Breastfeeding Support


Breastfeeding Support

Breastfeeding may be natural, but it’s not always easy.

The truth is, there are several things that can crop up along your nursing journey that can make breastfeeding a much more painful and less fulfilling process. Many of these problems can resolve quickly though with some good advice and treatment.

Common Conditions that we can help with:

  • Engorgement: Breast engorgement occurs when the milk comes in between two to four days after the baby is born. The breast can be hard, painful and swollen which may restrict the flow of milk by compressing the ducts. This can make it difficult for the baby to attach and feed well.
  • Blocked ducts and mastitis: Blocked ducts are tender, localised lump/s in the breast often with redness in the overlying skin. This can indicate the milk duct is blocked by thickened milk. Typically, it will feel more painful before a feed than afterwards and the lumpy area may become smaller after feed but not disappear. The mother is generally well apart from the localised breast discomfort. When these blocked ducts are not cleared they can quite quickly develop into mastitis – an infection of the breast tissue. With mastitis women tend to feel unwell and have a temperature. They may also have body aches, nausea and chills – this should be treated with antibiotics from you GP.
  • Back/neck/shoulder-blade/wrist pain: The awkward positions women often end up in when breastfeeding coupled with the amount of time spent feeding on a daily basis can mean that very quickly many women develop painful necks, backs, shoulders and wrists. If left to build up this can not only affect your joy of feeding but also your ability to cope with the physical demands of looking after a new baby between feeds as well.

How Can Physio Help?

Physio aims to resolve your symptoms and prevent recurrence. We may use one or a combination of the following techniques to treat you:

  • Education on improving your positioning and posture when breastfeeding, to improve your latch and comfort during and after each feed.
  • Therapeutic Ultrasound is used to reduce inflammation in the breast and clear blocked ducts (usually up to three treatments are advised).
  • Massage and manual therapy to the breast to aid with lymph drainage and reduce engorgement, reducing tight musculature and improve circulation.
  • Exercises for your upper back/shoulders and neck to correct any poor postural habits that might have formed with the challenges of having a new-born.
  • Taping to support the breast or the tissue around the breast that is affected.
  • Teaching you self-management techniques to work on between physiotherapy sessions and following treatment to prevent recurrence.
  • If needed, we can also refer you on to our network of excellent lactation consultants for further breastfeeding support, or to your GP if antibiotics are required.

Breastfeeding support physiotherapy services are currently offered from our Kensington, Fitzrovia and Parsons Green clinics.

If you are looking for ultrasound treatment for blocked breast ducts, research has shown that you may need two to three treatments on consecutive days to clear the blockage and prevent it returning effectively. It is also best to try and book your appointments so that you are able to breastfeed your baby within 20minutes after your ultrasound treatment.

If you are experiencing fever or chills along with the breast tenderness, you may have developed mastitis – it is important to speak with your GP as this should be promptly treated with antibiotics.

Have any other questions or would like to book an appointment please email us

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This service is available at the following clinics:
Six Physio Finchley Rd Six Physio Fitzrovia Six Physio Lindfield
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