Ducts carry the milk from deep in the breast to the nipple and in some cases the ducts become blocked. The milk will build up behind the blockage resulting in a lump which can become tender and red.
Mastitis is an inflammatory condition of the breast usually associated with redness, pain, fever and a feeling of being unwell. Nearly 1 in 5 breastfeeding women are affected by mastitis, usually occurring in the first three months post birth. Mastitis should be treated promptly to prevent more serious complications developing such as a breast abscess in conjunction with a GP and advice from a lactation consultant.
Cold / heat and self-massage
At Women in Focus our physiotherapists will take a detailed history and assess the affected breast to determine the appropriate treatment. Therapeutic ultrasound (micro-massage and heat) can be used for both blocked ducts and mastitis. It may help to open the ducts and increase circulation to improve the flow of milk, reduce pain and reduce swelling. In most cases the ultrasound is effective and an improvement in pain and lump size in 1-3 sessions.
We will ensure that women affected by Mastitis or recurrent blocked ducts have been in consultation with a Lactation consultant and a GP, especially in the instance of fevers or infection.
Poor attachment to the breasts
Long periods between breastfeeds
Blocked milk ducts
Breasts that are too full
Overly tight bra
Stopping breast feeding too quickly
A baby with tongue tie or torticollis that is having problems attaching to the breast