our osteopaths at total balance can treat breast feeding conditions such as blocked ducts. read on to find out more about what blocked ducts are, and how we can help you!
Blocked ducts are very common in breast feeding women, with estimates of it affecting 2 out of 3 women . Blocked ducts occur when there is localised milk stasis to a certain region (such as a lobe) of the breast. This milk stasis leads to the milk being unable to flow through to the nipple, resulting in formation of a lump.
Blocked ducts usually occur due to insufficient drainage of milk from a duct in the breast, and as milk builds up behind the blockage, the small lump forms. Causes of insufficient drainage include:
- Tight or ill-fitting bras and clothing
- Poor latch of bub on the nipple (i.e. tongue or lip tie)
- Infrequent feeds, or not expressing as often as is required
- Damaged or cracked nipples
Signs that you may have a blocked duct
- Tender, small lump may be felt on the breast
- Sensitive or soreness through the breast
- May see some redness/pinkness to the overlying skin
- Your baby may be fussing, due to not receiving enough milk for their feed
- Milk may be stringy or look different to how it looks normally
WHAt CAN YOU DO IF YOU THINK YOU HAVE A BLOCKED DUCT
- Continue your normal feeding routine from this breast, do not stop! This is very important as we want to keep encouraging milk flow
- Warm compress on the area with a warm face towel to help encourage blood and lymph flow
- Try some GENTLE massage over the area where the lump is, you don’t want to put too much pressure on the area as it can irritate it further. Think about a 5-10% pressure, like the kind of pressure you would place on your baby’s skin for a gentle massage
If you have tried this for a day or so without any change or more importantly if you’re starting to feel worse, please give us a call at the clinic. We are always more than happy to chat to you about how you’re feeling and let you know if we think we can help you. If you start to feel feverish, nauseous, are getting any chills or night sweats then please go see your GP straight away. This is a sign of infection, and we want to get on top of this ASAP.
WHAT CAN OUR Osteopaths DO TO HELP?
Blocked ducts along with other breast conditions is something we can treat here at Total Balance. 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.
Who can I see at Total Balance to help me with my blocked ducts or other breast-feeding conditions?
Our Osteopaths Dr Simmone Ortland, Dr Megan Brooks and Dr Sarah Duggan have all participated in further training in the treatment of breast health conditions, such as mastitis, engorgement, blocked ducts and blebs.
DISCLAIMER: THIS BLOG POST IS AN EDUCATIONAL TOOL ONLY. IT IS NOT A REPLACEMENT FOR MEDICAL ADVICE FROM A REGISTERED AND QUALIFIED DOCTOR OR HEALTH PROFESSIONAL.
ANY OTHER QUESTIONS NOT ANSWERED HERE? GET IN TOUCH WITH US! PHONE (03) 97738085.
References: Lavigne V, Gleberzon BJ. Ultrasound as a treatment of mammary blocked duct among 25 postpartum lactating women: a retrospective case series. J Chiropr Med. 2012;11(3):170-178. doi:10.1016/j.jcm.2012.05.011