Lactation Osteopathy in Chelsea Heights

Are you suffering from mastitis, blocked ducts or engorgement? Osteopathy is a form of manual medicine that may help to alleviate these conditions to help you to continue feeding your bubba in harmony.

What is Mastitis?

Mastitis is an inflammatory condition of the breast. It may or may not be accompanied with infection. It most commonly occurs with lactation (producing milk).

Mastitis can be caused by milk stasis (this is where the milk isn’t moving along how we would like) or from infection. Milk stasis is the primary cause of mastitis which may or may not then progress to infection. Infectious mastitis is most commonly caused by nipple damage.

Did you know we can help with mastitis?

Mastitis along with other breast conditions is something we can treat in the clinic. We use specific hands-on treatment along with therapeutic ultrasound. We will also educate you on some things you can do at home to manage the current issue and also prevent it from recurring.

Lactation Osteopathy | Total Balance Healthcare


Engorgement is when the breast becomes enlarged, swollen and painful. Engorgement can be physiological or pathological. Physiological engorgement occurs when your milk production increases rapidly during the first few days post-partum.

Pathological engorgement can occur at any time during your breastfeeding journey. It can be caused by wearing a bra too tight, missing feeds/expressing the milk etc.

Some of the signs of engorgement include;

  • Breast being enlarged, swollen and painful
  • The skin of the breast looking taut and firm
  • Nipple may be stretched flat
  • It may be hard for bubs to latch on the breast

Engorgement that is untreated can lead to mastitis, due to milk stasis.

Three common mastitis misconceptions?

  1. Antibiotics are always needed to treat mastitis. This is simply not true. Antibiotics are only needed in infectious mastitis.
  2. You need to stop breast-feeding your child if you have mastitis. This is not true, in most cases it is actually beneficial to continue breast feeding your child.
  3. I must massage my breast very firmly to help mastitis. This is not the case, you want a gentle touch as we don’t want to cause any trauma to the delicate breast tissues.

What do we use in Osteopathy to help you with your breastfeeding health?

Ultrasound and Mastitis

Ultrasound is just one tool in our tool box of ways we can help treat mastitis. It is a handy tool, but when it is used in conjunction with hands on therapy the results achieved are superior.

Ultrasound uses mechanical energy which is causing vibrations. There can also be heat generated by the ultrasound machine to give some thermal therapy.

In regards to mastitis the ultrasound is acting to improve the flow of milk and as a result reduce the milk stasis. The thermal aspect can influence fluid flow, blood flow and lymph flow.

Manual Techniques

In osteopathy we aim to look at the body as a whole. This includes your lactation and breast health. We will use light techniques to help the lymphatic and milk flow around the breast. We will also work through your shoulders, your back and even your neck to help ease tensions in these areas and allow for better breastfeeding posture and lymphatic flow in general. All of these combined allow for movement of the milk and the lymphatic fluid to help reduce any blockages, engorgement and mastitis of your breast.

Self Massage and Mastitis

Self massage is a really important tool when treating the mastitis but also when managing breast health as a whole. It is important to be gentle with your breasts as we don’t want to cause any tissue damage.

With mastitis we want to encourage fluid flow to the lymphatic system, the main lymph nodes that drain the breast are in the axilla region (underarm region).

Osteopathy is a form of manual medicine that may help to alleviate the conditions of mastitis, blocked ducts and engorgement to help you feed your bubba in harmony.


Your first consultation will take approximately 45 minutes. We extensively investigate your health, discuss your breastfeeding journey and move forward with helping you with your lactation issue. Our approach allows us to thoroughly gain a clinical picture of you and your history and gain insight into your condition.

We talk to you and devise the most appropriate treatment plan. We regularly communicate with your other healthcare providers allowing a multi-dimensional approach to your care optimising your health and wellbeing. We do ask a lot of questions and will examine your movement and breastfeeding postures. This allows us to gain further clues into your clinical picture…. ensuring we have all the information and can formulate the best breastfeeding journey for you.

Which conditions does lactation osteopathy best help?
  • Mastitis
  • Blocked ducts
  • Engorgement
  • Vasospasm
We may be able to provide resources and advice for:
  • Breastfeeding postures and positions
  • Infant tongue ties and lip ties
  • Infant latch and attachment issues
  • Self massage and management
  • Stretches for tightness you may have

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