In most cases, lactation mastitis occurs within the first three months after giving birth (postpartum), but it can happen later during breast-feeding. The condition can leave you feeling exhausted and run-down, making it difficult to care for your baby.
>signs and symptoms can appear suddenly and may include
-Breast tenderness or warmth to the touch
-Generally feeling ill (malaise)
-Swelling of the breast
-Pain or a burning sensation continuously or while breast-feeding
-Skin redness, often in a wedge-shaped pattern
-Fever of (38.3 C) or greater
>>A blocked milk duct
If a breast doesn't completely empty at feedings, one of your milk ducts can become clogged, causing milk to back up, which leads to breast infection.
>> Bacteria from your skin's surface and baby's mouth can enter the milk ducts through a break or crack in the skin of your nipple or through a milk duct opening. Bacteria can multiply, leading to infection. These germs ARE NOT harmful to your baby
>>RISK FACTORS INCLUDE :
-Breast-feeding during the first few weeks after childbirth
-Sore or cracked nipples, although mastitis can develop without broken skin
-Using only one position to breast-feed, which may not fully drain your breast
-Wearing a tightfitting bra, which may restrict milk flow
-Becoming overly tired
-Previous bout of mastitis while breast-feeding,if you've experienced mastitis in the past, you're more likely to experience it again(that is why you experience it 3 times )
Treatment of mastitis begins with improving breastfeeding technique. If the mother stops draining the breast during an episode of mastitis, she will have increased milk stasis and is more likely to develop an abscess. Mothers should drink plenty of fluids and get adequate rest
Treating mastitis usually requires a 10- to 14-day course of antibiotics. You may feel well again 24 to 48 hours after starting antibiotics, but it's important to take the entire course of medication to minimize your chance of recurrence.
the usual medications to mastitis during breastfeeding are c
Amoxicillin/clavulanate (Augmentin), 875 mg twice daily
Cephalexin (Keflex), 500 mg four times daily
Ciprofloxacin (Cipro), 500 mg twice daily
-Pain relievers. While waiting for the antibiotic to take effect, your doctor may recommend a mild pain reliever, such as acetaminophen (panadol) or ibuprofen (Advil, ).
-Adjustments to your breast-feeding technique. Make sure that you fully empty your breasts during breast-feeding and that your infant latches on correctly. if don't know your doctor may review your breast-feeding technique with you or may refer you to a lactation consultant for help and ongoing support.
-Self-care. Rest, continue breast-feeding and drink extra fluids to help your body fight the breast infection.
- A few drops of your own milk , expressed by hand at the end of a feed and spread over your nipple is the best ‘nipple cream’.
If your mastitis doesn't clear up after taking antibiotics, check back with your doctor.