Mastitis: Causes, symptoms and treatment

Mastitis: Causes, symptoms and treatment

If your breast is inflamed, you might be suffering from mastitis. Mastitis involves inflammation of breast which may also involve infection. If you are a breastfeeding woman you are more prone to develop mastitis as compared to others.

However, non-breastfeeding woman and men can suffer from this condition due to infection of the nipples and breast tissues. Immunocompromised patients, people with HIV and diabetics need extra care to prevent mastitis. This article will brief you about symptoms, causes and treatment of mastitis. And guide you with proper tips for its prevention.



If you suffer from mastitis, the symptoms are more likely to display very soon. And, chances are more that it will affect only one breast. Following are the mastitis symptoms.

  • You feel pain in one of your breast that feels warm too
  • Breast swelling will occur
  • Redness of breast
  • Abscess in the breast may discharge pus through nipples.
  • Fatigue and feeling of illness
  • You may have flu-like symptoms such as fever, chills, body ache.
  • Burning sensation in the breast while breastfeeding

If you have any of these symptoms, check it out.


Read this too: How diabetes in pregnant women is dangerous to the baby?



The causes of mastitis are primarily due to infection in the breast. Breastfeeding women are more to develop mastitis. However, women who do not feed milk to a baby may also suffer from it.

In breastfeeding women: When women feed milk to her baby, milk does not come out well through the ducts in the breast and either clogged or build up. If this happens, these are the few things that cause this.

  • If the baby does not properly attach and sucks the breast while breastfeeding. This will remove less milk from the breast and rest of the milk will build up in the breast.
  • Check it out, if the baby has any problem sucking the breast. Most of the babies have tie-tongue, the floor of the mouth and the underside of the tongue is attached through the skin.
  • When you don’t feed milk your baby regularly.
  • If you wear tight fitting clothes or sleep with face downward, you are prone to develop mastitis.
  • Injury in the breast.


Due to infection: Infection in the breast manifest as mastitis. Milk coming out of breast is rich in sugar and other nutrients. This provides a favourable condition for microbial growth.

bacteria can enter into the ducts of the breast from outside, either from the mouth of the baby or the skin surface of the breast. The bacterias usually enter through pores and cracks. It is always advisable to avoid any kind of injury to the breast, because of an injured breast provide such pores and cracks for microbes to enter.

It is also found that women with HIV, compromised immune system and diabetes are more susceptible to such infections.


Other reasons: 

Mastitis can also happen in nonbreastfeeding women by infection. bacteria can enter the breast through pores and cracks of the breast. We call periductal mastitis to such conditions. If you smoke and you are now at your 20s or 30s then you are more prone to such mastitis.





  1. Take antibiotics: As. it is primarily an infectious disease, antibiotics are generally prescribed by doctors as a treatment. Your doctor will decide the category of antibiotics to prescribe you. It is advisable to complete the whole course of antibiotics to prevent resistance and recurrence.
  2. painkillers: The doctor may prescribe you painkillers such as Aceclofenac or Ibuprofen. Painkillers will help you deal with pain arising due to mastitis.
  3. Don’t Skip breastfeeding: Skipping breastfeeding can give you more trouble than any benefit. It is advisable to breastfeed your baby regularly. Regular breastfeeding will remove the build up milk from ducts and help in wiping the infection out.
  4. Breast massage: massage the breast from the top towards nipple while breastfeeding. This will drain the build-up milk.
  5. Warm Compress: Warm compress will dilate the ducts inside your breasts and allow more milk to flow. This will help to clear up the infection faster. Consider wrapping a warm wet cloth over your breast. This will really soothe you and help you a lot.
  6. Proper breastfeeding: Always try to feed both of your breasts. And When the baby is sucking strongly, give him to suck the affected side first.


Tips to deal with mastitis:

Here are some tips to deal with mastitis you should consider applying.

  • Avoid clothes which are very tight to wear: Don’t wear tight clothes, rather put on some loose clothes till the infection clears up.
  • Rehydrate your body: Drink enough water throughout the day and stay hydrated. Because body works at the optimum level when the water content in your body is optimum. This will help you recover from the condition very fast.
  • Boost your immune system: Try considering some citrus fruits such as lemon, orange, apple etc in your diet. Food containing vitamins tend to boost your immunity. It will produce more immune cells and will help your body fight against infection.


Mastitis home remedies: 

There are few popular home remedy techniques for mastitis you should consider applying.

  • Raw cabbage leaves: Bring raw cabbage from the market and remove the leaves. Place the leaves around the affected area of breasts. Keep it for twenty to thirty minutes, and then remove it. It will soothe your breast, allow better flow of milk. You can try this method at least thrice a day.
  • Potato Slice: Take a few raw potatoes and slice it. Clean it in room temperature and apply on the affected parts for 10 to 20 minutes. This will reduce the pain, inflammation and allow better milk flow as well.


The Takeaway: 

It is necessary to treat mastitis at the early stage when the initial symptoms are visible. If it is untreated for a longer period, it may lead to building up of abscess that requires immediate surgical removal.

Prevention of mastitis is better than suffering from it. It can be done effectively by referring to the tips mentioned above in this article. If you have symptoms of mastitis, refer all the points mentioned above. Never ever ignore the symptoms. Consult your doctor as soon as you get the symptoms such as fever, chill, breast pain, swelling etc.




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