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?


• Breastfeeding is continued because frequent emptying will help prevent the 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.

• Discontinue breastfeeding if the breast infection is untreated and forms an abscess. However, the woman is encouraged to continue to pump breast milk until the abscess has resolved so she can continue breastfeeding again after treatment.

• 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, which provides the infant with additional immunity.

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