Mastitis is an infection of the breast tissue that causes pain, swelling and redness of the breast. Mastitis most commonly affects women who are breastfeeding, although in rare circumstances this condition can occur outside of lactation.
Often, mastitis occurs within the first six weeks after birth (postpartum), but it can happen later during breastfeeding. The condition can leave you feeling exhausted and rundown, making it difficult to care for your baby.
Sometimes mastitis leads a mother mistakenly to wean her baby before she intends to. But you can continue breastfeeding while you have mastitis.
Mastitis treatment usually involves:
Antibiotics. Treating mastitis usually requires a 10- to 14-day course of antibiotics. You may feel well again 24 to 48 hours after starting antibiotics, but it's important to take the entire course of medication to minimize your chance of recurrence.
Self-care remedies. Resting, continuing breast-feeding and drinking extra fluids can help your body overcome the breast infection.