Mastitis refers to a bacterial infection within the breast tissue. This problem often occurs in the immediate postpartum period. In the postpartum female, there is increased breast swelling and enlargement due to lactation. This is thought to increase the risk of mastitis. Breast infections may also occur as the direct result of abrasion, cut, puncture wound, or bite (human or animal) to the breast.
Common symptoms of mastitis include:
Treatment is with oral antibiotics. Avoidance of breast feeding is necessary until the infection has cleared. Breast feeding should not be resumed while you are taking antibiotics.
Wet, warm compresses should be applied to the site several times a day. Pain medications or anti-inflammatories (ibuprofen) may only be used when you are not breast feeding. Paracetamol is effective for fever control.