Mastitis in breastfeeding: symptoms, causes, treatment

The disease, which causes inflammation in the mammary glands, is called mastitis. Most mothers, whose children were breastfed, are familiar with this disease firsthand. The characteristic signs of the disease are strong pain in the chest, its sudden change in size and redness, discomfort when feeding, high fever and others.

Mastitis flows in several stages. If the first symptoms of the disease have not been applied effective treatment, it can go into a more dangerous purulent stage, with the threat of complications.

Causes of mastitis

Can the woman's mistaken actions cause mastitis in breastfeeding? The causes of the development and progression of the disease are very different.

The main culprits causing the disease are streptococci, golden staphylococci and other bacteria that enter the female body.

Pathogens can penetrate the mammary glands:

  • through the ducts, cracks, wounds on the chest, which are the appropriate medium for this;
  • through the circulatory system, if a woman is sick with other chronic infectious diseases.

In the normal state, the body of a woman is able to cope on its own with a small number of bacteria, but after birth the immune system is weakened and can not resist pathogenic microbes.

In addition, the appearance of this disease can be attributed to ignoring the woman's hygiene rules during feeding. Another reason why mastitis occurs during breastfeeding is lactostasis.

Symptoms of lactostasis

The disease can develop due to stagnant phenomena in the ducts if the milk is not expressed correctly from the breast or if there are large breaks between the feedings. Milk is a beneficial environment for the growth of the number of bacilli.
The characteristic signs of lactostasis are:

  • nodular seals in the mammary gland that dissolve after the massage;
  • chest pain;
  • uneven, intermittent flow of milk from the ducts, where the disease develops.

The elimination of the problem is necessary at the initial stage, since untreated lactostasis grows into mastitis in a few days.

For indirect reasons that may contribute to the development of the disease, include:

  • various teat defects( it may be retracted or divided into lobes), the child can not properly capture it during feeding, thereby traumatizing;
  • mastopathy;
  • pathology of pregnancy, birth trauma and others.

Mastitis varieties

Mastitis is divided into two main types:

  1. Non-lactation is a disease that develops independently of breastfeeding. The causes of its occurrence are various injuries to the mammary gland, hormonal problems.
  2. Lactation - arising in the postpartum period.

What are the stages of mastitis in nursing? Its characteristics are characteristic for each stage. Distinguish the following stages of the disease:

  • Serous - the initial. It is characterized by an increase in temperature to 38 degrees, with chills, weakness, headache, breast enlargement in the volume and its redness, flushing, aching pain, which is intensified when the baby is touched and fed.
  • Infiltrative is the second stage in which serous mastitis develops if it is not treated or treated incorrectly. It is characterized by the formation of seals in the chest and fever.
  • Purulent. For this stage, the critical temperature of the body is 39-40 degrees, sleep disturbance, severe headache, inflammation in the armpits of the lymph nodes, burning pain in the chest from the faintest touch.


If you experience any of the above symptoms, you should immediately seek medical help. A specialist in examining the breast, probing her, diagnoses the problem. To confirm, whether the mastitis at thoracal feeding developed, and presence of an inflammation in an organism the analysis of a blood can. Bacteriological seeding of milk will determine which microbes caused the disease and their resistance to antibiotics. An ultrasound can also be used to diagnose the disease. It will help to determine more precisely, at what stage mastitis during breastfeeding, photos of ultrasound.

Mastitis and breastfeeding

If the mother has started the superficial stage of mastitis, there is still no inflammatory process, and only redness, slight pain, and no medicinal treatment is applied, the baby can be fed a second, healthy breast. From the problem gland, milk is expressed, but in no case is it given to the child not to infect it.

In the later stages of the disease, it is urgent to stop breastfeeding, as the pus that can form in the chest can spread to the healthy mammary gland, as well as the bacteria that caused the disease.

Milk should be decanted during the whole treatment. This, first, will help to maintain lactation, and secondly, the healing process will go much faster.

Principles of treatment for mastitis

Depending on the form of the disease, as well as the extent to which mastitis has developed during breastfeeding, different methods of combating the disease are used.
Principles of treatment are as follows:

  • Pain removal.
  • Termination of the inflammatory process.
  • Stop the reproduction of bacteria that caused the disease.

