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How to deal with recurrent mastitis or plugged ducts

Treatment of mastitis

Treatment of mastitis in all cases involves frequent breastfeeding. The process dilates the mammary glands’ blood vessels, resulting in improved blood flow to the affected area. The flow of milk also helps to clear infectious microorganisms from the plugged ducts.

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Mums can be assured that it is safe to continue breastfeeding even with the presence of an abscess.There is no documented evidence showing harm to a baby when breastfeeding at the affected breast.

A study demonstrates that as long as the baby continues to be breastfed, the possibility of infection is rare. This can be associated with the anti-infectious properties of breast milk.

  • Once an abscess has formed, the only way of treating it is by making an incision, a minor surgery that involves cutting the breast tissues. This helps to facilitate the drainage of pus at the affected breast. For this procedure, local anaesthesia is used and can easily be performed in a doctor’s clinic.
  • Instructions on the continuance of breastfeeding are given after the surgical procedure, unless nursing results in mouth to wound contact.
  • Procedures on how to properly squeeze the abscess is given to the mother so she can continue it at home. For deep incisions, a penrose drain is helpful in keeping the drainage sinus open. Application of a moist dressing with a plastic cover is emphasized as not cause a premature closure of the drainage.
  • Cleaning the drainage with an antiseptic is instructed to keep infection from seeping in.  Cultures from the nose, mouth and skin may reveal pathogens resembling those in the mother’s milk. Under such conditions prescription of antibiotics for both mother and child is given.

 References

http://www.askdrsears.com/topics/feeding-eating/breastfeeding/common-problems/mastitis

http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&scope=site&db=lah&AN=19890435820

http://www.internationalbreastfeedingjournal.com/content/4/1/4

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