Mastitis and blocked milk ducts: how physio can help

Mastitis and blocked milk ducts: how physio can help

Along with all the amazing benefits that breastfeeding provides, it can also come with some challenges. Nearly 1 in 5 breastfeeding women are affected by mastitis. Ducts carry the milk from deep in the breast to the nipple and in some cases, the ducts become blocked which is known as Mastitis. Mastitis is an inflammatory condition of the breast tissue and will cause symptoms such as redness, tenderness, fever & flu-like symptoms. Being aware of the causes and remedies is key for prevention.

Common causes of a blocked milk duct

These are the most common causes:

  • Nipple damage
  • Overabundant milk supply
  • Extended periods between breastfeeds
  • Poor latching to the breast
  • Inadequate diet
  • Overly tight bra
  • Smoking

How our physiotherapists can assist with mastitis: treatments

Our skilled physiotherapists will assess the affected breast to determine the most appropriate treatment for you but here are some treatments that might be effective and allow for improvement of symptoms.

  • Breastfeeding education
  • Massage
  • Exercises
  • Ultrasound Therapy

How can you avoid getting mastitis: prevention

It is important to treat blocked milk ducts so they do not progress to mastitis. Options include:

  • Breastfeed your baby often
  • Have a healthy diet
  • Do not skip feedings or wait too long between feedings
  • Reduce stress and fatigue. Remind yourself to slow down, perform breathing and meditation based exercise
  • Change breastfeeding positions
  • Avoid bras that are too tight or have an underwire
  • Breastfeed your baby gradually to relieve engorgement

These are just some ways to help you prevent mastitis. At UniquePhysio, we’ve been helping pregnant women and new mums in the Bankstown community for over 15 years, and we’d love to use our expertise to help you! Get in touch with us 😊

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