Mastitis: Breast Infection Information and Care

mastitis breast infection treatment remedies

Mastitis can be volatile in post-partum period. Post-partum period is a period between the delivery until the reproduction system back to normal condition. We need to underline that this period is in non-pregnant condition, but in pregnancy. This period is also called puerperal period. The recovery period will back in 6 weeks postpartum.

Pregnancy, childbirth and breastfeeding is a physiological process that needs to be prepared by the women or couples so that this period will be safe. During pregnancy, the mother and the fetus is an integral function units that can not separate between them.

Mastitis is an illness of the breast tissue that most commonly affects women who are breastfeeding. It often happens within the starting three months after giving birth, yet can happen at whatever time in the midst of the breastfeeding period.

Lactation mastitis affects only one breast, not both. It occurs due to a blocked milk conductor, causing milk to stay in the breast that may lead to sickness. Another explanation behind breast infection is microbes entering the chest through a break or crack on the areola. A couple signs and appearances of mastitis are breast desolation, swelling, irritation, redness, and sensitive or warm when touched. Distinctive signs consolidate fever and chills. The condition can leave a mother worn-out, making it difficult to manage her newborn child.

Mastitis commonly occurs in those women who are breastfeeding their babies. It does not effect at the time of pregnancy at all. Mastitis is a kind of breast infection that effects on the breast tissues. The appearance of infection seems within three months after the delivery time. But generally it will effect anytime during the period of breastfeeding. Mastitis only effects on one breast.

In some cases, most women do not find ability to breastfeed their babies because milk does not produce from the breasts. Therefore milk remains in the breast. The reason behind this situation is the blockage of milk duct which allows the milk to produce from breast. Not only this, sometimes active bacteria enters inside the breast through the path of the nipple.

The reason of Mastitis can be easily identified through some intensive symptoms such as breast pain, redness, inflammation, tenderness and sensitive to touch. Some women get into fever. Mother goes into stress to care for her newborn.

Many statements have been shown by mothers that the breast infection could harm their babies but actually it is not true. This thought let the baby stay out of her mother and stop him to grow because mother feed is very important for the newborn baby to achieve good health as breast milk works like an antibiotic for the baby. But it is necessary to feed your baby even having mastitis because bacteria and infection could be removed in this way. If you feel your breast full of milk so you can pump it out using hand pump that will help to squeeze out the milk from your breast.

breast infection mastitis

Mastitis guide: causes, treatment and remedies

Breast anatomy

The breast anatomy consist of alveoli, lactiferous duct, lactiferous sinus, ampulla, pore papilla and alveolar edge. Lymphatic drainage of the breast approximately 75% to the axilla or armpit area. Another lymphatic drainage is to parasternal nodes, in detail to central and medial area and some interpectoral gland.

Breast function

Breast has three changes that affected the hormone. The first change starts from child to puberty, fertility period, climacteric, and menopause. Since puberty period, the influence of estrogen and progesterone produced by the ovaries and pituitary hormones, it will cause growing and development of ductal acini.

The second change is the changes in the menstrual cycle. After the eighth day of menstruation, breasts become larger and in a few days before the next menstruation the breast will be maximum size. Sometimes the breast is felt painful and swollen. For several days before menstruation breast becomes tense and painful toward physical examination, especially palpation assessment. In the mammogram assessment is not assessable because the contrast of the breast is too large. When enter the menstruation time, the pain and swelling is reduced.

The third change occurs during pregnancy and lactation. In pregnancy, the breasts become larger because lobule ductal epithelium and alveolar ducts proliferate, develop and grow new duct.

The secretion of the hormone prolactin from the anterior pituitary gland inside the brain will trigger lactation. The milk produced by the cells of the alveoli, acini fill, then it will excrete through the ducts to the nipple.

Definition mastitis

Mastitis is an inflammation in the breast because of infection or non-infection. The infection usually caused by staphylococcus aureus through the wound in nipple or blood flow. This disease usually occurs in lactation period , so it is usually called lactation mastitis or mastitis puerperal. This disease can be fatal if there is no adequate treatment.

mastitis breast infection

Breast abscess or local pus is a severe complication in mastitis. Mastitis can be divided in many type based on its causes and condition.

