MastitisMastitis is an infection in the breast. It happens to many new parents and can clear up quickly with treatment. Mastitis is not a reason to stop breastfeeding. If you think you might have mastitis, you should see your health care provider for treatment within 24 hours. Some things to watch for include:

• Hot, red, painful area on the breast
• Muscle aches
• Headache
• Fever or chills
• Fatigue

If you get mastitis, try these tips to feel better.

You can try to prevent mastitis by

  • washing your hands before feeding
  • ensure your baby has a good latch
  • feed one breast until soft before offering the other breast
  • gently massage any plugged ducts or breast lumps (see Plugged Ducts handout)
  • try not to miss breastfeedings
  • get help if you have sore or cracked nipples
  •  take care of yourself; rest, drink and eat well
  • wear a comfortable, well fitting nursing bra
  • if weaning, do it slowly