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Nursing mothers with puerperal mastitis. Is this normal?

Mar 2016
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Practicing since : 2011
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Is this a normal occurrence in nursing mothers ?
Posted Tue, 19 Mar 2013 in Women's Health
Answered by Dr. S Patra 8 hours later

Thanks for writing to us. I am trying to solve your problem.

According to your clinical presentation, you are probably suffering from puerperal mastitis, a inflammatory condition of breast in relation with breastfeeding. It occurs due to blocking of milk ducts or milk excess and is very much common in puerperal period. Breast engorgement is another factor in early stage. Breast abscess can develop in rare occasion.

It is seen that bacterial infection has smaller role in developing the same with presence of cracked or sore nipple. Tight breast support may sometimes cause problems by compressing breasts.

Recurrent puerperal mastitis may be due to high prolactin level or thyroid disorders and these can be ruled out by proper examination. In such cases, lactation suppression drugs can be used.

The following measures can be helpful to prevent this condition:

1) Frequent emptying of both breast by breast feeding in proper technique. Herein, continuous breast feeding is very much beneficial to mother.
2) Drink more water/ fluids along and take healthy diet with consuming more vegetables & fruits.
3) In case of breast engorgement, breast massage and hot compression before each feeding can help in unblocking the ducts and get relief some. In severe cases, cold compression is preferable. Milk expression can be practiced in some cases only.
4) In extreme cases or breast abscess, some antibiotic (like cephalexin) may be needed initially. Temperature can be controlled by taking paracetamol only.
5) Take care about sore or cracked nipple that has significant role in above condition. Proper cleaning is mandatory before & after each breast feeding.
6) Try to avoid stress/ tension/ emotional upset (that may cause hormonal imbalance) by doing regular yoga or XXXXXXX breathing.
7) Take a sound sleep with complete relaxation and maintain personal hygiene.

Hope, above information is very much helpful & understandable to you. If you have any further questions I will be happy to help.

Wish your good health in future.

Dr Soumen.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Nursing mothers with puerperal mastitis. Is this normal? 41 hours later
My child only wants breast milk , and is refusing the formula , can you recommend something that will help her to express the milk ? I tried putting a hot cloth on the breast and even cold water on the breast for the swelling but amount of milk has been reduced .
Answered by Dr. S Patra 1 hour later

Thanks for follow up query. I am happy to help you.

Your baby only wants breast milk. It is a good thing for at least first 6 months. It helps for better growth and development of the baby.

There are several lactation (breast milk) enhancer products (like galact granule etc) available in medical shop. They can help to increase mother's breast milk sufficiently.

But, before using such product, you need to consult with her obstetrician for health check up & breast examination to assess the severity of the mastitis. Also you should follow all suggestive measures that I have described already in my previous reply. Those are very much sufficient & helpful to her.

If you do not have any clarifications, you can close the discussion and rate the answer.

Be well & take care of her.

Dr Soumen.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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