Treatment of Lactation Mastitis

treatment of mastitis

What is lactation mastitis and why does it occur?

Mastitis usually occurs in breastfeeding (lactating) women, it is the inflammation of the breast tissue. Mastitis occurs in 1 in 10 breastfeeding women.  There are two types of mastitis:

  • Non-infectious – this is usually caused by blocked milk ducts causing milk to remain within the breast.
  • Infectious – this is where a bacterial infection of the milk occurs.

If left untreated non-infectious mastitis can develop into infectious mastitis, where bacteria infects the milk which remains in the breast tissue. Treatment of mastitis is detailed below.

Symptoms of mastitis:

Most often mastitis affects one breast and symptoms can appear suddenly, symptoms include:

  • Breast tenderness
  • General malaise or feeling unwell
  • Swelling of the breast
  • Pain or a burning sensation continuously or while breast-feeding
  • Skin redness
  • Fever (temperature of 38.3 degrees C or more)
  • The affected breast can then start to appear lumpy and red
  • Some women also experience flu-like symptoms such as aches, chills, fatigue and breast engorgement

Treatment of mastitis

What should you do if you suspect you have mastitis?

  • Continue breast feeding – even though the symptoms of mastitis, mean that breast feeding may be unpleasant, it is important to continue as this will help to empty the remaining breast milk and reduce blockages.
  • Hand express or use a pump – If your baby is not completing their feed it is important to ensure the remaining milk is expressed.
  • See your doctor – In the case of infectious mastitis antibiotics are often required, it is important to see your doctor if you suspect you have mastitis, especially if you have a fever.
  • Consult your physiotherapist – ultrasound therapy can be very successful at ‘unclogging’ blocked milk ducts. Your physiotherapist can also suggest self-massage techniques and breast-feeding positions that will most effectively clear the blocked ducts.

What can you do to prevent symptoms re-occurring?

  • Ensure your baby completes their feed, if they are not feeding well hand or pump express any remaining breast milk.
  • Check your breasts regularly, if you feel any lumps starting to occur gently massage the breast towards the nipple to encourage milk along the ducts

Gold Coast Physiotherapy – Burleigh Heads and Broadbeach Physiotherapy Centres 07 5535 5218


Our Response to Covid-19

This page is up to date to our best knowledge, however, this is a rapidly evolving situation so we apologise for any potential delay in updating this information.

We want to reassure all our patients that we are following stringent infection control procedures in our clinic, and screen all people coming into the clinic, to exclude any patients that have any signs or symptoms consistent with Covid-19, as well as screening any patients that should be in isolation ie recently returned from overseas, or have been advised to isolate due to recent exposure with a known Covid-19 patient.

All our staff have now completed the Department of Health Covid-19 Infection Control Training.

What are we doing to minimise risk?

  • Screening patients for risk factors over the phone or through text messages before they attend appointments. Those with risk factors or symptoms are advised not to attend & to seek medical advice.
  • Hand sanitiser station at the front of the building must be used before you enter.
  • Following stringent infection control measures within the clinic. This includes
    • Disinfecting all beds, door handles, EFTPOS machine before and after each patient use.
    • Linen changed between each patient and commonly touched surfaces through the practice are cleaned regularly throughout the day.
    • Minimising the distances between clients in the waiting room- some chairs are outside undercover.
  • We have advised our team members not to come to work if they have cold or flu-like symptoms.
  • We are following all Department of Health recommendations for our type of business.

On the 30th March 2020 – the Australian government issued a statement that “People aged over 70, aged over 60 with pre-existing conditions, or Indigenous people aged over 50 should stay home wherever possible for their own protection.”

The decision to come in for physiotherapy treatment really is an individual one – if you feel that your treatment is medically necessary, and are comfortable with the risks of leaving your home and coming to physiotherapy, then rest assured that when you attend our physiotherapy clinic, we are following our strict infection control processes and doing everything we can to minimise your risk whilst in our care. However, we completely understand if you are not comfortable with coming in for treatment.

TELEHealth Consultations

We are offering telehealth consults and home visits (where suitable) for patients who cannot attend our clinic.

Read more about TELEhealth Consultations here.

Staying Healthy

  • Wash your hands often (and for 20 seconds) with soap and water
  • Cough into your elbow or use a tissue to cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze
  • Social distancing practices – Avoiding close contact with others, such as touching, including shaking hands
  • Limit contact with people who are sick, and stay home if you are sick and encourage employees to stay home when sick
  • Get 7-8 hours’ sleep a night to help your immune system stay strong
Please stay safe and take care of each other!

We are monitoring the situation very closely and will make adjustments to our business as we are further informed. Our priority is the health & well being of our patients and our staff. Thanks for your understanding.

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