also experience fever and chills with the infection. At times milk can be trapped in the breast of lactating women and cause a blocked milk duct. This is the main cause of mastitis. Additionally, bacteria can enter the breast through crack in your skin from your skin’s surface or your baby’s mouth.
Untreated mastitis can lead to pus collecting in your breast tissue which can then cause an abscess that may need to be surgically drained. You can help prevent infection by:
- Fully draining the milking from your breasts while feeding.
- Allowing your baby to completely empty one breast before switching sides.
- Change the position of your breastfeeding from one feeding to the next
- Make sure your baby is latching properly