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Mastitis, Blocked Ducts and how our specialist post-natal Physiotherapists can help
Mastitis and Blocked Ducts
The Healthy flow of breast milk through the ducts is essential to provide sufficient production and provide nutrients to your baby. This is to support their growth and development whilst also allowing your feeding regime to be feel more comfortable. This has shown to influence the length of time women choose to continue to feed and promotes bonding between you and your baby.
The small tubes called ducts allow the milk to flow to your nipple. If one of the ducts is not draining properly it can lead to a blocked duct which can cause a small tender lump or swelling in your breast. If this is not relieved, mastitis can occur. This is when the breast becomes further painful and inflamed and a general feeling of being unwell or a fever is present.
Anything that interferes with the flow of milk can lead to blocked ducts
Difficulty latching, can result in engorgement which can cause the milk to thicken within the duct wall Once a duct is blocked it can swell causing compression to the nearby ducts Compression to the breast area such as tight bras or tops and seat belts.
How can physiotherapy help?
The good news is that through support through your midwife and specialist post-natal physiotherapist, the comfortable feeling and effective duct flow can be resumed within the first 48 hours by doing self-directed therapies, such as, positioning advice, latching advice, self-massage, and a warm compress.
Therapeutic Ultrasound Therapy
If this does not resolve our Specialist post-natal physiotherapists Miriam, Alina and Emma can help with therapeutic ultrasound. Ultrasound therapy to the breast areas has been shown to reduce swelling and pain. If a blocked duct is treated early enough, specialist post-natal physiotherapy can help relieve the duct and prevent further pain and swelling which can lead to an infection. Your specialist post-natal physio may also offer lactation advice, posture tips, exercises for the duct flow, massage, and taping.
What is important is that mothers can receive further support and alternative management approaches so they can continue their breast-feeding journey. Our specialists can help to improve feeding effectively and comfortably for both the physical and emotional wellbeing of mum and baby.
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