Mastitis is an inflammatory condition of the breast tissue, which may or may not be associated with an infection. Mastitis is most commonly seen in breastfeeding women.
However, it can be seen in some non-breastfeeding women as well as men too. Mastitis usually causes some pain and discomfort in the breasts. Redness and swelling along with tenderness of the breasts are most common signs and symptoms of mastitis.
What Is The Best Antibiotic For Mastitis?
The bacterium responsible for causing infection in mastitis is generally staphylococcus aureus. The best antibiotics to treat the infection caused by this bacterium are dicloxacillin, cephalexin etc. other oral antibiotics that may be used are amoxicillin and clavulanate combination, ciprofloxacin, clindamycin, trimethoprim and sulfamethoxazole. However, sulpha-drugs may show reaction in some cases. Hence, it is to be administered very cautiously and should be used sparingly.
Mastitis in its initial stages can be taken care of with the help of some simple techniques and home remedies. These methods are as follows-
Continuing to breastfeed:
- The mastitis infection cannot be passed on to the baby through breastfeeding
- Hence, women are encouraged to continue with the breastfeeding as usual, as this is an efficient way to drain the breasts regularly
- Weaning is not advisable at this stage as it will cause worsening of the symptoms because of the accumulation of more milk and formation of clogged milk ducts
Draining the breasts often:
- It is advisable to keep feeding the baby frequently and on demand
- This will help in emptying of milk more efficiently
- Also, milk is produced at regular intervals in the mammary glands
- The leftover milk along with this additional new milk will result in accumulation of milk in the milk ducts or spreading of it in the breast tissue, resulting in blocked milk ducts or breast engorgement respectively
- This can be troublesome for an already inflamed breast and this will worsen the symptoms
- Hence, draining the breasts with frequent feedings is advisable
Manual expression of milk or breast pumping:
- If the baby is done feeding and the breast still has some leftover milk, it is recommended to express this milk out by using a manual expression technique, wherein you press the affected breast by squeezing it gently, applying a gentle pressure from just behind the sore spot and towards the nipples
- Breast pump can also be used for this purpose of draining the leftover milk
A gentle massage:
- A very gentle pressure applied to the breast when the baby is feeding can help in easy expression of milk in baby’s mouth
- It can also relieve you of the pain and discomfort caused during a feeding session
- It also helps in dislodging the lumps if any
A hot shower or a hot bath:
- Standing in a hot shower or taking a hot bath just before a feeding session can be useful in an efficient drainage of the breast milk
- The same can be done after a feeding session, so that the remaining milk can be drained out with the help of the heat
- Another technique to do this is to fill a basin or a small tub with tolerable hot water and immersing your breasts into it by bending forwards
- Heat pads or towels soaked in hot water can also be used as hot compress to give same results
- Taking enough rest will ensure that your body saves up on the much-needed energy to fight off the condition
- The resting phase will also give you a chance to massage your breasts and alleviate the pain and discomfort
- Mastitis is an inflammation of the breast tissue which may or may not be associated with an infection. If there is an infection, the best antibiotics that can be used are dicloxacillin and cephalexin. However, you must start on any medications only after a proper consultation with the specialist.