Breastfeeding

Q&A: What Are The Symptoms Of Mastitis?

What are the symptoms of mastitis?

Many of the symptoms of mastitis may resemble those associated with a pluggedduct except that most of those symptoms are much more severe or pronouncedwith mastitis. Although most cases of mastitis start out as a clogged milk duct,this is not always the case, and in fact may have begun with any break in the skindirectly leading to the breast infection. Symptoms include a hardened lump orentire section of the breast that is tender, swollen, or hot to the touch. This verypainful area may even have some red streaking that begins at the site of infectionand radiates outward and spreads across the breast. Many moms mistakemastitis for some other cause such as a flu because they don't realize that abreast infection can cause symptoms throughout the body. Flu-like symptomssuch as body and backaches, extreme fatigue, and even severe headachesmay be present when mastitis occurs. Although a low-grade fever can occurwith plugged ducts, the classic symptoms of chills and fever above 101.3indicate mastitis. Some moms try to treat their breast infection for 12 to 24 hours,however, if there is no resolution, immediate treatment from a knowledgeablehealthcare professional is essential.