Breast infection is also called mastitis. It occurs within the tissues of the breast. When lactating mothers experience the condition, it is called lactation mastitis. The infection affects the fatty tissues present in the breasts and can cause pain, swelling, and lumps in the breasts. Cracked nipples are also known to increase the risk of breast infection.
Breast infections commonly occur one to three months after delivery. They can also occur in women after menopause. Breast infection is most common at the time of breastfeeding. It occurs because the bacteria that come out of the mouth of the baby enter the nipple of the breast and enter the milk duct. Incomplete emptying of the breast is the main cause of breast infection in lactating mothers. The symptoms of breast infection include fatigue, swelling, tenderness, breast engorgement, fever, and body ache. Nipple discharge, redness of the skin, itching, and chills are some other symptoms. In case you feel any lump– irrespective of whether you are breastfeeding or not, consult your doctor.
Home remedies to treat breast infection
Here are some remedies that can help. However, remember to consult your doctor first!
- Do not stop breastfeeding and make sure to empty the breast. You can also use a breast pump to completely empty the breast.
- A warm compress will provide some relief. Place a warm cloth on the affected area for 15 minutes. This will provide relief from the pain. A warm bath can also provide relief from the pain.
- Drink plenty of water and stay hydrated. Dehydration can worsen the situation.
- Take a balanced diet, one that includes plenty of vegetables and fruits.
- Do not use harsh soap for cleaning. Intense cleaning of the nipples with soap should be avoided.
- Include milk, peanuts, and meat in your diet.
- Do not wear tight-fitting bras.