A breast abscess
Is a complication of mastitis that often occurs two to three weeks postpartum in breastfeeding mothers? A breast abscess can occur from a plugged milk duct
or unrelieved engorgement
, causing breast milk to become retained in the breast for a long period. When bacteria enter the breast through cracked nipples or areola, an infection can occur. Without appropriate care, a pus-filled abscess will form.
- The breast is swelling, be red, feel hot, and can be very painful.
- Lumps can be felt in the breast and will be painful to the touch.
- Fever, chills, body aches, and may have nausea and vomiting.
- Lymph nodes under the arm on the same side of the breast abscess may swell and become painful.
Treatment Seek medical attention immediately after symptoms of mastitis or breast abscess appear.
Recommendations for Self-Care
- Use warm compresses before and between breastfeeding sessions to reduce pain and allow milk to flow more easily.
- Use cold compresses after breastfeeding or pumping and try to empty breast milk in order to reduce pain and swelling.
- If needed, take painkiller, such as paracetamol.
- Continue breastfeeding. If the pain makes breastfeeding on that side unbearable, pump milk from that breast to empty the ducts and nurse your baby with the uninfected breast.
- Rest, drink plenty of fluids and eat healthy, well-balanced meals.