Breast infection is commonly caused by breast feeding. Breast infection symptoms include swelling, redness and pain on the affected breast. The infection is caused by Staphylococcus aureus, common bacteria.
Bacteria penetrate through a crack on the skin, mainly the nipple. Though it may sound counterintuitive, the best treatment for breast infection is breast feeding.
Treatment for Breast Infection
Castor oil has tremendous healing effects and it is widely used for treating breast infection. Applying castor oil on the affected area helps to reduce pain and inflammation.
Castor oil supplement is more beneficial and it heals the infection much faster than castor oil.
Queen’s delight supplement is an effective home remedy and provides cure for irritation and pain. Until the infection is cured, queen’s delight supplement should be taken. This treatment helps to release the fluids which are caused due to infection.
Hot Towel Treatment
Hot towel treatment is used to give great relief for breast infection.
Hot towels help to pacify the burning sensation and gives immediate relief from breast infection.
Apply a warm compress before and after the feeding. This gives some sort of pain relief. Immerse your breast in a big bowl of warm water and soak for 10 minutes. Repeat this procedure for at least 3 times a day.
Try taking a warm shower. Keep a heating pad or a hot water container on the affected breast. Immediately after this treatment, your breasts will be warm for some time. Massage the warm breast and express breast milk or feed the baby.
Empty your Affected Breast
Do not avoid breast feeding from the affected breast. Frequent feeding from the affected breast prevents clogged duct which worsens the mastitis. So do not wean the baby and add up the burden. You can also empty your affected breast with breast pump.
The main source of breast infection is the mouth of the baby. So there is no chance for breast infection affecting the baby and you can continue feeding from the affected breast also.
If heat treatment does not work out for you, you can try cold treatment. Keep ice packs on the affected breast after feeding your baby. Keeping ice packs before feeding disrupts the flow of milk and should be avoided.
Keep yourself hydrated and consume balanced diet. Increase your daily calorie intake by 500 calories for getting the necessary calories for breast feeding. Lack of nutrition and dehydration reduces your milk supply and worsens the problem.
If none of the above treatments work out, consult your physician. If you are having mastitis without any abscess, oral antibiotics may be prescribed. Cephalexin and dicloxacillin are the two most widely used antibiotics.
If you are allergic to antibiotics, erythromycin can be used. These medicines are not harmful to the baby even if you are breast feeding. But unfortunately these kind of infections respond slowly to antibiotics.
If the situation does not improve even after taking antibiotics and you have severe abscess, you may be required to get admitted in the hospital.