Breast inflammation, and how it affects the body.

What is breast inflammation?

This condition can be split into two different category groups that women get.

One breast not both usually can become infected by women who are breast-feeding, referred to as "mastitis", and also can occur spontaneously. Breast inflammation usually effects women between the ages of eighteen and fifty years of age.

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Mastitis can be caused by the breast milk leaking into the tissue of the breast. Going where it should not go.

This can happen because of engorgement (swelling of the breasts because of the increase of lymph fluid and blood supply into the breasts) or you may be wearing a bra that is way to tight, stopping the natural flow of the body in that area.

Breast-feeding inflammation most likely will happen within the first six weeks of breast-feeding the newborn baby. Today, because of better hygiene methods, breast inflammation of this type is not as common as it once was.

It is estimated that only up to three percent of women that are breast-feeding experience this type of infection.

Mastitis takes place when bacteria from the baby's mouth enters into the mother's body through a crack in the milk duct of the nipple region.

What are the signs of breast-feeding infection?

Women will generally begin to feel as if they have a cold, or virus at first. The body temperature might raise along with the general aches and pains associated with a flu-like virus. Along with this feeling of having a cold or flu is the pain, redness, swelling and tenderness of the breasts.

Along with this, signs of breaks in the skin of the breast and surrounding area may be present. The breast may be swollen also, when it is not draining properly.

If left untreated, this type of breast inflection can lead to an abscess inside the breast tissue. When this occurs, the condition becomes much more serious and will often require surgical drainage. Abscesses can complicate mastitus. They are non-cancerous masses and feel mobile under the breast area.

Women who are not breast-feeding may also develop mastitis. Women with impaired immune systems, diabetes, chronic illness and AIDs are at risk, and more susceptible to breast inflammation than women who are healthy.

In postmenopausal females, chronic mastitis can be associated to hormonal body changes that cause the milk ducts in the breast area to be more prone to infection.

The signs that something is amiss when you notice any suspicious lump in your breast, whether you are breast-feeding or not. Other signs are abnormal discharge from the nipples, and breast pain is acute and prolonged. Other symptoms are redness and swelling. Painful breast-feeding that does not clear up shortly should also be a sign that something is not right.


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What are some of the other things that can cause discomfort to the breasts?

The other thing that can cause breast inflammation is a thrush infection or yeast infection. This can happen inside of the baby's mouth and can spread to the nipples and get into the milk ducts of the breast.

Poor positioning, nipple shields, breast pads can and does block the flow of milk and therefore increases germs on the surface of the breast.

What are some mothers doing to help relieve the symptoms of mastitis

Some Mothers use a hot water bottle to help relieve the pain and swelling in the breast.

Also always make sure to empty the breasts fully. Other mothers feel that massaging the inflamed breast can also help the flow of milk and bring an end to breast inflammation.