Do I need antibiotics for mastitis?

mastitis is a condition which involves inflammation of the breast. It is good to know that it can occur with or without the presence of an infection.


One of our biggest patient demographics we see at Total Balance Healthcare are women who are either pregnant or postpartum and on a feeding journey. Our osteopaths Ella, Loz, Megan, Simmone, and Sarah love treating these amazing women and helping with all things breast health.

One of the common conditions we see is mastitis. For those who are not familiar with this condition, mastitis is a condition which involves inflammation of the breast. It is good to know that it can occur with or without the presence of an infection. Unfortunately mastitis can make you feel pretty rotten with some of the major signs and symptoms including fevers, feeling unwell, redness of the breast, tenderness and pain with feeding. Click below for some at-home tips for managing mastitis!


Some of the main causes for mastitis include breast attachment issues, nipple damage, long breaks between feeds, engorgement, weaning off breast feeding too quickly, and wearing bras/tops that are too tight. In 2022 the Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine released their new mastitis spectrum protocols and it went in to thorough detail all the different reasons for mastitis.

It was previously believed, and in some practices unfortunately still is, that ALL mastitis must be treated with antibiotics. Don’t get us wrong, there are definitely some cases where antibiotics are an essential thing that can help immensely. Particularly, when we have bacterial mastitis antibiotics and/or probiotics are required to treat these conditions. In some cases antibiotics prescribed from your GP are enough and in some more severe cases antibiotics through a drip in the hospital may be required. It is also very important to know that mastitis is not contagious and you can continue feeding baby throughout.

Click on the video for more information about antibiotic treatment vs. non-antibiotic treatment for mastitis.


In a lot of mastitis cases however, conservative treatment can allow for antibiotics to be avoided. Here at TBHC we have had great success with treating women by using our manual therapy skills, therapeutic ultrasound and by giving lots of advice that can be used at home. We are going to explore all the things that can be done at home to help with breast health conditions in one of our future blogs this month.

Mastitis is definitely not a condition you want to leave alone, because it can progress quite rapidly and leave you feeling very unwell. So please, do not hesitate to give the clinic a call on 97738085 to chat to one of our osteopaths or book an appointment online.



This blog post is an educational tool only.  It is not a replacement for medical advice from a registered and qualified doctor or health professional.

Phone: (03) 9773 8085

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