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A patient with mastitis asks the nurse if her infant will be infected if she continues to breastfeed. Which of the following is the appropriate response by the nurse?

Explanation

•Breastfeeding is continued because frequent emptying will help prevent growth of bacteria. Complete emptying of breasts prevents stasis of milk and engorgement. This aids in reducing the risk of further infection and pain.

•The organism causing the infection usually enters through cracked or fissured nipples. The bacteria remain localized in the breast tissue and will not enter the breast milk.

•Do not discontinue breastfeeding unless breast infection is untreated and forms an abscess. If an abscess forms, breastfeeding is discontinued. However, the woman is encouraged to continue to pump breast milk until the abscess has resolved.

•The woman, not the infant, will be placed on a broad spectrum antibiotic.

•Breastfeeding has major physiologic advantages for the infant. Breast milk contains secretory immunoglobulin A, providing the infant with additional immunity.

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