Mastitis is breast infection and inflammation. Sometimes a plugged duct will become infected, or bacteria will enter the breast through another route, such as an open sore or nipple.

It is NOT the breast milk that is infected. A red, hard and very painful area will usually be present on the breast. There may be red streaking from the affected area or breast tissue that may look pink over a large area. You may also have a fever, body aches and feel as if you have the flu.


Do not wait for the mastitis to go away by itself. Contact your doctor immediately for treatment with antibiotics that are safe for you and your baby. It is very important that you continue nursing often during this time. Your milk is not infected and will not harm your baby. It is the tissue surrounding the blockage that is infected and not the breast milk. Also, complete the entire treatment of antibiotics (seven to ten days) so the infection does not come back. Consider contacting a lactation consultant to teach you how to prevent mastitis from happening again.