Breastfeeding Complications: What the heck is Mastitis?

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Mastitis is inflammation of the breast, that can be either be infective or noninfective.

There are various reasons why Mastitis occurs:

  • Long gaps between feedings
  • The positioning of your baby at the breast might be a little wonky causing a poor latch.
  • If you have cracked nipples so bacteria can easily enter the breast
  • Plugged ducts


What does Mastitis look like?

One of your breast will become reddened and painful, you will also be experiencing flu-like symptoms. The treatment for Mastitis may consist of an antibiotic and an anti-inflammatory medication. If both of your breasts are reddened and painful you will want to pay your care provider a visit immediately- this can be a sign of a strep infection which is very serious.

Even if you are on an antibiotic it is not necessary to wean. Your baby may experience some runny stools during the course of the antibiotics. However in the long run continuing to nurse will keep the milk flowing. If you are experiencing recurrent episodes of Mastitis you may want to consider reaching out t a lactation counselor or consultant so they can help you figure out why.

Risks of Mastitis:

  • General pain and discomfort
  • Decreased milk production due to the pain decreasing frequency of feedings
  • Abscess- If left untreated or not adequately treated.


If you think you are experiencing Mastitis call your care provider to get in as soon as possible so you can start relieving your discomfort.

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