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Breast Infection (cont.)

Breast Infection Prevention

Sometimes mastitis is unavoidable. Some women are more susceptible than others, especially those who are breastfeeding for the first time. In general, good habits to prevent mastitis include the following:

  • Breastfeed equally from both breasts.
  • Empty breasts completely to prevent engorgement and blocked ducts.
  • Use good breastfeeding techniques to prevent sore, cracked nipples.
  • Avoid dehydration by drinking plenty of fluids.
  • Practice careful hygiene: Handwashing, cleaning the nipples, keeping your baby clean.

Outlook for Breast Infection

When treated promptly, the majority of breast infections go away quickly and without serious complications. Most women can and should continue to breastfeed despite an episode of uncomplicated mastitis. With proper treatment, symptoms should begin to resolve within one to two days.

A breast abscess may require surgical drainage, IV antibiotics, and a short hospital stay. A small incision is made and usually heals quite well. The prognosis for complete recovery is also good. Breastfeeding should be avoided in the infected breast when an abscess is present.

Postmenopausal women with breast abscesses have a high rate of recurrence after simple drainage and frequently need to follow up with a surgeon for more definitive treatment. Chronic infection can result if an abscess is not completely drained, and this can result in a poor cosmetic result.

Breast Infection Support Groups and Counseling

La Leche League, a network of international and local groups dedicated to helping mothers breastfeed

More Information on Breast Infection

MedlinePlus, Breast infection

Medically reviewed by Wayne Blocker, MD; Board Certified Obstetrics and Gynecology

REFERENCE:

"Common problems of breastfeeding and weaning"
UpToDate.com


Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 12/15/2015

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Read What Your Physician is Reading on Medscape

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