## Basic introduction
- Mastitis is an inflammatory condition of the breast that may sometimes be associated with infection and sometimes not
- When mastitis is associated with lactation it is known as lactational mastitis or puerperal mastitis
- Breast abscess is a localized collection of pus within the breast that arises as a complication of mastitis.
## Causes of mastitis/abscess
- Milk stasis (primary cause)
- Bacterial infections, mainly by Staphylococcus aureus, Staphylococcus albus, Escherichia coli, and Streptococcus in that order.
## Predisposing factors to mastitis
- Breastfeeding per se.
- Poor breastfeeding technique
- Age (common in women aged 21-35yrs)
- The first attack of mastitis predisposes to recurrence
- Complications of delivery (may increase the risk of mastitis)
- Maternal stress and fatigue
- Lack of time to breastfeed
- Blocked milk ducts
- Pressure on the breast e.g. from clothing
- Nipple fissures, cracks and sores
- Recent weaning
- Between 10-33% of breast-feeding women develop lactation mastitis
- Abscess are formed in 3-7% cases of mastitis
- Mastitis mainly occurs 2-3 weeks after birth