Causes of Inflammation of the Mammary Glands in Breastfeeding Mothers

"Inflammation of the mammary glands or mastitis in nursing mothers is caused by Staphylococcus aureus bacteria. Blocked milk ducts due to errors in how to breastfeed babies also often occur in new mothers. It is important for nursing mothers to keep their nipples clean before and after breastfeeding, and to ensure that the baby empties the breast."

Inflammation of the mammary glands or mastitis is common in nursing mothers. This condition occurs marked breast hardening and pain. Mastitis can result from a blocked milk duct or because bacteria enters the breast through a gap in the skin.

Mastitis that occurs during breastfeeding is called lactational mastitis. This condition usually occurs during the first 3 months after giving birth. However, it can also occur up to 2 years later. Some mothers make the mistake of weaning their babies when they have mastitis.

When mastitis occurs, the breastfeeding process must be continued. So, what causes mastitis in nursing mothers? Here is the review.

Causes of Mastitis in Breastfeeding Mothers

A common cause of mammary gland inflammation or mastitis is Staphylococcus aureus bacteria. While agalactiae bacteria are the second most common cause. In nursing mothers, blocked milk ducts can cause milk to flow back up and an infection occurs.

Chapped nipples also increase the risk of breast infection. Bacteria from the baby's mouth can enter and cause an infection. The bacteria that usually cause infection can be found on the skin, when there is no infection. If bacteria enter the breast tissue, the bacteria can multiply quickly and cause pain.

Mothers can continue to breastfeed even if they have mastitis, because the bacteria that cause mastitis are not harmful to the baby. This condition usually occurs in the first few weeks of breastfeeding, but can also occur after the breastfeeding phase.

Non-lactational mastitis occurs in women with compromised immune systems, including women who have had a lumpectomy with radiation therapy and women with diabetes. Some symptoms, such as infection, are signs of inflammatory breast cancer, but these are very rare.

Subareolar abscesses can occur when the glands under the nipple become blocked and an infection develops under the skin. This forms a hard, pus-filled lump that may need to be drained first. This type of abscess usually occurs only in women who are not breastfeeding, and there are no specific risk factors.

Breastfeeding mothers who experience mastitis are marked with a red mark on one breast. The breasts may also feel swollen and hot or tender to the touch. Mothers may also experience:

  • Lump in the breast.
  • Breast pain (mastalgia) or a burning sensation that worsens when the baby feeds.
  • Fatigue.
  • Flu-like symptoms, including fever and chills.
  • Headache.
  • Nausea and vomiting.
  • Bleeding nipples
  • Mastitis in Breastfeeding Mothers Can Be Handled

The first treatment that must be done, namely ensuring the breasts are well drained during breastfeeding. You can also ask a doctor through the Halodoc application, so you can get a prescription for treating infections. Doctors usually recommend techniques to treat blocked ducts, if that's the cause.

Usually medical treatment or external medicine must be tried first. For example by drinking enough water, consuming nutritious food, and using ointments on bleeding or sore nipples. If complications occur, and the condition develops quickly, it is likely that the mother will require hospitalization and antibiotic treatment.

Also read: Easy Ways to Improve Breast Milk

Continuing to breastfeed or pump breast milk with assistive devices can be a good treatment step. Also consider consulting a lactation consultant so she can give good advice on proper breastfeeding techniques.

The possibility of getting mastitis can also be minimized by following these tips:

  • Completely express milk from the breast while feeding.
  • Let your baby completely empty one breast before switching to the other during the feed.
  • Change the mother's position while breastfeeding from one feed to the next.
  • Make sure the baby suckles properly during breastfeeding.
  • That's what you need to know about inflammation of the mammary glands or mastitis in nursing mothers.

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