Physiotherapy Management and Support
Mastitis, ‘blocked ducts’ and engorgement are common conditions reported with breastfeeding. Symptoms of breast pain, lumps, tenderness, hardness or redness in the breast, fever, flu-like symptoms and fatigue can also be reported.
Physiotherapists with specialised training in treating conditions of the lactating breast can assist with treatment and management of these symptoms.
An initial physio assessment and treatment may include:
- Full assessment to understanding any issues you are having, identify contributing causes and provide support and education to promote breast feeding.
- Therapeutic ultrasound: This is a helpful treatment for inflammation or pain in the breast tissue. It is gentle and pain free. Sound waves penetrate into the breast tissue and cause vibration at a cellular level. This can be felt as a comfortable warmth and can help alleviate pain and promote healing. It is safe to use if you have an active infection and if you are using antibiotics.
- Laser for nipple trauma: This is a pain free treatment to promote healing in sore, cracked nipples.
- Whole breast lymphatic movement: Many women are incorrectly taught firm massage towards the nipple to help with milk flow. However this can cause compression of the milk ducts, and may cause micro trauma or damage to the breast tissue which may worsen symptoms. All massage should feel good and should not cause pain. Whole breast lymphatic movement is gentle and pain free. This treatment includes breathing, gentle arm exercises and gentle massage to help with symptoms.
- Tubigrip to provide support for breast tissue.
- Taping to promote lymphatic movement.
If you experience any breast pain, tenderness, redness or lumps in the breast or cracked nipples during breast feeding, physiotherapy treatment can offer support and treatment to help.
Early treatment is important. It is usually recommended you come for 2-3 sessions (as close together as possible)