Treatment methods

In the first stages( serous and infiltrative mastitis in the lactating), the treatment is carried out by conservative traditional methods. With a purulent stage, surgical intervention can not be avoided.

  1. Arriving milk should be decanted approximately every three hours or as necessary to prevent its stagnation and, accordingly, the reproduction of bacteria.
  2. To reduce pain, use local anesthesia, such as a blockade of novocaine, ice can also be applied.
  3. With prolonged ineffectual treatment, severe condition of the woman, development of all kinds of complications and other reasons, it is necessary to reduce the amount of milk allocated or temporarily stop the process with the help of special medicines, which should only be used as prescribed by the doctor.
  4. After the final recovery, the feeding can be adjusted again.
  5. For the purification of the mother's body from toxic substances, droppers are used with saline solutions, glucose. Also add drugs to raise the immunity of a woman.

Application of antibiotics

If mastitis progresses during breastfeeding, treatment will not do without taking a course of antibiotics. After the milk is sown to detect the sensitivity of the bacterium that caused the disease to antibiotics, a suitable preparation will be assigned. The most commonly used in therapy are drugs of the following groups:

  • penicillin;
  • aminoglycoside;
  • cephalosporin.

Treatment may be in the form of intramuscular or intravenous injections, it is also possible to use tablets. The average rate is from one week to ten days.

Treatment of purulent mastitis can not do without an operation to open the abscess in the chest and therapy with antibiotics.

After recovery, stopping medication, repeated bacterial culture of milk is carried out. If the tests do not show the presence of infection in it, you can resume lactation.

Folk Treatments for

Very often from relatives, friends, you can hear recommendations on the use of traditional methods of treating such a disease as mastitis in nursing. There are many recipes, the use of which, according to the healers, is a panacea in this disease. It can not be stated categorically that the use of compresses from bran, applying burdock, leaves of mother-and-stepmother, cabbage, onion cakes with honey, plantain seed ointment and many other means is ineffective. All these methods can and should be used, but only in combination with drug treatment and necessarily under the supervision of a doctor.

Given that most mastitis occurs due to bacteria, herbs and other natural components are not able to kill the infection that has got into the body, it is possible to make antibiotics. But to alleviate the condition of the mother, reduce pain and other unpleasant symptoms, reduce the level of lactation, improve the drainage of milk they can.

In addition, any self-treatment, if there is mastitis during breastfeeding, is unacceptable. To avoid a more severe purulent form of it or complications in the form of sepsis, it is necessary to immediately seek help from specialists.

Prevention of

disease There is no doubt that it is easier to prevent the onset of the disease than to treat it later. Prevention of mastitis during breastfeeding in most cases will save mom from the development of the disease. It is enough to adhere to a few very simple rules, and feeding the baby with breast milk will be problem-free and will bring only pleasure.

  1. In the first weeks, it is necessary to express correctly and regularly after feeding, as milk comes much more than is necessary for a very small eater, and its residues can cause stagnation and inflammation.
  2. During application to the breast, it is necessary to monitor how the baby grasps the nipple and change its position during feeding, so that the milk is sucked from the farthest channels.
  3. To monitor the appearance of wounds, microcracks on the nipples, timely treat them with various ointments. It is in this case that people's methods will be good, for example, carrot juice has miraculous healing properties.
  4. Purity is the main factor in the prevention of the disease. A clean body, linen, washed and ironed bra - the minimum necessary measures to protect against penetration of the disease from the outside. In this issue, the main thing is not to overdo it. Wash your chest with soap after each application is also not necessary, so as not to over-dry the skin around the nipple and not cause irritation. It will be enough ordinary daily shower and periodic rinsing of the glands before feeding.

Summing up, I want to once again draw attention to the fact that one should not be serious about such a malaise as mastitis in breastfeeding. Treatment of it must begin immediately, after the appearance of the first signs, which only at first glance can not carry for themselves something serious.

It is unacceptable to self-medicate without resorting to medical help, because only after the analysis of blood and bacteriosia milk it will be possible to appoint a correct and effective treatment that will soon be able to return you to the breast-feeding mothers.