A Message From SPHC
Here at Sandgate Physical Health Clinic, we pride ourselves on “working together for the common good” of keeping your babies well fed and happy!
We support our mums’ choices, whatever they may be. We know that breastfeeding can be very difficult for many women. Our purpose is not to judge or preach but to offer support, education and professional treatment to our clients that will provide them with the right tools they need to take the most appropriate action for their unique situation.
Also don’t forget we are a Breastfeeding positive clinic, so please let us know if we can help you feel more comfortable when feeding in the clinic.
World Breastfeeding Week
August is Breastfeeding Month, which is kicked off each year with World Breastfeeding Week (WBW). This is celebrated from 1st to 7th August to encourage breastfeeding and improve the health of babies around the world.
The World Breastfeeding Week (WBW) 2020 theme ‘Support breastfeeding for a healthier planet’ is about the impact of infant feeding on the environment and the imperative to protect, promote and support breastfeeding for the health of the planet and its people.
The key messages being highlighted through this theme are:
- Breastmilk is a natural, renewable food that is produced and delivered to the consumer without pollution, packaging or waste.
- When we protect and support mothers and breastfeeding, we are also reducing the impact on our air, water and land, protecting our young ones and future generations.
- Breastfeeding is a sustainable way to feed our infants and young children and provides food security for them in emergencies and climate-related disasters.
Every year World Breastfeeding Week celebrates the amazing benefits of breastfeeding while continuing the fight to ensure women around the world have the support they need to breastfeed. This includes:
- Information and support
- Encouraging a breastfeeding-friendly society
- Encouraging breastfeeding-friendly workplaces
Women’s Health and Breastfeeding
Problems with breastfeeding can range from difficulty or painful attachment to engorgement, blocked ducts, and mastitis. It can be painful, debilitating and stressful.
First-time mothers are often led to believe that it is a natural skill but breastfeeding is a learned skill that can take time, practice and guidance. Up to 49% of women have trouble breastfeeding on the day of delivery and up to 15% a week later. If you are having difficulties establishing a good latch, building milk supply or pain, you can get guidance from a professional lactation consultant.
Block Ducts and Mastitis
A women’s health physio can help you manage some of the common problems that arise during breastfeeding including mastitis and blocked ducts.
Mastitis is usually the result of a blocked milk duct that hasn’t cleared. Some of the milk banked up behind the blocked duct can be forced into the nearby breast tissue, causing the tissue to become inflamed. The inflammation is called mastitis. Infection may or may not be present.
Signs and Symptoms
Early symptoms of mastitis can make you feel as if you are getting the flu. You may begin to get shivers and aches.
Some mothers who do not have any early signs of a blocked duct get mastitis ‘out of the blue’.
Common signs and symptoms include:
- Sore breast
- Red and swollen breast
- Breast is hot and painful
- The skin may be shiny
- The skin may have red streaks
- Feel ill
- Ill-feeling can come on very quickly
Treatment For Blocked Ducts and Mastitis
- Drain the breast often, but gently. Your breast milk is safe for your baby even if you have mastitis
- Apply warmth and cold
- Drink plenty of water throughout the day
- Rest as much as possible
- Physiotherapy treatment consisting of ultrasound, and effleurage or draining massage can help clear the ducts
- Seek medical help
A blocked duct can become mastitis within hours. If you are having trouble with mastitis, call us at SPHC immediately on 3869 1099 if you notice any redness, heat or tenderness in the breast. Be sure to tell our reception staff that you require urgent treatment for mastitis and we will do our best to fit you in as soon as possible.
Breastfeeding and Exercise
Returning to exercise after having a baby has so many wonderful benefits including:
- Rehabilitating any abdominal separation
- General strength & fitness
- Weight management
- Reducing stress
Some mums are reluctant about returning to exercise because they are worried that it will affect their milk supply. The good news is that research shows that moderate-intensity exercise does not affect milk supply. However, it is essential that you drink enough water for both you & your baby when taking on any exercise postnatally.
If you are noticing a difference in milk production after exercise, try increasing your fluid intake, and if there is no change, seek help from a lactation consultant or physio with further training in postnatal care.
As with any ligaments around pregnancy, the breast ligaments are vulnerable to stretch and damage, so be sure to wear a well fitted & comfortable maternity sports bra that doesn’t leave any red marks on the skin and has appropriate support for the type of exercise you choose.
Check out our blog ‘Helping New Mums maintain Physical & Mental Health’ for some great postnatal exercise tips and videos from Jess our Women’s Health Consultant.
Breastfeeding Video – Tips for Posture
In this video, Jess provides some great tips to improve your posture while breastfeeding to help reduce strains to the neck and shoulder. Pain to the neck and shoulders is something our Physiotherapists see commonly in breastfeeding mums.
Resources and Support
Physiotherapists may be able to offer you support in the way of ultrasound and message to unblock milk ducts and offer you advice on positioning and posture during breastfeeding.
For further advice and support, you can contact a professional lactation consultant and the Australian Breastfeeding Association has a great range of resources and a breastfeeding support helpline.
At Sandgate Physical Health Clinic we offer Physiotherapy, Pilates and Massage services to help you through the before, during and after stages of having a baby. If you would like some additional advice and would like to speak with Jess, our resident Women’s Health practitioner please call the clinic on 3869 1099 for more information or book online!