Breast Infection


Typically when we hear the word infection, we usually do not think of a breast infection. Breast infection is also referred to as a mastitis. Mastitis is an infection that occurs in the tissue of the breast and often occurs in women who are breastfeeding. Mastitis symptoms may include: redness, pain, swelling, the breast may feel warm to touch, fever, flu-like symptoms, and chills. Causes of mastitis may be a blocked milk duct, or as a result of harmful bacteria, viruses, parasites, or fungi that can enter the breast through a cracked nipple, pimple, or wound. Mastitis must be treated by a physician and antibiotics. If left untreated, a mastitis may lead to an abscess in the breast tissue that may require surgery to be drained. Risk factors associated with mastitis include, but not limited to: breast feeding, sore or cracked nipples, stress, fatigue, poor nutrition, only using one position to breast feed, tight fitting bras, or previous episodes of mastitis.

Prevention of mastitis includes fully draining your breasts while breast feeding, rotating positions from one feeding to the next, getting adequate rest, and eating a healthy diet. It is also very important to perform self-breast assessments on a regular basis. Breast abnormalities can include a new lump, increased breast pain, nipple discharge, dimpling, puckering, or inversion of the nipple, redness of the breast, breast rash, or swelling of the breast. Always report any breast abnormalities to your physician for evaluation and treatment. If you would like additional information, please feel free to call our office.