Breastfeeding issues

  • Laser for cracked nipples
  • Ultrasound for blocked milk ducts and mastitis

Cracked Nipples:

Breastfeeding can be extremely painful and uncomfortable for new mothers if the nipples become cracked and damaged while feeding is being established. Women with blonde or red hair are more likely to suffer with cracked nipples and many women struggle to continue to breastfeed as a result of this.

LED phototherapy (laser therapy) has been proven to be an effective tool in accelerating the healing of nipple trauma and is routinely offered by many Physiotherapists in Australia and South Africa.

I offer laser therapy to women with cracked nipples from breastfeeding and I also have a limited number of home use laser units that can be loaned from my clinic for “top up” treatments at home.  I begin with manual lymphatic drainage massage to the neck and chest to stimulate the lymphatic system to promote healing and then apply laser to the affected area.  The light therapy promotes the production of ATP  within the cells which stimulates and promotes the bodies own natural healing response.  LED laser is “cold” low level laser therapy and has no known adverse side effects making it an excellent treatment option for new Mothers.

Blocked Milk Ducts and Mastitis:

Blocked milk ducts and mastitis can also develop while breastfeeding. As well as being lumpy, painful or red in colour, the blocked ducts can also make you feel very unwell.

I use therapeutic ultrasound therapy to treat mastitis and blocked milk ducts.  The high frequency sound waves generated by the head of the ultrasound help to clear the milk ducts and to restore the natural flow of the breast milk. I begin the session with manual lymphatic drainage massage to the neck and chest to promote lymphatic drainage before applying the ultrasound.  I may also apply kinesio tape on the breast over the blocked duct to help with the lymphatic drainage of the area.

Please note that ultrasound to blocked milk ducts can not be done if you have any breast implants, a recent history of breast cancer or if you have a pacemaker.

To optimise the efficacy of the treatment, your baby needs to feed from the affected breast to help to clear the blockage within 10 minutes of the treatment being done, so please try and take this into account when attending the appointment!

If you have an active fever or flu like symptoms, it is best that you visit your GP and commence antibiotics ASAP. Once you have been on the antibiotics for 12 -24 hours we can start the ultrasound treatment.

 

Best results are usually achieved with the laser or ultrasound treatments being done 2 days in a row.

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