Mastitis is a breast infection which is normally the result of a clogged duct or an infection carried from baby to mum via cracked or sore nipples

If you have mastitis, there are a few symptoms to look out for. The most common are headaches, intense pains, tender breasts, redness, fever, cracked nipples, flu-like symptoms and generally feeling unwell.

If you think you have mastitis, you must contact your GP straight away. Antibiotics will be prescribed and you should notice your fever dropping within 24 hours, with the soreness calming down after 36 hours.

If you have mastitis, you must be sure to go to bed and stay there – you need to rest!

Apply a heat pad to the area using a hot water bottle or warm wet towel, or have a warm bath or shower. You should never apply an ice pack. Continue to nurse frequently to keep the milk flowing and avoid engorgement.

Be sure to drink lots of fluids, too.

Occasionally, baby may not nurse well from an infected breast as the milk can taste salty from the infection. If your baby is refusing or fussing, offer the uninfected breast and express the infected breast.

Deearna Withey, founder, deearnas-maternity-agency.co.uk

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