Mastitis based on its location:

  • Mastitis that cause abscess under areola
  • Mastitis in the middle of breast
  • Mastitis under dorsal glands and its abscess in the muscle.

Causes and types of mastitis

Periductal mastitis

Periductal mastitis occurs in woman before menopause, the cause of this mastitis is unknown. This condition usually called ectasia duct, it means blockage in breast duct.

Lactational or puerperal mastitis

This mastitis usually occurs in pregnancy and lactation. The main cause of this mastitis are germs in mother breast that transmitted to nipple by direct contact.

Mastitis supurative

Mastitis supurative is common mastitis, this cause of mastitis is staphylococcus, fungi, TBC, and syphilis. TBC infection needs extra intensive treatment. If the treatment is not complete, the breast removal can be done for it.

The main cause of mastitis is breast milk stasis and infection. Breast milk stasis is usually the primary cause which may be make infection in it.

Breast milk statis

Breast Milk statis will occur if breast milk is not flow efficiently. This condition occurs when breast produce immediately after birth and the baby does not suck milk, baby’s power is bad in sucking breast milk, ineffective in sucking, restrictions on the frequency / duration in breastfeeding, blockage of the ducts, high milk supply and breastfeeding for twin.

Breast infection

The most common organisms found in mastitis and breast abscess are Staphylococcus aureus and Staphylococcus albas. Escherichia coli and Streptococcus sometimes can be found. Mastitis may be found as a complication of typhoid fever.

Predisposition factors

Some factors that may increase the risk of mastitis:


21-35 years old women are more often suffer from mastitis than women under 21 years old or above 35 years old.


Mastitis is usually in first pregnancy.

Mastitis history

The first mastitis attacks tend to be recurrent, this is because of poor breastfeeding techniques.


Complications of delivery may increase the risk of mastitis disease, but the use of oxytocin hormone does not increase the risk of mastitis disease.


Salt and high fat intake and anemia lead to mastitis. Antioxidants such as like vitamin E, vitamin A and selenium may reduce the risk of mastitis.

Immune factors

Immune system play role in protecting the infection. Immune factors in breast milk may provide a defense mechanism in the breast.
Stress and Fatigue

Women who is sick and fever often feel tired and want to rest, but it is unclear whether fatigue can cause this condition or not.


This mastitis can be caused by breast milk static, it is because of the long interval between breastfeeding and lack of time in spending adequate breast milk.


Trauma in breast can damage breast gland tissue and ducts and this can cause mastitis.

Mastitis sign and symptoms

  • Breast pain, tension, or swelling
  • Redness with clear boundaries
  • Usually only affect one breast
  • Occurred between 3-4 weeks postpartum

symptoms of mastitis

Prevention of mastitis

Breast care during lactation is an important effort to prevent mastitis. The breast care consists of cleaning the breast with soap before and after feeding to remove scale and dried milk. Besides that breast care also can prevent the baby from infection. If there is an injury to the nipples, the baby should not breastfeed in mother’s milk until the wound healed. Breast milk can be excreted by a massage.

Breastfeeding position

The position of the baby during breastfeeding is very important in effectiveness breastfeeding and prevent breast milk stasis, then make sure the mother hug her baby properly. The young mother will need help in breastfeeding.

Correct breastfeeding positions

  1. Mother’s arm sustains his baby’s head, neck, and the baby’s body (baby’s head and body are in a straight line) baby’s face is facing the mother’s breast. Put the baby’s nose in front of mother’s breast, the baby’s position should be in front of the mother’s stomach.
  2. Mothers makes the baby close to the body and the mothers must observe the baby during breastfeeding.
  3. Mother put the nipple to baby’s mouth, wait until the baby’s mouth is wide open and then put the baby’s mouth to the mother’s nipple so that the baby’s lips can catch the nipple.

breast feeding positions poses

Good breastfeeding in baby must

  • Chin touches the breast.
  • Mouth wide open.
  • The baby’s nose touching the breast.
  • The baby’s mouth covers the areola.
  • The infant’s tongue sustain the nipple and lower areola.
  • Babies suck deep, strong, and slowly.

