Help for sufferers of mastitis

Clifton Hill Physiotherapy offers help for mastitis sufferers

Earlier in the year Cathy Derham and Alison Harding attended professional development on “The lactating breast for physiotherapists” run by The Continence and Women’s Health Physiotherapy Australia Group.

Cathy and Ali reviewed the most recent research and current best practice in the management of conditions of the lactating breast. The most common of these is mastitis. Mastitis is defined as “inflammation of the breast” resulting in a blockage of the ducts that transport milk to the nipple for the baby to feed.

Mastitis occurs in as many as 1 in 3 women during the post partum period, with the highest incidence occurring 2-3 weeks post partum. Mastitis is the most common reason to wean in the first 12 weeks post partum.

Some common risk factors for mastitis include: previous episode; a sudden change in number of feeds; incomplete breast emptying; suckling replaced by pacifiers or bottles; finger/ pump/tight bra compression; positioning and attachment problems or direct blow to the breast.

Breastfeeding is considered the biological norm, and the World Health Organisation (WHO) recommends breastfeeding for the first two years of a baby’s life due to the enormous health benefits for both baby and mother. Therefore, best practice in the management of mastitis is directed towards resolution of the inflammation and unblocking any blocked ducts while supporting continuance of breastfeeding.

Cathy and Ali have recently conducted Mastitis update inservice to staff at Clifton Hill Physiotherapy, ensuring that your Physiotherapist at Clifton Hill Physiotherapy is delivering best practice for management of these conditions.


Cathy Derham

B Physio (Hons) M Physio (Sports Physio)