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Mastitis (breast infection) Treatment Overview

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Care Plan


First steps to consider

  • Mastitis can sometimes be treated at home.
  • If you think you have mastitis, you should first continue to breastfeed or pump, and to empty the breasts completely of milk on a regular basis.
  • Try medications that help with pain and swelling like Tylenol and Advil, and use cold compresses.
See home treatments

When you may need a provider

  • You still have pain and fever after 12–24 hours. You will likely need antibiotics.
See care providers

Emergency Care

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Go to the ER if you have any of the following symptoms:

  • Severe breast pain, swelling, or fever that is not getting better even when taking antibiotics for 2–3 days.
  • Feeling like your heart is racing
  • Changes in the way your breast looks. For example, the skin looks very thin or there is an open wound or pus.

The suppliers listed follow Buoy’s clinical guidelines, but listing the suppliers does not constitute a referral or recommendation by Buoy. When you click on the link and/or engage with these services Buoy will be compensated.

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All treatments for mastitis (breast infection)
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Read more about mastitis (breast infection) care options

When to see a healthcare provider

If your symptoms are not improving after 12–24 hours, or you have a fever, you should consider seeing a healthcare provider.

Getting diagnosed

Mastitis is diagnosed based on your symptoms and a breast exam. No blood tests are required. If your provider is concerned that you have something more serious, they may send you for an ultrasound.

What to expect from your visit

Your provider will discuss recommendations like encouraging breastfeeding, using cold compresses, and taking OTC pain medication.

If you have had symptoms for more than 24 hours, they will start you on antibiotics. If the infection is so severe that you need antibiotics via an IV, your provider will send you to the hospital.

What antibiotics treat mastitis?

Types of mastitis providers

  • Your ob/gyn, midwife, or primary care provider can treat mastitis.
  • You may need a breast surgeon if you have complications like an abscess
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Frequently asked questions