What is Mastitis?

Mastitis is the inflammation of breast tissue. S. aureus is the most common etiological organism responsible, but S. epidermidis and streptococci are occasionally isolated as well.

Mastitis can be classified as milk stasis, non-infectious or infectious inflammation and abscess. It is impossible to correlate this classification with clinical symptoms. In particular, milk stasis, non-infectious and infectious inflammation can be distinguished only by leukocyte count and bacteria culturing. Symptoms like fever, intensity of pain, erythema or rapid onset of symptoms can not be used to distinguish these.

Early stages of mastitis can present with local pain, redness, swelling, and warmth. Later stages also present with systemic symptoms like fever and flu-like symptoms and in rare cases an abscess can develop. However it is pretty common that symptoms develop very quickly without any warning.

Except in severe cases it is not necessary to wean a nursling because of mastitis; in fact, nursing is the most effective way to remove the blockage and alleviate the symptoms. Sudden weaning can cause or exacerbate mastitis symptoms and cause hyponatremic shock in the infant.

Continued breastfeeding does not present any risk to the nursing infant and is very beneficial for the mother.

Questions and answers on "Mastitis"

I am 61 and post menopausal for ten years. I have had right breast tenderness for one week, along with rib pain on that side. I also have woken up...

doctor1 MD

Hello there.

Thanks for writing.

All tender spots or breast pain DO NOT indicate cancer.

Moreover your last mammogram which was done few months...

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I am experiencing a 6wk hx of hot flashed in my left breast . I am a 35yr old female. I am not pregnant and have not nursed a child for 6yrs. I had...

doctor1 MD

welcome to HCM!
I would like to tell you that cancer is such a common disease that it is no surprise that many families have at least a few...

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