Lactation Mastitis: Causes and Symptoms


Lactation Mastitis is a fairly common condition that may be caused by a blocked milk duct or by bacteria entering the breast during breast feeding. For this reason, it affects lactating women.

Lactation Mastitis results in breast pain as well as redness and swelling in the breast. It can also cause fever and chills. This condition can occur anytime during breastfeeding, but most often occurs within the first three months of giving birth. In most cases, it will affect one and not both breasts at the same time.

Most often, women experience flu-like symptoms a few hours before they notice a redness, swelling or tenderness of the breast. At this point, it is time to contact a physician. Oral antibiotics are usually highly successful in treating this condition. If not adequately treated or if the lactation Mastitis is caused by a blocked milk duct, this condition can lead to an abscess in the breast. This condition is extremely painful and usually requires surgical drainage.

While Lactation Mastitis can be very painful to the mother, it does not usually negatively affect the breastfeeding child. Many women who experience Mastitis choose to wean their babies from breastfeeding earlier than planned, however, this does not have to be the case. In most cases, you can continue to breastfeed while you have Lactation Mastitis.

If you are breastfeeding and are experiencing the symptoms of Lactation Mastitis, you should contact your OBGYN as soon as possible. He or she will most likely want to see you in the office to confirm your diagnoses and recommend the appropriate treatment.

Posted on behalf of Dr. Carlos Alarcon, Marietta OB-GYN Affiliates, P.A.