A breast infection, otherwise referred to as mastitis, is quite common among breastfeeding moms. With mastitis a mom’s breast is often swelling, redness, inflammation, breast tenderness and even shooting pain.
Common Symptoms of a Mastitis:
• It feels like the flu and you are tired, have chills or ache all over. A breastfeeding mom who has flu-like symptoms commonly find out that they have mastitis even before they have the related breast tenderness.
• One breast is painful, tender, red, and swollen. It may also be hot to the touch. You may or may not be able to see the exact spot of infection. Sometimes it covers the entire breast.
• You may have nipple discharge.
• You have recently also had one or more of the following: cracked or bleeding nipples, extra stress, often missed nursing times or longer intervals between feedings (like sleeping through the night for the first time.)
• You have a fever of over 101 degrees. This may be accompanied by the chills.
If you have even one of these signs of an infection, you will want to consult your doctor to see if it should be treated with an antibiotic. While not all cases of mastitis need antibiotics, sometimes infections can become worse and turn into a breast abscess that is extremely painful and requires surgical draining...which is not pleasant.
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