Is inflammation of the breast and externally painful and may lead to
The most common infectious organism is staphylococcus aureus. The most
likely source of the infection is the baby and out breaks of skin and eye
infections among babies are frequently due to staphylococcus aureus. Organisms
are transmitted by cross infection and can easily affect a whole part.
Occurs after the 8th
The onset is rapid with a sharp rise in temperature which can reach as
high as 400C.
Throbbing pain and tenderness in the affected breast.
A wedge shaped, indurated and reddened area of the breast is seen on
A sample of breast milk is sent for bacteriological examination and
abroad spectrium antibiotic is given until the causative organism is known
Breast feeding should be suspended if pus is found in the milk and the
pump or hand expression.
The breast must be gently supported and large pads of cotton wool used
to protect the painful infected area.
If the infection is mild, breast feeding may be continued as the anti
infective properties of the milk protect the baby.
Acute puerperal mastitis may lead to abscess formation. If this occurs
the affected breast is extremely painful, edema` is usually present and the
breast becomes tense and red. The axially glands become tender and enlarged.
The abscess must be incised and drained to prevent spread into other areas of
breast which would cause damage.
The best method of treatment lies in prevention. Attention to hand
washing and hygiene will both lower the incidence of infection among babies and
reduce risk of breast infection in mothers. Nurses, mid wives and doctors must
maintain cleanliness and wash their hands before attending to a mother or a