Mastitis Treatment and Breastfeeding Coexisting
Mastitis treatment and breastfeeding is a common concern among new mothers who are breastfeeding and developed mastitis. Mastitis is a condition that results in the inflammation of the breast and causes symptoms such as pain, swollen and hard breasts and others. Mothers who develop mastitis are concerned about if and how the treatment they receive may affect their babies. This article is aimed to explain few treatment alternatives used for curing this condition and the impact they may have on the infants.
It is mandatory that women who develop mastitis symptoms seek their doctors as soon as possible to prevent spreading the infection and improve the symptoms within few days. Mastitis treatment may vary based on the underlying cause of the condition. Mastitis can be caused by infection (in more than 50% of cases), breast engorgement and blocked milk ducts. As a part of the mastitis symptoms treatment, patients are often prescribed painkillers that will help in relieving the pain and discomfort. Actually, unless mastitis is caused by infection, the main treatment for mastitis symptoms is focused on easing the symptoms to improve the life quality of the new mother.
In cases when mastitis is caused by infection, mastitis antibiotic treatment is prescribed. The mastitis antibiotic treatment is aimed to kill the bacteria that have collected within the milk ducts and therefore cure the infection. Treatment for mastitis symptoms usually includes ibuprofen which reduces fever and relieves the pain.
Most of the time, patients are advised to not stop breastfeeding as this is the main mastitis symptoms treatment. Although it may be painful, breastfeeding helps in improving the symptoms because in this way the breasts are emptied and swelling and pain will disappear within few days. Also, adequate emptying of the breast, both by breastfeeding or expressing the breast milk, is helpful in preventing more bacteria from collecting into the breast, and therefore hasten the process of curing the condition.
Doctors ensure their patients that the treatment does not affect their babies and they may continue breastfeeding their infants. In fact, as mentioned above, breastfeeding is strongly recommended while suffering from mastitis as the baby is the most efficient pump to empty the breast. On the other hand, the bacterium that may be present in the mother’s milk is destroyed by the baby’s digestive juices and therefore the infection cannot pass from the mother to the baby.
If left untreated, mastitis can lead to complications. For example, mastitis due to blocked ducts can result in breast abscess which must be drained. These complications may be avoided if the new mother learns how to prevent mastitis. The best way of preventing this condition is by ensuring that the breasts are emptied with each feed. In this way, there will be no breast engorgement or blocked ducts to result in mastitis. Also, proper hygiene ensures that there are no bacteria to pass from the skin or the baby’s mouth into the breast resulting in an infection.
Mastitis treatment and breastfeeding are therefore related and there is no medical reason that the first will impair the second.