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Breast Infection (cont.)

When to Seek Medical Care for Breast Infection

Call your health care provider as soon as you feel any suspicious lump, whether you are breastfeeding or not. Call for an appointment if you experience the following:

  • You have any abnormal discharge from your nipples.
  • Breast pain is making it difficult for you to function each day.
  • You have prolonged, unexplained breast pain.
  • You have any other associated symptoms that you are worried about such as redness, swelling, pain that interferes with breastfeeding, or a mass or tender lump in the breast that does not disappear after breastfeeding.
  • If you are breastfeeding, call your doctor if you develop any symptoms of breast infection so that treatment may be started promptly.

You may need to be evaluated in a hospital's emergency department if the breast pain is associated with other signs of an infection (such as a fever, swelling, or redness to the breast) and if your health care provider cannot see you promptly. Go to the emergency department if you experience any of the following:

  • A persistent high fever greater than 101.5°F (38.6°C)
  • Nausea or vomiting that is preventing you from taking antibiotics as prescribed
  • Pus draining from the breast
  • Red streaks extending toward your arm or chest
  • Dizziness, fainting, or confusion
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 5/6/2014

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