Inflammation of the breast is called as mastitis. It is usually a painful condition that some females have to encounter during lactation period. Every woman should know what is mastitis and what should be done if she herself or someone close to her suffers from mastitis. Read further to know more about mastitis.
New mothers who have delivered their first baby are the usual sufferers. Mastitis usually occurs during the first month after delivery. But some females may suffer from this condition anytime between first 6 months after delivery. Staphylococcus bacteria are present in the infant’s nose and mouth.
The nipples crack due to frequent wetting and drying due to sucking of milk by baby day and night. When the infant sucks the nipple, the staphylococcus bacteria enter breast tissue through these cracks. Infection by staphylococcus usually results in mastitis.
Other causes of mastitis are blockage of any of the milk ducts. Due to blockage, there is accumulation of milk and debris in the breasts. Retracted nipples and stasis of the milk flow are other causes responsible for mastitis. Redness over the breast, pain in breast are the common symptoms of Mastitis.
The pain is very severe in nature. The whole breast becomes painful. Pus accumulates in the breast. When the pus localises an abscess is formed. The redness, oedema also localises over the site of abscess. The area becomes painful to touch. Throbbing pain is present.
Often feeding the child becomes impossible due to pain. The female should consult her gynaecologist in cases of mastitis. The feeding of the child can be continued from the other breast. If she is not feeding the child, the milk formed in the breast should be removed by pressing the breast. This milk can be given to the infant after boiling.
The treatment for mastitis is to drain the pus after abscess formation. For this, a small surgery needs to be done where a cut is taken on the breast and the pus is drained out. It should be performed by a skilled surgeon as if the draining of pus is not proper, there can be recurrence of the disease. To prevent mastitis massage of the breast, removing the accumulated milk everyday and proper hygiene of the breast is recommended. The nipples should be cleaned and moisturised properly to prevent cracks.