Physical Therapy Techniques in Lactation
Breast and nipple pain, engorgement, and recurrent plugs leading to mastitis are common reasons why mothers stop breastfeeding earlier than recommended. Despite the prevalence, these remain challenging conditions to treat. In the past, patients with deep, chronic breast pain in breastfeeding were often treated for yeast infections, though no scientific evidence exists to support this diagnosis. More current literature has established subacute mastitis, persistent hyperlactation (“oversupply”), and dermatitis as causes of breast pain. Once these conditions have been treated or ruled out, patients nevertheless may experience persistent pain, plugging, and/or engorgement.
Recent reports describe the efficacy of pharmacologic interventions, such as antihistamines and beta blockers, in functional breast pain. Before starting medication, breast physical therapy interventions can be utilized. In addition to treatment of pain, these techniques can employed for relief of engorgement, plugging, and inflammation.
Credit: 1 L CERP and 1 Contact Hour
Source: ILCA Webinar 12 June 2020
Presented by: Katrina B. Mitchell, MD, IBCLC
Upon completion, the learner will be able to:
1. Describe the lack of evidence to support candida as an agent of nipple and breast pain
2. Demonstrate technique of lymphatic massage and dangers of deep tissue massage in the lactating breast
3. Distinguish benefits of therapeutic ultrasound in plugging and mastitis
Learning Level: Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced
Disclosures: ILCA accepts no commercial support for continuing education activities. The activity planners have no conflicts of interest to declare. The presenter has no significant financial interest or other relationship with the manufacturer(s) of any product(s) or provider(s) of any services relating to the subject matter of this presentation unless otherwise stated below.
CERPs: ILCA is an approved provider of Continuing Education Recognition Points (CERPs) with the International Board of Lactation Consultant Examiners (IBLCE). (CLT-108-7).
ANCC: ILCA is accredited as a provider of continuing nursing education by the American Nurses Credentialing Center’s Commission on Accreditation. (ILCA-P0286). Accepted for BRN credit by the Board of Registered Nursing.
CDR: The CDR accepts hours without prior CDR approval and recognizes approval by the ANCC. When recording hours on the CDR Activity Log, indicate the provider as "ILCA (ANCC)."
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Katrina Mitchell, MD, IBCLC
Katrina B. Mitchell, MD is a board-certified general surgeon, fellowship-trained breast surgical oncologist, and international board certified lactation consultant (IBCLC) whose practice includes the care and surgery of women with breast cancer and benign breast disease. She also treats maternal complications of lactation, and has a special interest in pregnancy and postpartum breast cancer. She resides in Santa Barbara, California and practices at the Ridley Tree Cancer Center at Sansum Clinic. She enjoys reading, traveling, and spending time with her son at the beach. More information about her clinical and educational interests is available at katrinamitchell.org.