Being a new mother is both an exciting and challenging experience. One common health issue that affects many new mothers is mastitis. Mastitis is a breast infection that can occur during breastfeeding. It causes inflammation and pain in the breast tissue and can make it difficult to breastfeed. In this post, we will discuss what mastitis is, and the role of women’s health physiotherapy and therapeutic ultrasound in treating mastitis and promoting postpartum breast care. At Penrith Pelvic Floor Physiotherapy we are pleased to offer all the treatments mentioned below.
What is Mastitis?
Mastitis is a breast infection that occurs when bacteria enter the milk ducts. It can happen when bacteria from your baby’s mouth or skin enter the breast through a cracked or sore nipple. Mastitis can also occur when the milk is not drained properly, leading to engorgement and inflammation. The symptoms of mastitis include:
- Redness, swelling, and warmth in the affected breast
- Pain or tenderness in the breast
- A lump or hard spot in the breast
- Fever and chills
If you experience any of these symptoms, it is important to seek medical attention quickly. If left untreated, mastitis can lead to a breast abscess, which requires surgery to drain. Women’s health physiotherapy can help in early-stage mastitis to clear the blocked milk duct but sometimes antibiotics are required. It is important to continue breastfeeding to prevent engorgement.
The Role of Women’s Health Physiotherapy in Managing Mastitis
Women’s health physiotherapy can play an important role in the management of mastitis. We can use manual therapy to help drain the milk ducts and reduce inflammation and provide education on proper breastfeeding techniques, such as ensuring the baby is latched on correctly and positioning the baby at the breast in a way that maximizes milk flow. We can also teach self-management techniques to help empty the breast fully, such as using breast massage and warm compresses.
At Penrith Pelvic Floor Physiotherapy, we are pleased to offer therapeutic ultrasound can be used to reduce inflammation and pain in the affected breast. Therapeutic ultrasound is a non-invasive treatment that uses high-frequency sound waves to stimulate the tissue and promote healing. Please note that therapeutic ultrasound is usually precautioned in the case of breast implants.
Additional Postpartum Breast Care Tips
Aside from women’s health physiotherapy, there are several steps that mothers can take to care for their breasts after giving birth. Here are some postpartum breast care tips:
- Wear a supportive bra that fits well and avoid underwire bras.
- Avoid tight clothing that can put pressure on the breasts.
- Apply warm compresses to the breasts before breastfeeding to help stimulate milk flow.
- Use breast massage and hand expression to fully empty the breasts.
- Get plenty of rest and stay hydrated.
- If you suspect mastitis, seek help promptly to prevent the infection from worsening.
Mastitis can be a painful and uncomfortable condition for breastfeeding mothers, but with the right care and management, it can be effectively treated. Women’s health physiotherapy can be an essential component of mastitis management, providing education, manual therapy, and exercises to help mothers recover and prevent the condition from recurring. By following proper postpartum breast care tips, mothers can help maintain their breast health and ensure the best possible outcome for themselves and their babies. Contact us today and one of our Women’s Health Physiotherapists can help you through this challenging time.