Treatment of mastitis

Soon after mastitis was diagnosed, breast that has mastitis is stopped and antibiotics is prescription. By this treatment, the abscess is often preventable because it is usually caused by Stapilococus aureus infection. Penicillin in high enough doses can be prescribed too. Before penicillin prescription, it can test the infection in breast milk, so that the cause of mastitis is completely known and the best antibiotic can be prescribed. If there is an abscess and pus removed, next is installed pipes to the middle of the abscess so that the pus can come out constantly.

In summary, mastitis is an infection that occurs in 1-2% of women who are in lactation period. Mastitis is common disease in 1-5 weeks after childbirth, especially in first pregnancy. Infection occurs through wounds on the nipple, but possibly also through blood circulation. Mastitis is characterized by pain in the breast, redness, swollen breast area, fever, and the patient feels weak and no appetite. Mastitis occurred a few weeks after childbirth. The common causes are Stapilococus aureus infection.

Mastitis is treated with antibiotics prescription. Breast infection or mastitis should be concerned by mothers who had just had childbirth. These infections usually occur approximately two weeks after childbirth, mastitis is caused by bacteria that live on the surface of the breast. Fatigue, stress, and tight clothing can cause blockage of the breast ducts, if it is not treated properly it leads to abscess and worse is breast removal.

mastitis breast infection home remedies

Breast infection: home cures and remedies

If you have mastitis, it is mandatory that you continue breastfeeding. It doesn’t have any risk to your newborn child. It helps on clearing the tainting in your breast. In the occasion that breastfeeding ends up being exorbitantly anguishing, have an attempt with pumping or hand-massaging your milk to keep the milk conductors from ceasing up.

Meanwhile, you can use some home cures.

1. Massage

While encountering mastitis, massage the affected breast. This will unblock the ceased milk channels and ease swelling. Ceaselessly massage from the outer breast toward the areola in little circles, applying more pressure on the infected region.

• Set up a massaging oil by consolidating equal measures of apricot and wheat germ oil. Use it to massage your breast using upward strokes. Do this several times each day.
• Another decision is to mix a few drops of camphor oil in two tablespoons of olive oil and use it to massage your breast a couple times day.
You need to clean your areolas with warm water before you begin breastfeeding your infant.

2. Cabbage leaves

Cabbage leaves are a great for enflamed, infected breasts. They contain sulfur components that assist in reducing aggravation and swelling. They can in like manner give nursing moms relief from engorgement and blocked channels.

cabbage leaves mastitis breast infection

• Chill a couple of cabbage leaves in the fridge for 30 minutes.
• Place a cold cabbage leaf on the infected breast.
• At the moment that the leaf accomplishes room temperature, supplant it with another new one.
• Do this a few times step by step until you get rid of the infection completely.

3. Garlic

Another extraordinary answer for mastitis is garlic, which has typical toxic neutralizing agent properties. It helps in discarding the minute life forms bringing on the defilement. Also, it underpins the immune system and promotes quick recovery.

• Eat two rough cloves of garlic on an empty stomach. You can similarly eat all the more amid the day. In the event that you don’t like to eat garlic, have it with squeezed orange or plain water. Repeat each day for a week.
• Another decision is to take garlic supplements, entirely while advising your expert.

4. Hot and cool compress

Both hot and cool compress are useful in the treatment of mastitis. While a cool pack can reduce swelling and relieve torment, a hot pack clears blockage, improve blood flow and help in milk stream.

• Set up a hot pack by wrapping a high temp water bottle in a flimsy towel.
• Set up an icy pack by wrapping a couple ice solid shapes in a slender towel.
• Put the hot pack on the sullied breast for 15 minutes.
• Next, apply the icy pack for 5 minutes.
• Repeat the cycle 2 or 3 times.
• Use this cure as much as you need.

