Mastitis is the inflammation of the breasts, usually from a plugged duct or infection. Most commonly occurs during the second and third weeks postpartum. Typically a tender, hot, swollen, wedge-shaped area associated with chills, flu-like aching and fever.
Tips if you are suffering from mastitis:
- Ensure effective milk removal with latch, hand expression and/ or pump
- Apply cold compress or chilled cabbage leaves on hard and painful breast to soothe and reduce swelling. Applying heat to swollen breast tissue without milk removal is NOT appropriate as heat stimulates.
- Paracetamol and ibuprofen are both safe pain relief medication
- Vitamin E-rich sunflower oil, echinacea and vitamin C supplements may help (Riordan, 2005)
- See a doctor if fever has not disappeared within 24 hours of home treatment. Antibiotic treatment may be necessary.
See Breast Abscess.