Mastitis usually only affects one breast, and symptoms often develop quickly. Symptoms of mastitis can include:
Women may also experience flu-like symptoms, such as aches, a high temeprature (fever), chills and tiredness
In breastfeeding women, mastitis is often caused by a build-up of milk within the breast, known as milk stasis. Milk statis can occur for a number of reasons including:
Pressure on the breast, for example from tight clothing or bra, a car seat belt, or prone sleeping position.
In some cases build-up of milk can also become infected.
The aim of this guideline is to provide health professionals with the most up to date information on the diagnosis, treatment, management and care of mothers with mastitis. This will enable health professionals to provide consistent information and help to mothers based on the best available evidence.
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Arrange hospital admission if:
Refer urgently to a general surgeon if a breast abscess is suspected
If symptoms fail to settle after 48 hours of first-line antibiotic treatment: