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J Hum Lact. 1990 Jun;6(2):53-8.

A descriptive study of lactation mastitis in long-term breastfeeding women.


This descriptive retrospective study surveyed women attending two lactation/breastfeeding conferences about their experiences with mastitis. One-third of the sample reported having mastitis while breastfeeding their last child. Episodes of mastitis occurred most often in the first three months postpartum; however, one-third occurred after six months and nearly one-quarter occurred after one year of breastfeeding. The outer upper quadrants of both breasts were found to be the most frequent sites of infection. The incidence of mastitis in the left and right breasts did not differ. More than one-third of the respondents did not contact their physician when they developed mastitis and and nearly half never used antibiotics for the infection. All respondents reported continuing to breastfeed through the infection. Mothers reported that the following factors (in order of importance) preceded their mastitis: fatigue, stress, plugged duct, change in the number of feedings, engorgement/stasis, an infection in the family, breast trauma and poor diet. Study findings indicate that the most important teaching areas for preventing mastitis are management and control of stress and fatigue.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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