5. Apple juice vinegar

Another wonderful home answer for mastitis is apple juice vinegar. Its antibacterial and calming properties diminish disturbance, fights infection and keep it from spreading. It also offers a jolt of energy.

Apple juice vinegar mastitis breast infection

• Make a mixture with 1 section apple vinegar and 2 sections warm water. Apply this arrangement on the affected area using a cotton ball. Let it sit for 15 minutes and after that wash it off with warm water. Repeat 2 or 3 times every day until the infection clears.
• Mix 1 tablespoon of rough, unfiltered apple juice vinegar and somewhat honey in a glass of water. Drink it 3 times each day for 1 to 2 weeks.

6. Echinacea

The herb echinacea fortifies the immune system to offer the body some assistance with battling off illnesses. It contains flavonoids that offer hostile to disease, antimicrobial and calming properties.

• Apply the tincture of echinacea root on the affected area 4 or 5 times reliably. Clean the area with warm water before nourishing your baby.
• Then again, incorporate 3 or 4 drops of the tincture to a glass of water. Drink it 3 or 4 times every day except not over a week.

Avoid long term usage of this herb.

7. Aloe vera

Aloe vera has regular mending ability and calming properties that can reduce a huge bit of the suffering of breast infection. It also repairs damaged skin tissue and cure infected skin.

• Squeeze the gel from an aloe vera leaf.
• Apply this new gel on the affected reach.
• Leave it to dry normally.
• Wash it off with lukewarm water and pat dry with a clean towel.
• Repeat a couple times every day, for a few days.

Wash the aloe vera off your breast before breastfeeding your baby.

8. Fenugreek seeds

As demonstrated by Ayurveda, fenugreek sustains the milk-creating organs and, meanwhile, treats breast sullying. Moreover, it has flavonoids that diminish exacerbation and defilements.

Fenugreek seeds mastitis breast infection

• Spray 4 tablespoons of fenugreek seeds in water overnight. The next morning, pound the sprinkled seeds into a paste. Place the paste on a clean fabric and warm it in the microwave. Use it as a warm pack on the affected zone. Repeat this cure twice consistently for one to two weeks.
• You can in like manner drink some fenugreek tea two or 3 three times every day until you get positive results.

9. Eat sustenance with Vitamin C

Vitamin C battles breast malady and recover damaged skin tissue. Furthermore, this vitamin bolsters your immune system and stimulates recovery.

• Eat vitamin C-rich sustenances like oranges, limes, lemons, kiwis, guavas, papaya, strawberries, kale, mustard greens, broccoli and parsley.
• You can similarly take vitamin C supplements after consulting a specialist.

Precautionary tips on breast infection

• Wear lovely garments to keep up distance from contacts against the areolas.
• To lessen the threat of mastitis, keep the areola area clean and dry between feedings.
• Amid breastfeeding, make sure that the newborn child locks onto the breast.
• Assurance misuse of the breast by changing the newborn child’s position in the midst of each feeding.
• If obliged, use a breast pump to get milk from your breasts.
• try to avoid anxiety.
• On account of using nursing cushions, always check that they are clean and dry

2 Responses to Mastitis: Breast Infection Information and Care

  1. Anaudatel Pherry says:

    Anybody with Mastitis feel sick? like flu like? i got a a temp, horrible headache all day, my body is achy, i just feel horrible…Not to mention my Breast hurts sooo bad. How long did the sick feeling last? its tough taking care of my LO when i feel like this :/ I was just diagnosed with it today, they have me on anti-biotic and i can not breastfeed until im done taking them all.

  2. Nicole says:

    On Wednesday I was diagnosed with mastitis. I’m on antibiotics now. I had two clogged ducts and one clogged gland all on my left breast. The ducts are unclogged now, but the gland under my armpit seems to be getting worse instead of better. I’m nursing regularly, pumping, massaging and using warm compresses. I’ve even taken some pretty hot showers. Nothing seems to work. Does anyone have any other suggestions? There must be something I haven’t tried.

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