Mastitis While Breast-Feeding
The symptoms of mastitis most often appear within 4 to 6 weeks after childbirth.
- A painful area on one breast. It may be reddened, warm to the touch, or both.
- Chills, aches, and flu-like symptoms.
- A fever.
These initial symptoms may start after you have resolved a Reference blocked milk duct Opens New Window.
When to call
Call your doctor now if you have:
- Increasing pain in one area of the breast.
- Increasing redness in one area of the breast or red streaks extending away from an area of the breast.
- Drainage of pus from the nipple or another area of the breast.
- A fever of 101°F (38.5°C) or higher.
Call your doctor today if you have:
- Swollen glands (Reference lymph nodes Opens New Window) in the neck or armpit.
- A fever less than 101°F (38.5°C).
Call your doctor if you have other breast problems like cracked and bleeding nipples or blisters on your nipples that are not relieved by home treatment.
In some cases, symptoms of mastitis get worse and the breast develops a pocket of pus (Reference abscess Opens New Window) in the infected area. Symptoms of a breast abscess include:
- A breast lump that is hard and painful.
- A reddened area on the breast.
- Flu-like symptoms that are getting worse.
Reference Thrush Opens New Window (yeast infection) can occur in your baby's mouth and spread to your nipples and breast ducts. If you have symptoms of mastitis that are not going away in spite of treatment, pain in the nipple area during and after breast-feeding, sharp breast pain in between feedings, or nipples that look very pink, you may have thrush. This condition can also begin with a sudden start of pain or burning when breast-feeding has been going well without problems.
If you have thrush symptoms, both your nipples and your baby's mouth should be checked for thrush. Treatment for thrush requires that both you and your baby be treated, even if your baby doesn't have symptoms. For more information, see the topic Reference Thrush.
|By:||Reference Healthwise Staff||Last Revised: Reference January 10, 2012|
|Medical Review:||Reference Sarah Marshall, MD - Family Medicine
Reference Kirtly Jones, MD - Obstetrics and Gynecology