Mastitis is medical term describes a painful breast inflammation. Although people associate it with nursing women, it can also affect women who do not nurse their babies. Mastitis occurs in nursing women due to an accumulation of milk in the breasts. This blockage might occur if the mother holds the baby in a way that prevents the baby nursing properly, or perhaps the baby has a problem nursing. Sometimes this happens because the mother does not nurse as often as she should. Mastitis in women who do not breastfeed usually happens because of a crack or soreness in the nipple. Normally this complaint is easy to treat, but occasionally a bacterial infection develops.
Some women with mastitis experience a burning pain in their breast. As a rule, only one breast is affected. Sometimes the woman feels this pain when she is nursing her baby, but she might also get the pain at other times. It is easy to confuse the symptoms of mastitis with those of a blocked milk duct, but women who have been through both conditions say that mastitis gives them more pain. If the pain happens to be particularly intense, or the woman has suffered from a previous bout of mastitis, it is important to consult a doctor.
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