Interventions for preventing mastitis after childbirth

Crepinsek, Maree A., Crowe, Linda, Michener, Keryl and Smart, Neil A. (2010) Interventions for preventing mastitis after childbirth. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, 2010 8: CD007239 - 1-CD007239 - 41. doi:10.1002/14651858.CD007239.pub2

Author Crepinsek, Maree A.
Crowe, Linda
Michener, Keryl
Smart, Neil A.
Title Interventions for preventing mastitis after childbirth
Journal name Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1469-493X
Publication date 2010
Sub-type Critical review of research, literature review, critical commentary
DOI 10.1002/14651858.CD007239.pub2
Volume 2010
Issue 8
Start page CD007239 - 1
End page CD007239 - 41
Total pages 41
Place of publication Oxford, United Kingdom
Publisher John Wiley & Sons
Collection year 2011
Language eng
Formatted abstract

Despite the health benefits of breastfeeding, initiation and duration rates continue to fall short of international guidelines. Many factors influence a woman's decision to wean; the main reason cited for weaning is associated with lactation complications, such as mastitis.


To assess the effects of preventive strategies for mastitis and the subsequent effect on breastfeeding duration.

Search strategy

We searched the Cochrane Pregnancy and Childbirth Group’s Trials Register (November 2009), CENTRAL (The Cochrane Library 2009, Issue 4), MEDLINE (1950 to November 2009), EMBASE (1974 to November 2009), CINAHL (1981 to November 2009), MIDIRS (1971 to November 2009), IPA (1970 to November 2009), AMED (1985 to November 2009) and LILACS (1982 to November 2009).

Selection criteria

We included randomised controlled trials of interventions for preventing mastitis in postpartum breastfeeding women.

Data collection and analysis

We independently identified relevant studies and assessed the trial quality. We contacted trial authors for missing data and information as appropriate.

Main results

We included five trials (involving 960 women). In three trials of 471 women, we found no significant differences in the incidence of mastitis between use of antibiotics and no antibiotics (risk ratio (RR) 0.43; 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.11 to 1.61; or in one trial of 99 women comparing two doses (RR 0.38; 95% CI 0.02 to 9.18). We found no significant differences for mastitis in three trials of specialist breastfeeding education with usual care (one trial); anti-secretory factor cereal (one trial); and mupirocin, fusidic acid ointment or breastfeeding advice (one trial).

Generally we found no differences in any of the trials for breastfeeding initiation or duration; or symptoms of mastitis.

Authors' conclusions

There was insufficient evidence to show effectiveness of any of the interventions, including breastfeeding education, pharmacological treatments and alternative therapies, regarding the occurrence of mastitis or breastfeeding exclusivity and duration. While studies reported the incidence of mastitis, they all used different interventions. Caution needs to be applied when considering the findings of this review as the conclusion is based on studies, often with small sample sizes. An urgent need for further adequately powered research is needed into this area to conclusively determine the effectiveness of these interventions. Copyright © 2010 The Cochrane Collaboration.
Keyword Randomized-controlled trial
Breast feeding women
Subclinical Mastitis
Reproductive Factors
Lactation Mastitis
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ
Additional Notes Article Number CD007239, pp. 1-41 Publication status and date: New, published in Issue 8, 2010. Review content assessed as up-to-date: 1 May 2010. Citation: Crepinsek MA, Crowe L, Michener K, Smart NA. Interventions for preventing mastitis after childbirth. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2010, Issue 8. Art. No.: CD007239. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD007239.pub2.

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Critical review of research, literature review, critical commentary
Collections: Official 2011 Collection
University of Queensland Library Staff Publications and Presentations
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Created: Sun, 22 Aug 2010, 00:10:28 EST