Mastitis is an infection in your breast, usually caused by bacteria. You are more likely to have a breast infection when you are breast-feeding.
The most common reasons that breasts get infected are:
Symptoms may include:
Your healthcare provider will ask about your symptoms and medical history and examine you.
Your healthcare provider may prescribe antibiotic medicine to treat the infection. The sooner you start treatment, the sooner you will feel better. Your provider may also recommend a pain reliever until the infection is gone.
The infection usually does not pass to your baby. If you are taking an antibiotic, the baby will get some of the medicine through the breast milk. That is usually not a problem for the baby. Your healthcare provider will choose an antibiotic medicine that is safe for your baby. Talk to your child’s healthcare provider if you have concerns about this.
Your provider will also check to make sure that your baby is emptying your breasts during feeding, that you are breast-feeding often, and that your baby latches on correctly. A lactation consultant can help you if you have questions. Also, using a breast pump to keep milk flowing can help.
If you are pumping milk for a sick or premature baby, your healthcare provider may ask you to discard the milk collected from the infected side until you feel well. Make sure your baby’s healthcare provider knows what antibiotic medicine you are taking. Your baby can still drink the milk from the uninfected side.
Follow the full course of treatment prescribed by your healthcare provider. Take all of the antibiotic your healthcare provider prescribes even if you feel much better after a few days. Ask your provider:
Make sure you know when you should come back for a checkup.