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mastitis | mastitis treatment

Is mastitis common?

Breastfeeding challenges can be so isolating for mums. When you wake up with a sore breast in the middle of the night, and there’s no one else to help you with this problem. It can feel like you’re all alone in having these issues. But are you?


Did you know that mastitis affects approximately 25-30% of breastfeeding mothers? That’s about 1 in 3-4! And about 2/3rds of women will experience a blocked duct at some point in their breastfeeding journey.
So mastitis and blocked ducts are very very common.

Common symptoms of both mastitis and blocked ducts include:

  • a lump in the breast
  • tenderness and/or redness over the same spot
  • fever, sweats or chills.
  • Aches and pains

What causes mastitis?

The number one culprit for mastitis is milk stasis – that means milk that is just hanging around in your breast that hasn’t been drained properly. This can be due to:

  • Missed feeds which causes a build up of milk in the breast tissue.
  • Insufficient emptying of the breast- this might be due to latch issues or distracted babies trying to feed for short times.

Other causes of mastitis include:

  • Wearing tight bras, feeding singlets or seatbelt pressure
  • Trauma to the area, like holding the breast too tightly while feeding, massaging too firmly or a knock from a toddler
  • Being run down
  • Stress- this is a big one! Stress has a massive impact on our hormones and this impacts breastfeeding in a big way.

Does that make it normal?

Nope, not at all. Mastitis and blocked ducts do not have to be the “normal” thing that most breastfeeding mothers experience.  Mastitis certainly doesn’t have to be the end of your breastfeeding journey.

That’s why we do what we do to work on preventing mastitis.

And if you are not local to our clinic in Melbourne, Australia, we have our online education platform Your Two Jugs, to tutor you in what to do with full video demo’s.

Find this info useful? You may also like to read “What does mastitis feel like?”
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