What is mastitis?
Mastitis is an inflammatory condition of the breast, which may or may not be associated with an infection. Commonly mastitis occurs when the supply of milk exceeds the demand and becomes backed up in the breast. This increases pressure in the breast and some milk can be pushed outside of the breast ducts into the surrounding tissue. Your body then starts an inflammatory response to remove the milk from the area. This type of inflammation is due to a reaction from your own body tissue and can result in pain, redness, swelling and difficulty feeding. Flu-like symptoms such as fever, body aches and fatigue may be also present and are part of the healing process. In some cases treatment with antibiotics may be required. Our physiotherapists can assist you in deciding on the most appropriate treatment for your concerns.

What are the symptoms?
You may experience all or some of these symptoms:
muscle and joint aches and pains
difficulty feeding

What can you do?
We advice that you see either a women’s health physiotherapist or your doctor as soon as possible. Learning to manage your symptoms is important in helping you recover and continue the breastfeeding journey. There’s no evidence of risk to the health of your baby when continuing breastfeeding with mastitis.
Some strategies that can be implemented as soon as you notice any symptoms include:
hot and/or cold compress
rest whenever possible
continue feeding from affected side
GENTLE massage only – your physiotherapist can advice you on the best
massage technique

Physiotherapy Management:
Your physiotherapist can provide you with treatment even if you don’t have flu-like symptoms at the time. As soon as there are noticable changes in the breast tissues or normal feeding pattern we can use various strtergies to help you manage current issue as well as prevent reoccurences. Other treatment modalities that can be used include:
therapeutic ultrasound treatment
positioning advice

If you are experiencing blocked ducts or mastitis, or are unsure if
physiotherapy can assist you with your feeding issues, contact us to make an
appointment with one of our Physios on 52297963.