Cairns Physiotherapy Clinic


What is Mastitis?

Mastitis is inflammation of the breast tissue in women during their breastfeeding cycle. It is most common within the first 2-6 weeks postpartum. Some women may have an infection present along with inflammation of the breast tissue.

How Can Our Mastitis Trained Physiotherapists Help?

Physiotherapists assess and treat tissue inflammation every day and Mastitis is a form of tissue inflammation. Our Physiotherapists have completed additional training to become Mastitis Trained Physiotherapists. We can provide:

• Assessments of the Mastitic Breast.
• Treat breast tissue inflammation.
• Provide advice on breastfeeding positioning considering any other areas of pain ie, back, neck, pelvic and coccyx pain.
• Provide education on self-management techniques for at home.
• Provide advice for prevention of further episodes.

Strategies to Help Prevent Mastitis:

• Avoid wearing tight bras.
• Feed completely from one breast before moving to the other side.
• Alternate which breast you start feeding from with each feed.
• Try not to miss feeds in first 2-6 weeks when at highest risk for developing Mastitis.
• Learn manual expression to use if you have increased milk supply to your baby demands.

Symptoms of Mastitis:

• General or localized pain in breast tissue.
• Hard tender area.
• Hot skin to touch.
• Redness.
• Swelling.
• Tight skin.
• General feeling of being unwell.
• Trouble draining breast.

Women can experience some or all the above symptoms.

If You Start to Get Signs of Mastitis:

• Consult with your GP/Midwife/Obstetrician and Mastitis Trained Physiotherapist as soon as possible.
• Feed more frequently to keep breast empty.
• Feed from affected side first.
• Warm shower and/or cold compress (what works for you).
• Avoid firm massaging as it may irritate further.

Remember: You and your baby are leaning the best feeding routine for both of you. If you need support or advice with feeding consult your GP/Midwife/Obstetrician/Lactating Specialist for help.