Breast Infection / Mastitis

Breast Infection / Mastitis
Mastitis is a common, painful, red swelling of the breast. It is due to bacteria getting into the skin and the glands of the breast. Blocked breast ducts can contribute to this condition. It is most common in women who are breastfeeding, but also occurs in women who are not.

Common symptoms include breast pain and/or burning, redness, swelling, and sometimes itching. It is common to have warmth in the area of infection and a general fever. Symptoms can occur quickly or over several days and are typically very painful.

Mild mastitis in a breastfeeding woman can be treated by increased expression of milk and warm compresses. However if it does not resolve in a few days or becomes moderate or more severe it should be evaluated by your physician or Urgent Care immediately.

There are a few ways to prevent mastitis from occurring in the nursing mother. Allow the child to completely empty one breast before switching to the other. Make sure that your baby is latching properly. Rotate the position of feedings between each breast or every few times.

Things that can make you more susceptible to getting mastitis include skipping feedings, have sore nipples from improper latching and if you have a weak immune system.

Mastitis is typically treated by your physician or at Urgent Care with antibiotics and warm compressions. Mastitis can lead to an abscess (pus pocket) if not treated properly or in a timely manner. If an abscess is appreciated by your physician, this would require incision and drainage of the abscess and close follow up.

See our Physicians and P.A.s at Doctors Urgent Care for the highest quality medical evaluation and treatment. We are familiar with and treat breast infections regularly.

David B. Dean, MD
Medical Director
Doctors Urgent Care