Mastitis is a breast tissue infection that is also referred to as lactation mastitis because it usually occurs during breast feeding. Typically, this breast infection develops within the first couple months postpartum and tends to only affect one breast.
Mastitis is caused by bacteria gaining entry by way of a break or crack in your nipple skin or the milk duct opening. Staphylococcus aureus is often the bacteria involved because it’s normally present on your skin or your baby’s skin and mouth.
The suggestive symptom of lactation bacterial infection is breast pain. Your breast pain may be continuous or only during breast feeding. Other symptoms caused by mastitis may include:
- breast lump
- itchy breast
- swelling of breast
- breast skin redness
- breast is warm to touch
- feeling exhausted & rundown
- nipple discharge containing pus
- flu like symptoms ~ nausea & vomiting
- tender, enlarged lymph nodes in armpit on side of infection
Breast feeding can continue even while you have mastitis.
Because your breast feeding pain symptom may pose a bit of a challenge and an abscess can develop with a severe lactation associated infection, you need to see your health care provider for breast infection treatment right away. Mastitis treatment is taking an antibiotic and your breast infection health condition should clear fairly quickly after you start.
There is a a rare form of breast cancer that can cause redness and swelling, therefore it can be confused with mastitis. So, you’ll need to check back with your health care provider if your breast infection symptoms fail to subside in a reasonable time with lactation mastitis treatment.