How can physiotherapy help if you have mastitis?

How can physiotherapy help if you have mastitis?

Up to 27% of Australian breastfeeding mothers experience mastitis.

And mastitis is the most common reason for women to wean in the first 12 weeks after giving birth (Wockel et al 2008).

Did you know that a physiotherapist can help you manage your engorged, blocked and tender breasts?

What is mastitis?

Mastitis is an inflammation of the lactating breast. It usually presents in breastfeeding women with some of the following symptoms:

  • Tender/painful area of the breast
  • Hot/swollen area of the breast
  • Temperature (fever) 38.5ºC and above
  • Chills or flu-like aching and systemic illness
  • Blocked duct
  • White spots on nipples

What are the risk factors?

  • Interrupted or erratic feeding patterns
  • Sudden change in number of feeds (e.g., baby sleeping longer overnight)
  • Skipped feeds or switching breasts before the first breast is empty
  • Tight bras or underwire bras
  • Sleeping on stomach
  • Lowered immune status in mothers as a result of stress, sleep deprivation, poor nutrition, maternal or child illness

Can physiotherapy help reduce mastitis?

 Yes, physiotherapy can help to manage mastitis. Physiotherapists who are trained in treating inflammatory breast conditions can help you manage your symptoms before they get worse.

During your visit, you will have therapeutic ultrasound to help treat your blocked/engorged/painful breast tissue, as well as a thorough assessment of your feeding posture.

We can also provide self-management strategies and techniques for you to use at home to reduce your symptoms and prevent reoccurrence, so you can continue to focus on your new family member.


** If symptoms persist, or worsen check in with your GP




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