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Lactational mastitis

Author
J Michael Dixon, MD
Section Editors
Anees B Chagpar, MD, MSc, MA, MPH, MBA, FACS, FRCS(C)
Daniel J Sexton, MD
Deputy Editors
Elinor L Baron, MD, DTMH
Kristen Eckler, MD, FACOG

INTRODUCTION

Lactational mastitis is an infection of the breast associated with pain, redness, fever, myalgias, and malaise that occurs in the setting of breastfeeding. It is most common during the first six weeks postpartum.

Issues related to lactational mastitis will be reviewed here. Issues related to other breast infections are discussed separately. (See "Primary breast abscess" and "Breast cellulitis and other skin disorders of the breast".)

EPIDEMIOLOGY

Lactational mastitis has been estimated to occur in 2 to 10 percent of breastfeeding women; the incidence of mastitis requiring hospitalization is much lower [1]. In one cohort including 136,459 new mothers, 127 women were hospitalized for mastitis, an incidence of 9 per 10,000 deliveries [2].

ETIOLOGY

Lactational mastitis often occurs in the setting of the following breastfeeding problems, which typically result in prolonged engorgement or poor drainage [3]:

Blocked milk duct

          

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Literature review current through: Mar 2015. | This topic last updated: Apr 1, 2015.
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References
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