Mastitis and Blocked Milk Ducts

What is mastitis?

Mastitis is an inflammatory reaction within your breast tissue that may or may not be associated with infection. Often milk stasis (stagnant milk) is the primary culprit. Other factors may be ineffective milk removal, stress/fatigue, over supply, cracked/damaged nipples or compression of the breast such as underwire bras.

What you can do:

  • Keep feeding/draining the breast
  • Cold compress
  • REST
  • Exercises listed below
  • Probiotics (Qiara – the only probiotic that contains human breast milk strain Lactobacillus Fermentum CECT5716)

What to avoid:

  • Heat packs, hot baths & showers
  • Underwire bras
  • MASSAGE
  • Skip or delay feeding on the affected side

But everyone tells me to massage my breast, why shouldn’t I?

Recent research tells us that there are 8-12 ducts per breast, as you can see in the picture the ducts are an intricate system interweaving with each other.

Prior to this research the belief was that the ducts were uniform lines, as you see they become at the nipple. This is why you will hear time and time again to massage your breast to remove the blockage, the idea to push it along straight pathway to the nipple.

As you can see if you take this approach you are more likely to compress other ducts and make the situation worse, potentially causing an abscess.

Therefore we always encourage you to be extra gentle with your breast and NEVER MASSAGE THEM!

Instead we have some fantastic exercises that we know are safe and work! You can do these exercises as often as you like but we suggest once daily.

What does the ultrasound do, and how does it actually help?

The ultrasound uses sound waves to pass through the skin into the soft tissue of the breast. These sound waves cause vibration (think of it as micro massage), this helps to decrease the inflammation and therefore pain (and potentially has an effect on your sensory nerves in the breast, which can also explain the pain reduction). It will also aid circulation and removal of inflammation through your lymphatic system.

If you have any questions please feel free to call us on (02) 9387 1011.