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Mastitis and Blocked Ducts

Mastitis is an inflammatory reaction within your breast tissue that may or may not be associated with infection. Primarily this is caused by milk that is not drained from the breast and remains stagnant in the milk ducts. This may be a result of be ineffective milk removal through positioning or issues with the baby’s latch, over supply, missed feeds, cracked/damaged nipples or compression of the breast such as from underwire bras.

We find that in many cases antibiotics can be avoided if treated using anti-inflammatory measures.


  • Red

  • Hot

  • Swollen

  • Lump

  • Fever or flu-like symptoms

What you can do

  • Keep feeding/draining the breast

  • Cold compress

  • Rest

  • Probiotics (we recommend Qiara – the only probiotic that contains human breast milk strain Lactobacillus Fermentum CECT5716)

What to avoid

  • Heat packs, hot baths & showers

  • Underwire bras

  • Hard massage

  • Skip or delay feeding on the affected side

Massaging your breast too hard can compress adjacent unaffected milk ducts increasing the inflammatory response and potentially worsening your symptoms. Handle your breast tissue gently. We will show you some effective lymphatic drainage techniques and exercises to aid in clearance of the blockage which should not cause you any pain.

What to expect from physiotherapy

  • Therapeutic Ultrasound provides an energy that creates heat and vibration to help decrease inflammation, decrease pain, improve circulation and aid the lymphatic system in clearing a blockage. The ultrasound is applied onto the skin over where the blockage has occurred. We recommend daily treatments of Ultrasound until symptoms have resolved.

  • Lymphatic drainage techniques and advice on how to do this yourself at home

  • Other massage techniques and exercises if appropriate

  • Referral to lactation consultants to address any issues with latching, damaged nipples, tongue ties and other feeding issues that may be contributing to your symptoms

  • Referral for Diagnostic Ultrasound if an abscess or infection is suspected

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