Mastitis means inflammation of the breast. It usually affects a section of the breast and commonly shows as a red, inflamed area which is painful to the touch. Infection may be present, but mastitis frequently occurs simply as a result of milk stasis which has not been resolved effectively. If it is not resolved quickly, symptoms can worsen.

More information for parents and staff can be found on the Breastfeeding Network and Breastfed Babies websites.

How can mastitis be prevented?

  • Effective positioning and attachment will help to make sure that milk is removed and does not build up within the breast.
  • Feeding frequently, again to make sure that milk does not build up within the breast
  • Managing engorgement effectively so that this does not progress to mastitis
  • Avoiding overly long periods between feeds
  • Avoiding tight fitting clothing, including bras