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How to Treat Mastitis

Mastitis is a painful infection of the breast experienced by women who are breastfeeding. Preventing or quickly relieving engorgement by nursing your baby or expressing your breast milk can help to prevent mastitis.

If you feel you are developing mastitis, it’s important to treat it quickly.


Things You’ll Need

  • Acetaminophen or ibuprofen
  • Hot and cold compresses
  • Drinking water


4 Steps to Treat Mastitis

How to Treat Mastitis

1. Know the symptoms of mastitis

If one or both breasts are tender or red, either all over or in one spot, you may be developing mastitis. Other symptoms include fever and feeling run down and achy, as if you are getting the flu.


2. Rest and nurse your baby as often as possible

Drink plenty of fluid, gently massage the area that’s sore and alternate hot and cold compresses. Take acetaminophen or ibuprofen for fever and pain; both are safe for breastfeeding. Don’t give up breastfeeding altogether; continuing to breastfeed will help you to recover faster and possibly prevent a breast abscess from developing.


3. Contact your doctor

She may not prescribe an antibiotic right away, especially if this is your first instance of mastitis, and if you aren’t feeling progressively worse over the course of a few hours. But if you have a history of mastitis, if you are feeling worse and worse, or if your nipples are cracked (which allows infection to more easily set it) your doctor may prescribe an antibiotic.


4. Get help from your spouse and family

Your primary job right now is breastfeeding and getting plenty of rest, as that will help you to recover from mastitis. Let someone else take care of everything else so you can get better quickly.


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