Assessment

Ask the family if schedule changes have occurred that may cause the woman to nurse her infant less frequently. In addition, ask if family members have cold or flu symptoms.

PHYSICAL EXAMINATION. The breast may have a pink or red area that is swollen and often wedge-shaped, resulting from the septal distribution of the connective breast tissue. Most often, the upper outer quadrant is involved, but any area of the breast may be infected. You may also note cracked or sore nipples. Palpation of the area reveals a firm, tender area that is often warm to the touch. During palpation you may also feel enlarged axillary lymph nodes. Fever and tachycardia are also present.

PSYCHOSOCIAL. The transition to motherhood is a time of many changes in the woman's relationships: with the infant, the father, other children, and grandparents. It is important that the mother realize that mastitis is not a reason to discontinue breastfeeding and that her mothering skills are not inadequate because of it.

New Mothers Guide to Breast Feeding

New Mothers Guide to Breast Feeding

For many years, scientists have been playing out the ingredients that make breast milk the perfect food for babies. They've discovered to day over 200 close compounds to fight infection, help the immune system mature, aid in digestion, and support brain growth - nature made properties that science simply cannot copy. The important long term benefits of breast feeding include reduced risk of asthma, allergies, obesity, and some forms of childhood cancer. The more that scientists continue to learn, the better breast milk looks.

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