How To Cope With Mastitis?

Mastitis is a disorder of breast which is marked by the swelling and inflammation of the milk ducts and breast tissues. It does not affect milk. It is mainly caused by infection and blocking of milk flow in the milk ducts which results in the back flow and clogging of the duct. It can occur in women mainly in their lactation period. It is represented by symptoms like redness, swelling, tenderness, pain and many more. The symptoms are quite similar to that of the flu. However, it can be treated easily by antibiotics, painkillers and rarely surgery. There are some natural measures by which mastitis can be managed.

How To Cope With Mastitis?

How To Cope With Mastitis?

To cope up with mastitis, the following measures can be helpful-

Rest– proper rest and sleep are necessary to reduce the effects and a best way to cope with mastitis. It is recommended to sit quietly without any activity for some time can help to shorten its duration. It is necessary especially in the first month of the lactation until the milk production settles according to the need of the baby in a normal pattern.

Fluids-the lactating mother should consume lots of water and fluids to prevent dehydration due to infection. This will help to improve fast from the infection and cope with it.

Painkillers– To cope with mastitis the lactating mother can take painkillers such as paracetamol or ibuprofen to manage pain and fever. Paracetamol can enter the breast milk in trace amount but it is not harmful to the baby. However, aspirin is not recommended during lactation as it has lots of harmful effects on the baby.

Clothing– To cope with mastitis mothers are advised to wear loose clothes and loose fitting bras so that the flow of the milk is not affected or disturbed. This will help to improve your symptoms to great extent.

Diet– rich sources of vitamin C should be included in the diet to improve the condition and strengthen the immune system so that your immune system can set a strong defense against the infection. This will help you to cope with mastitis in a faster manner.

Expressing Out Excess Milk– the milk should be evacuated from the breast regularly either by feeding the baby or by hand or by a pump. Feeding is not harmful to the baby as the milk does not get infected with bacteria in mastitis even though the breast tissues are infected. Any bacteria present in the milk are digested and absorbed in the digestive system of the baby. Once the baby is full, the rest milk should be expressed out by hands or pump for better coping with mastitis.

Massaging– breast should be massaged regularly to clear the blockages or lumps in the breast so that the integrity of the breast can be maintained to allow normal milk flow in the milk ducts.

Warm Compression– warm compression or warm water is advised to apply on the breast to soften the breast and allow easy flow of milk in the milk ducts. This will to break the clogging in the ducts for normal milk flow and this is one of the best ways to cope with mastitis.

Mastitis is a condition marked by abnormal swelling and inflammation of the breast tissue. It can be treated by-

Antibiotics– specific antibiotics as prescribed can treat the bacterial infection.

Anti-Inflammatory Medicines– these medicines include ibuprofen or acetaminophen to control pain and swelling.

Surgery– minor surgery may be needed to evacuate the excess milk.

Breastfeeding can be continued throughout the treatment as the infection affects the breast tissue only, not the breast milk.


Mastitis is an inflammatory disease of the mammary gland characterized by blocking of the milk in the milk ducts especially in breastfeeding women. It is most common in women in the first month after delivery where the balance between breastfeeding and milk production is not established. It can be managed easily by simple measures discussed above such as rest, sleep, intake of plenty of fluids, massaging, warm compression, etc.

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Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:December 5, 2018

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