Treating Infection of the Breast Tissue

By: Dr. Lesley D'Souza, ND, Mar 12, 2015
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What is Mastitis?, Dr. Lesley D'Souza, Naturopathic Doctor

What is Mastitis?

Recognizing the signs and symptoms of mastitis

Mastitis is an infection of the breast tissue that usually affects women who are breastfeeding, most often within the first six weeks after birth. Mastitis is caused by introduction of bacteria from the surface of your skin or baby’s mouth through a break in the skin of your nipple or your milk duct opening. Untreated mastitis can result in the formation of an abscess (collection of pus).

Professional healthcare should be sought out as soon as you recognize the signs and symptoms of mastitis.

Symptoms of Mastitis

Usually cold and flu-like symptoms with precede local, breast symptoms by several hours. Symptoms of mastitis could affect one breast or both:

  • Pain (often of a burning quality), continuously or during breastfeeding;
  • Breast tenderness and/or swelling;
  • Warmth and redness of breast tissue;
  • Fever;
  • General malaise.

Naturopathic treatment for Mastitis

A typical Naturopathic approach to treating mastitis is usually to first resolve breast infection using antibacterial botanical (herbal) medicines, “move” stagnant breast milk using hydrotherapeutic applications, soothe and heal cracked nipples using botanical creams and salves, and identify and address underlying factors in your lifestyle (e.g. using only one position to breastfeed, improperly fitted bra) or general health (e.g., cracked, dry nipples, previous history of mastitis, low immune system function) to prevent recurrence.

Dr. Lesley D’Souza, ND began her studies at the University of Toronto, obtaining a Bachelors of Science in Human Biology with a minor in psychology. She then received her Doctorate of Naturopathic Medicine at The Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine in Toronto, Ontario which is an accredited four-year, intensive post-graduate naturopathic medical program. As part of her studies, Dr. Lesley completed a twelve-month internship at the Robert Schad Naturopathic Clinic, the largest naturopathic clinic in North America. http://www.drlesleynd.com