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Breast Feeding

Infection on breast

12/04/2006

Question:

My sister has a 2 month old baby. Her problem is she has developed severe infection on one side of her breasts and she is not able to feed her baby from that side. She has tried 2 set of antibiotics already and it has not healed yet. She is having swelling on the breasts and she is having a hard time because of the pain. Her baby also have lost weight.

Is there anything we can do at home for that? Please advice.

Answer:

It sounds as if your sister has mastitis.

I usually treat that with Keflex, 500 mg every 6 hours for 10 days.

In addition, I recommend warm moist compresses for 5 minutes prior to breastfeeding and massaging the breast toward the baby while feeding.

If the baby cannot empty the breast, she should pump after the feeding and offer that milk to the baby in addition to to the breast feeding.

After pumping she should apply a cold compress to the breast, with a fresh, clean, crushed green cabbage leaf under the cold compress, for about 20 minutes. If she can find Cabocreme on the web, at www.cabocreme.com, that can replace the cabbage leaf.

She should also take Ibuprofen (advil or the like) every 4 to 6 hours to relieve the pain and inflammation.

She should drink lots of fluids, juices and Gatorade or the like, to help the flow of milk from her breasts.

She should rest in bed whenever she can and not try to work in or outside of the home for now.

For more information:

Go to the Breast Feeding health topic, where you can:

Response by:

Jeanne L Ballard, MD, FAAP, FABM Jeanne L Ballard, MD, FAAP, FABM
Professor Emeritus, Pediatrics, Obstetrics and Gynecology
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati