Mastitis While Breast-Feeding (cont.)
IN THIS ARTICLE
From the time you begin breast-feeding until your baby is weaned, take measures to prevent mastitis. For example, learn about different breast-feeding techniques so that you will know how to completely empty your breasts. Not emptying your breasts completely when nursing or going too long between feedings may lead to mastitis. View a slideshow on latching to learn how to get your baby to latch on.
If you have symptoms of mastitis, you may need to call your doctor right away. Delaying treatment can lead to an abscess forming in the affected breast. Severe infection can require intravenous antibiotics in the hospital.
Breast-feeding with mastitis
Along with oral antibiotic treatment, continuing to nurse your baby and being careful to empty your breasts completely will help shorten the duration of the infection.
You can safely continue breast-feeding your baby or pumping breast milk to feed your baby during illness and treatment. Your baby is the most efficient pump you have for emptying your breasts. Your breast milk is safe for your baby to drink, because any bacteria in your milk will be destroyed by the baby's digestive juices.
Self-care measures for mastitis
In addition to taking your prescribed antibiotics and continuing to breast-feed or pump breast milk, there are other steps you can take to make yourself feel better until the mastitis goes away.
Most women can successfully continue breast-feeding during a breast infection. If mastitis makes it difficult for you to continue breast-feeding while the infection is being treated, remember that emptying your breasts regularly is essential. Don't hesitate to talk to your doctor or a lactation consultant for further help and support.
eMedicineHealth Medical Reference from Healthwise
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