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Breastfeeding & Physical Therapy

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August is National Breastfeeding Month!

Asian Mama Breastfeedingbreastfeeding mombreastfeeding mom

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


What if I am having issues with breastfeeding?

Since this month is all about breastfeeding, it’s time to dive into the sometimes uncomfortable topic. There are several signs that hint that it is time to see a physical therapist. Some of the issues the mom may be experiencing include:

  • Low milk supply
  • Engorgement
  • Mastitis
  • Postural pain

These issues that you are experiencing as a mother may be fixed by physical therapy.

Wait, what?

Yes!

Many do not know that sometimes physical therapy can help your breastfeeding issues. Keep in mind though, that this is a unique practice that requires additional training beyond the normal physical therapy education.

So, how exactly can a physical therapist help with breastfeeding?

1. Look at the body as a whole.

The issue at hand (i.e. low milk supply, engorgement, postural pain, etc.) will be addressed, but physical therapy allows for a larger scope at what is going on with your body. Any pre-existing issues, the body before pregnancy, and what could be contributing to tissue restrictions will all be looked at and considered when addressing any breastfeeding concerns.

2. Look at the fascia.

Fascia is the soft connective tissue in the body. Imbalances of the fascia of other parts of the body could result in pulling and restrictions in the breast tissue. Myofascial release is a gentle approach to address these restrictions within the body. If you are not in the Colorado Springs or Woodland Park area, find a myofascial therapist here.

chest check

3. Look at the breast tissue itself.

Breasts consist of fatty tissues, lymph vessels, nerves, blood vessels, and more. Through additional training, physical therapists are able to feel through and around the breast

4. Look at posture and mobility.

Posture should be assessed in different positions. By looking at how you stand, sit, and most importantly, how you breastfeed, a physical therapist can provide suggestions and adjustments to ease your pain and symptoms.

PT Looking At Patient's Hips Posture

5. Look at, address, and release any birth trauma.

Birth trauma is when there were any “blips” in the pregnancy and/or delivery. Something could have been switched up that you weren’t expecting to happen during the delivery process. If thinking back to this birth gives you any emotional flare-up, this could be birth trauma and could greatly affect your ability to feed your child. Don’t worry! This is treatable.

6. Give education, accurate information, tools, and hope to all of their patients!

The biggest thing that I want women to know is that there is hope! No matter what you are going through, I am here to provide you with information specific to you and what you are going through. If I do not know the answer, I will walk alongside you and connect you with somebody who does.

PT providing womens health education

 

Watch the video below to learn more about how physical therapy at The Healing Spot can help you with your breastfeeding.

 

 

AUTHOR
Justine Calderwood

The Healing Spot Physical Therapy

"We help women overcome pelvic floor issues, heal from chronic pain, and have healthy pregnancies with a complete Postpartum recovery so they can get back to the active lifestyle they enjoy."
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