Mastitis, which mainly affects breast-feeding women, causes redness, swelling and pain in one or both breasts. Mastitis is an inflammation of breast tissue that sometimes involves an infection. The inflammation results in breast pain, swelling, warmth and redness. You might also have fever and chills.
Clogged milk ducts
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Just like giving birth, you don't truly understand the pain that comes with a clogged milk duct unless you've dealt with it. Despite the fact that an estimated 1 in 10 women in the US is diagnosed with mastitis -- a clogged duct that turns into a serious infection -- at some point during their breastfeeding journey, few get the chance to see how these clogs look and how they impact breast milk. That's why one mom decided to share photos of what her pumped breast milk looked like when she finally passed a bloody clot that almost turned into mastitis. According to mom, this painful breastfeeding picture shows milk pumped after a bad clog that almost turned into mastitis. Yes, your milk may turn red, it may be infected, and it may look completely different from each breast If you have a clogged duct or mastitis it's important to keep breastfeeding frequently, apply heat and massage. If you are exclusively pumping then try to pump at least every couple of hours and massage, massage, massage.
Breast pain and breastfeeding
Milk ducts become clogged if there is milk production, but it is not being dispensed as it should. Generally, clogged milk ducts are common among breastfeeding moms, as well as pregnant women and those who have just stopped breastfeeding. However, clogged milk ducts can also be a warning sign of other breast-related illnesses such as mastitis and mammary duct ectasia. Mastitis is a breast infection which has similar symptoms as a clogged milk duct, only intense and often accompanied by a high fever. In addition to that, mastitis needs to be treated with antibiotics, while clogged milk ducts can be relieved with home remedies such as heat compressions and massage.
It is not always clear why blocked ducts occur; however, insufficient breast drainage is most likely the cause. Poor drainage may be caused by the baby not attaching well to the breast, tight clothing around the breast, long periods between breastfeeds or scarring from surgery. The signs of a plugged duct may be gradual. A blocked breast duct may appear as a tender lump the size of a pea or larger, and occasionally presents with a small white blister on the nipple.