Physiotherapy to assist women with lactation and breastfeeding

Aug 18, 2018 | Physiotherapy

LACTATION – what a miracle!

Indi jet-setted off to Melbourne during world breastfeeding week to complete a training program for physiotherapists to assist women with lactation and breastfeeding.

Indianna is equipped to give appropriate advice, treatment and referral for inflammatory conditions of the lactating breast.

In humans, the breasts function as a post-natal placenta, through the specialised system of lactation. Women’s health physiotherapy is concerned with improving the health outcomes of women throughout their life stages.

Establishing breastfeeding is the number one goal for the early post-partum stage and physios can help.

Women’s health physiotherapists have a responsibility to the mothers in their care to be well educated on this subject. In addition to informed support, physiotherapists have a responsibility in providing practical treatment to assist in maintaining breastfeeding.

One of the key areas of management is inflammatory breast conditions such as mastitis, a key contributor to women prematurely weaning. Mastitis has a rate of 33% in the new mum with most cases happening in the first 2-3 weeks. Women normally feel symptoms of inflammation, redness, breast tenderness, fever, and malaise. Because this condition is not fully understood careful assessment is required to ensure the best management and then prevention of following episodes (which are not unusual).

This early detection and management by a suitably trained physio can assist in resolving lactation problems as soon as possible allowing breastfeeding to continue successfully.

Physiotherapy management includes education to minimise contributing factors, application of techniques to reduce inflammation, application of therapeutic ultrasound, improving positioning for breastfeeding, education on breast pumps and techniques to improve lymphatic drainage.

Indianna Franke
Pelvic floor and Lactation Physiotherapist