Women can develop infection in the breast tissue. The condition called mastitis usually afflicts breast-feeding moms. Lactation Mastitis, however, can affect even those who aren’t breastfeeding. Depending on the severity of the condition, mastitis can occur 3 months after giving birth. However, there are cases when mastitis surfaces only after the late months of post partum.
Lactation mastitis usually have two common causes. These are:
Block in the milk duct
- Milk retained in the duct can cause clogging. Accumulation of these clogs causes back up of the milk which then leads to breast infection.
- Bacteria can transfer to your breast from the skin surface or sometimes, from the baby’s mouth. These organisms enter the breast through cracks in the nipple. When the foreign inhabitants multiply, it causes infection.
While mastitis can be manageable, the condition could leave the patient feeling tired and exhausted. It is recommended to consult with a doctor at the onset of mastitis symptoms. This enables the patient to manage problems and conditions as early as possible. Also, early diagnosis gives the benefit of exploring more mastitis symptoms treatment. Note that lactation this disease only affect one breast at a time.
Common mastitis symptoms include:
- Tenderness of the breast
- Redness in the breast area
- Red, wedge-like blemishes
- Swelling of the breast
- Burning sensation or pain especially during breast-feeding
According to case studies, patients generally experience flu-like symptoms at the onset of the condition. It is only after a few hours that soreness and redness of the breasts occur. Note also that mastitis symptoms could vary from one patient to the other. If a patient feels 2 or more of the symptoms, it is advised to seek professional help.
Treatment and Diagnosis
After diagnosis, doctors can recommend oral antibiotics as a this disease symptoms treatment. However, they would tell you to observe of any improvement at the first few days of medication. This is extremely important as common mastitis has fast response to mastitis symptoms treatment. If antibiotics don’t seem to work for the first few days, you have to report back to your doctor. Remember that it is very important to have a follow -up. It enables doctors to see if there is a more serious condition causing the discomfort and symptoms. Doctors usually encourage women to continue breastfeeding while treatment is ongoing. However, it is still important that you take the time to book a consultation.
For those who want to relieve the pain while at home, a moist heat compress could be applied to the affected area for at least four times a day.
Common physical tests and exams would help diagnose the problem and confirm initial findings. For those who have recurring infection, doctors might advise to culture milk from the patient’s nipple. Non-breastfeeding patients might need to undergo breast biopsy or mammography should there be an evident need for these laboratory tests.
Risks and complications of Mastitis
Severe mastitis may encourage development of abscess. These need to be drained through an in-bed procedure or through surgery. Once abscesses have been identified, women are advised to stop breastfeeding.