Mastitis is a breast inflammation usually caused by infection. It can happen to any woman. But it's most common during the first 6 months of breastfeeding. You can keep nursing your baby. In fact, breastfeeding usually helps to clear up infection, and nursing won't harm your baby.
If you have mastitis, you may first notice a painful area on one breast. It may be red, warm to the touch, or both. You may also have a fever and have chills, aches, and flu-like symptoms. The symptoms of mastitis most often appear within 4 to 6 weeks after childbirth.
Nursing moms sometimes get mastitis when bacteria enter the breast through a cracked or sore nipple. Taking these steps can help prevent mastitis.
Routine breastfeeding prevents bacteria from building up. If you know you'll go more than 4 hours without feeding your baby, arrange to pump.
Drink plenty of fluids.
If you drink something while you breastfeed, it can help you stay hydrated.
Position yourself well.
When you and your baby are aligned, the baby can latch on to the areola, not just the nipple.
Medical Review:Sarah Marshall MD - Family Medicine & Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine & Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine & Kirtly Jones MD - Obstetrics and Gynecology
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