This post is part of our complete guide on treating engorgement and clogged ducts. Refer back to the guide if you want a complete list of topics covered, from prevention to diagnosis and treatment. If you're specifically interested in understand whether mastitis is a painful condition, please read on!
Is mastitis very painful?
Mastitis can be incredibly painful. It is so painful that it is a leading reason why women give up on breastfeeding. Many women experiencing mastitis find that they simply cannot deal with the pain and wrongly believe that stopping breastfeeding will make them feel better.
Even though it can be immensely painful, giving up on breastfeeding when you have mastitis will likely worsen the condition rather than improve it. This is because mastitis is often caused by an accumulation of milk in the breast: stagnant milk is a breeding ground for bacteria and infections. If you give up on breastfeeding, your body will keep sending milk to your breasts for 7 to 10 days. More milk will therefore accumulate in your breasts, making the issue worse!
The right thing to do when dealing with mastitis is to keep breastfeeding or pumping so as to thoroughly empty your breasts. You should also consult a physician so they can prescribe the appropriate medication, including analgesics to deal with the pain.
So to summarize, is mastitis very painful?
- Unfortunately yes, mastitis can be incredibly painful.
- Even though your instinct might tell you to stop breastfeeding or pumping to stop the pain, doing so will likely make it worse. You should keep breastfeeding or pumping when you have mastitis so as to thoroughly empty your breasts.
- It’s always a good idea to go see a doctor when faced with mastitis. They’ll be able to prescribe the right medication, including something to deal with the pain.