The breastfeeding process is a very special moment between a child and a mother because it creates that special bond. But breastfeeding is not always a magical experience, as problems can arise during breastfeeding. One such problem that several breastfeeding mothers face is mastitis. It is an inflammation of tissues around the breast that often causes breast pain, swelling, warmth, and redness.
The inflammation, which sometimes accompanies infections, mainly affects women who are breastfeeding, but can also occur in women who are not breastfeeding. In very rare cases, this infection can also affect both breasts. But unfortunately, about 1 in 5 breastfeeding women will develop mastitis in the first 6 months after giving birth. Not only this, but it is more concerning to know that it usually develops in the first three months after delivery.
Health experts explain that mastitis is of two different types
The first is the most common form of mastitis known as lactation, also called maternity mastitis, which affects women who are breastfeeding.
The second is periductal, which affects menopausal and postmenopausal women and smokers. Periductal is also called breast duct ectasia. In this condition, the nipple on the affected breast may turn inward and produce a milky discharge.
Several health experts recommend timely medical attention after witnessing symptoms such as:
- sensitive breasts
- Feeling warmth to the touch
- Redness of the skin, often in a wedge-shaped pattern
- swelling of the breasts
- Feeling sick in general; you may have a temperature
- Thickening of breast tissue
- A breast lump
- Pain or burning sensation while breastfeeding
- Nausea and vomiting
- nipple discharge
Of course, there are certain reasons why mastitis affects a person. The main reason behind the infection is when bacteria found on the skin or saliva enter the breast tissue through a milk duct or a tear in the breast skin, but there are a few other factors that increase the risk of mastitis and they are:
- Wearing close-fitting bras that restrict milk flow.
- Improper locking technique or using only one position to breastfeed.
- Cracked, sore nipples.
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