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Blocked Ducts and Breast Infections (Mastitis)

Breastfeeding mothers may experience breast lumps, which may mean she has a blocked ducts or breast infections (mastitis).

To help clear blocked ducts try:

  • Feeding frequently from the affected breast, but continue to feed from  both breasts
  • Changing breastfeeding positions
  • Hot showers or applying warm face cloths to the affected breast
  • Gently massaging any lumpy areas towards the nipple
A painless, persistent lump should be checked by your midwife or doctor
Symptoms of a breast infection are aches and pains, fever, feeling shivery like the flu, or a painful pink or red area on the breast. If any of these symptoms are present contact your midwife or doctor as soon as possible.
To help recover from a breast infection:
  • Keep feeding your baby as advised for blocked ducts. The symptoms clear more quickly if the breasts are kept from getting too full. When mum has a breast infection, the milk is not harmful for baby to drink.
  • Take paracetamol as directed on the packet for pain prolonged (for more than a couple of days) or excessive use may be harmful, so see your health professional if pain continues.
  • Drink extra fluids
  • Get plenty of rest and try to sleep when your baby sleeps.
To prevent breast infections and blocked ducts, avoid wearing tight clothing or poorly fitting bras.

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