Periductal mastitis, a specific type of mastitis which is an inflammation of the breast tissue near the nipple, has been a concern for many breastfeeding women, especially in early stages. It often occurs when the milk ducts become blocked or infected, leading to inflammation and discomfort.

Symptoms may include breast pain, redness, swelling, and discharge from the nipple which may be caused by bacteria, viruses, or fungi. It can also be caused by trauma to the breast, such as from a fall or injury, and is most common for ladies who wear dirty underwear (bra).

How to prevent periductal mastitis

To prevent periductal mastitis, maintaining good breast hygiene is crucial. This includes regularly cleaning the nipples and avoiding the use of harsh soaps or lotions that can irritate the skin.

Additionally, it is recommended to avoid tight-fitting bras that can restrict milk flow that can contribute to the development of blockages and also making sure your bras are well kept clean and have enough sunlight to clear up any bacteria that might still linger around.

Healthcare professionals play a vital role in educating and supporting breastfeeding women. They can provide guidance on proper breastfeeding techniques, addressing any concerns, and offering preventive strategies to minimize the risk of periductal mastitis.

Mastitis vs periductual mastitis

Unlike periductual mastitis, mastitis itself refers to a more general term for breast inflammation, which can occur in both breastfeeding and non-breastfeeding individuals. It can be caused by various factors similar to that of periductual mastitis but also have a few key differences.

Periductal mastitis affects only the small milk ducts, while mastitis can affect the entire breast. Periductal mastitis can also be caused by bacteria, while mastitis can be caused by bacteria, viruses, or fungi.

Finally, periductal mastitis is often less severe than mastitis, though it can still cause serious problems if not treated. Mastitis is a more serious condition that can lead to fever, chills, and malaise. One of the most common complications is an abscess, which is a pocket of pus that forms under the skin. If left untreated, an abscess can grow and cause a lot of pain. It can also spread the infection to other parts of the body.

Other complications of periductal mastitis include scarring of the milk ducts and a decrease in milk production. If you think you might have periductal mastitis, it’s important to see a doctor right away.

It’s estimated that around 10 per cent of breastfeeding women will experience mastitis at some point during their breastfeeding journey. However, it’s important to note that not all of these women will have the same symptoms or severity of symptoms. For example, some women may only have mild pain and swelling, while others may have severe symptoms that require hospitalization. Additionally, the risk of developing mastitis increases if a woman has previously had the condition, is stressed, or is not getting enough rest.

My dear women, know that mastitis itself is not incurable and doesn’t cause a fatal threat for your lives but you should also know the value of keeping good health and being very hygienic towards yourselves, which includes what you wear, eat, your surroundings, etc. You should also remember to find a weekend for yourselves to take of your body and just have a “you” weekend, keeping it at the back of your mind that health is wealth.