Mastitis (mast-EYE-tiss) is soreness or a lump in the breast. Symptoms may include:

Mastitis 1

  • Fever and/or flu-like symptoms, such as feeling run down or very achy
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Yellowish discharge from the nipple that looks like colostrum
  • Breasts that feel warm or hot to the touch and appear pink or red
  • Pain and a lump in the breast Hard wedge shaped area
This occurs most frequently in mothers who have had a cracked or blistered nipple or who are undergoing a period of stress such as returning to work, participating in holiday activities or experiencing a change in normal daily routine.
Mastitis 2
Apply warm compresses before feedings
Gently massage the area
Keep your breast empty by frequent nursing
Continue to breastfeed, even on the affected side
If your baby does not empty that side well, use a good quality breast pump after feedings
Apply ice after feedings for 10 - 15 minutes for the first day or two.
Rest in bed as much as you can
Drink plenty of fluids.
Your physician will prescribe an antibiotic. You must take a full 7 -10 day course of medication. Do not stop taking it until the prescription is gone even though you start to feel better. Inadequately treated mastitis is more likely to return.
Provided for you by Lactation Education Resources 2016. This handout may be freely duplicated. Please be aware that the information provided is intended solely for general educational and informational purposes only. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your healthcare provider for any questions you may have regarding you or your infant’s medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have received in this information.


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