Mastitis treatment usually involves:
- Antibiotics. Treating mastitis usually requires a 10- to 14-day course of antibiotics. You may feel well again 24 to 48 hours after starting antibiotics, but it's important to take the entire course of medication to minimize your chance of recurrence.
- Pain relievers. While waiting for the antibiotic to take effect, your doctor may recommend a mild pain reliever, such as acetaminophen (Tylenol, others) or ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin IB, others).
- Adjustments to your breast-feeding technique. Make sure that you fully empty your breasts during breast-feeding and that your infant latches on correctly. Your doctor may review your breast-feeding technique with you or may refer you to a lactation consultant for help and ongoing support.
- Self-care. Rest, continue breast-feeding and drink extra fluids to help your body fight the breast infection.
If your mastitis doesn't clear up after taking antibiotics, check back with your doctor.
July 18, 2012
- Non-cancerous breast conditions. American Cancer Society. http://www.cancer.org/acs/groups/cid/documents/webcontent/003180-pdf.pdf. Accessed June 6, 2012.
- Dixon JM. Lactational mastitis. http://www.uptodate.com/index. Accessed June 6, 2012.
- Spencer JP. Management of mastitis in breastfeeding women. American Family Physician. 2008;78:727.
- Cusack L, et al. Lactational mastitis and breast abscess: Diagnosis and management in general practice. Australian Family Physician. 2011;40:976.
- Gabbe SG, et al. Obstetrics: Normal and Problem Pregnancies. 6th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2012. http://www.mdconsult.com/das/book/body/208746819-4/0/1528/0.html. Accessed June 6, 2012.
- FAQ on mastitis. La Leche League International. http://www.llli.org/FAQ/mastitis.html. Accessed June 6, 2012.
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