CausesBy Mayo Clinic staff
Mastitis may be caused by:
- A blocked milk duct. If a breast doesn't completely empty at feedings, one of your milk ducts can become clogged, causing milk to back up, which leads to breast infection.
- Bacteria entering your breast. Bacteria from your skin's surface and baby's mouth can enter the milk ducts through a break or crack in the skin of your nipple or through a milk duct opening. Bacteria can multiply, leading to infection. These germs aren't harmful to your baby — everyone has them. They just don't belong in your breast tissues.
- Non-cancerous breast conditions. American Cancer Society. http://www.cancer.org/acs/groups/cid/documents/webcontent/003180-pdf.pdf. Accessed June 6, 2012.
- Dixon JM. Lactational mastitis. http://www.uptodate.com/index. Accessed June 6, 2012.
- Spencer JP. Management of mastitis in breastfeeding women. American Family Physician. 2008;78:727.
- Cusack L, et al. Lactational mastitis and breast abscess: Diagnosis and management in general practice. Australian Family Physician. 2011;40:976.
- Gabbe SG, et al. Obstetrics: Normal and Problem Pregnancies. 6th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2012. http://www.mdconsult.com/das/book/body/208746819-4/0/1528/0.html. Accessed June 6, 2012.
- FAQ on mastitis. La Leche League International. http://www.llli.org/FAQ/mastitis.html. Accessed June 6, 2012.