Treating your mastitis is important. If mastitis is not treated, it can lead to an abscess of the breast. An abscess refers to a boil under the skin that is filled with pus. This abscess may even need to be treated by draining it in a hospital, via an incision in the breast. This is why it is important to identify and treat mastitis earlier rather than later. The good news is that mastitis is treated relatively easily.
There are specific ways to treat mastitis. First of all, you will need to rest. You have a severe infection, and your body needs to use its strength to fight it off. Second, you will want to use breast compresses. These can be similar to an ice pack and a heating pad, or you can use herbal compresses. In either case, it is thought to be better if you alternate between cold and hot breast compresses. Massage of the tender area will also help, as this helps to increase circulation and to loosen milk ducts that may be plugged.
Another important part of treating mastitis is to make sure you are still breastfeeding on the affected breast. If the breast is sore, you can start on the breast without mastitis and switch over to the one that does have mastitis after a bit. Make sure that you vary your position, and that your baby is able to empty all of your milk ducts. The good news about all of this is that mastitis is not harmful to your baby. Your baby may not nurse as fully or frequently while you have mastitis, because the infection will change the taste of your breast milk. Instead of being sweet as it usually is, your breast milk may taste salty when you have mastitis. Still, breast milk will not harm your baby when you have mastitis because of the fact that there are antibodies in the breast milk that protects your baby from various infections and diseases.
If your mastitis does not subside, you should seek help from your health care provider. In some cases, an antibiotic may be necessary to get rid of the infection.