What Is Mastitis? Symptoms Explained As 'The Bachelor' Star Lauren Burnham Hospitalized

The Bachelor's Lauren Burnham has been hospitalized with a postpartum-related condition known as mastitis, according to her husband.

Fellow The Bachelor alum Arie Luyendyk Jr. shared a video of his wife in a hospital bed in an Instagram story on Thursday. He wrote alongside a broken heart emoji: "Not good, mastitis is getting worse even on antibiotics. Hate this for her."

He wrote in a separate post: "She'll be here overnight. IV antibiotics and scans for any abscess. She's been through a lot this week."

Luyendyk Jr. also shared a photo of a chest scan and blood samples taken from Burnham.

Burnham developed the condition after recently giving birth to twins. On June 15, she shared a photo on Instagram of herself with her newborn babies, with the caption: "6.11.21" in an apparent nod to their birthday.

The couple met on The Bachelor in 2018. Along with twins Lux and Senna, they also have a 2-year-old daughter called Alessi.

In an Instagram post shared in mid-June showing Burnham with their twins, Luyendyk Jr. wrote: "Never been prouder of my wife than in this moment. She is the strongest woman I know and I'm lucky to be on this incredible journey with her. We are proud parents of a healthy boy and girl!"

What is mastitis and what are the symptoms?

Mastitis is when breast tissue becomes inflamed, sometimes due to an infection. This can make the breast tender or warm to the touch, swell up, and turn red in a wedge-shaped pattern. A person might also have thickened breast tissue or a lump, feel pain or burning when breastfeeding, feel unwell, and have a fever of 101 F or higher. These symptoms can come on suddenly.

The condition is usually triggered by breast milk becoming trapped, called lactation mastitis, while a blocked milk duct or bacteria entering the breast can also cause it. It is most common in breastfeeding women, but men and those who are not breastfeeding can also develop it.

Luyendyk Jr. did not detail the suspected cause of Burnham's mastitis.

Treatments include antibiotics, as Burnham has taken, and pain relief.

If left untreated, the condition can cause pus to form in the breast that may need to be surgically drained. To avoid this, the Mayo Clinic advises speaking to a doctor as soon as symptoms develop.

Mastitis can be prevented by visiting a lactation consultant to learn correct breastfeeding techniques, according to the Mayo Clinic. Other tips include fully draining the milk from breasts while breastfeeding, letting the baby empty one breast before switching to the other, changing positions between feeding sessions, and ensuring the baby latches properly. Those who smoke are advised to try to stop.

lauren burnham mastitis
Lauren Burnham pictured on March 11, 2020 in West Hollywood, California. Paul Archuleta/Getty Images