Treatments for Mastitis
Mastitis refers to a condition in which the breast is swollen, inflamed, red, tender, and painful. Mastitis can be caused by an infections, and can lead to more serious problems if left untreated. Mastitis can be especially troubling for women who are breastfeeding. Fortunately, there are things that you can do to treat mastitis. These can include:
– The most important treatment for mastitis is rest. Rest will help you to relieve stress and to rejuvenate you immune syndrome.
– Using cold and warm compresses, and alternating between them, can help with mastitis. The cold compresses will help to relieve pain, while the warm compresses will help to increase circulation and help your body fight infection.
– Gentle massage can also help. This increases the circulation in the massaged area, and may help to loosen any plugged ducts. Gently massage the area that is in pain.
– If you are breastfeeding, nurse frequently on the side that has mastitis. It is important to keep the milk flowing, and to empty that breast. If fluid is trapped, it may become infected and make the problem worse.
– Use pain killers to help with the pain. Tylenol and Advil are both considered safe to take while breastfeeding. As always, check with your health care provider if you have any concerns about taking an over the counter medication.
– Keep enough fluids, so that you don’t get dehydrated.
– Sleep without a bra, and don’t wear a tight bra at all.
If you have a history of frequent mastitis, if you have a fever, if you are becoming more and more sick, or if your nipples are cracked, you may need to have an antibiotic. If symptoms continue, you should contact your health care provider.
If you have an abscess area in your breast due to mastitis, it will need to be drained. Your health care provider may drain the abscess with a needle, a syringe, or with a tiny incision. If the abscess is deeper, you may need surgery to drain the abscess.