Mastitis occurs when the breast tissue becomes inflamed, usually as a result of a blocked milk duct causing milk to be retained in the breast tissue, or as a result of an infection. Mastitis can cause flu-like symptoms such as a fever, chills and aches. The site of the inflammation will likely be painful, swollen, hot and red and the skin may be shiny.
Although the symptoms of mastitis may cause breastfeeding to be painful, it is important to try and continue feeding your baby, as regular feeding can help remove the blockage from the milk duct and relieve the symptoms of mastitis. Stopping breastfeeding at this stage may result in the mastitis becoming more serious.
Mastitis should be promptly treated to prevent more serious complications. You will need to speak to your healthcare provider as soon as you suspect mastitis may be developing.
For more information;
Pregnancy Birth & Baby – Mastitis
Australian Breastfeeding Association – Mastitis
The Royal Women’s Hospital – Mastitis