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What is mastitis?

Lactational mastitis is a condition in which the breast milk duct becomes clogged and infected while breastfeeding. There are many benefits to breastfeeding, but mastitis may occur during the first few months of breastfeeding while the milk supply is adjusting. The affected breast may have red painful lumps that are typically accompanied by fever and chills. Some patients may experience yeast mastitis, which is a yeast infection of the nipple and breast ducts. Contact your provider if you think you have mastitis. For more information and tips on breastfeeding, please visit our FAQs.

Get the Treatment You Need

Your provider may recommend the following treatments depending on your medical history and diagnosis:

Nonsteroidal Inflammatory Agents
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  • Ibuprofen or naproxen like Aleve or Advil
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  • Dicloxacillin
  • Erythromycin
Antifungal Medication
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  • Fluconazole

Suffering from mastitis? Alpha Providers can help.

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Learn About Mastitis

Do you think you may have mastitis? Learn the symptoms, causes, and prevention tips.

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  • Breast tenderness or swelling
  • Red, hard, painful breast lump
  • Pain or burning sensation while breastfeeding
  • Fever or chills


  • Sore nipples
  • Deep, sharp, stabbing, shooting and/or burning pains in the breast
  • Usually no fever or chills
  • Decreased milk supply
  • Blocked milk duct
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  • Blocked milk duct
  • Oversupply of milk
  • Genetic predisposition to blocked milk ducts
  • Bacteria entering the breast


  • High levels of estrogen lead to elevated levels of sugar; yeast feeds on sugar
  • Nipple damage in early breastfeeding
  • Use of antibiotics in pregnancy or immediately after delivery
  • Previous long-term antibiotic use
  • Previous vaginal thrush infection
  • Use of breast pads, which create a moist environment around the nipple and allow yeast to multiply
  • Fatigue and/or exhaustion
  • Poor diet
  • Chronic illness, including HIV, diabetes or anemia
Prevention Tips
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  • Have the baby’s chin point toward the clog as it breastfeeds—use different breastfeeding positions to prevent and eliminate clogged ducts
  • Use a massager or vibrating toothbrush over the lump to try and break up the clog
  • Take sunflower lecithin
  • Don’t wear any tight or restrictive clothing
  • Take a warm bath or shower
  • Fully empty the breast with feedings or hand expression
  • Proper nipple care is important - cracks are the port of entry for infection
  • Drink lots of fluids to prevent dehydration, which can cause milk supply to decline

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Your care team will respond to any questions through our secure messaging platform and you can get medication at your preferred pharmacy.

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