How Physical Therapy Helps in Breastfeeding

How Physical Therapy Helps in Breastfeeding

October 1, 2020

One of the most challenging aspects of being a mom is breastfeeding. Others are lucky enough to latch on quickly and produce milk for their babies. But for some, and I mean, a lot, being a beginner in this field is really challenging. One of the most common problems would be positioning, which takes its toll on the mother’s proper body mechanics.

So, for this article, we will be tackling how Physical therapy helps new mothers in Breastfeeding and some of the challenges associated with it.

Can Physical Therapy Enhance and help mothers in their Breastfeeding?

YES! And here’s how:

1. Optimize the positioning of both mommy and baby

Every session, you’re to bring your little one in the therapy and you’ll also be using pillows or propping. Your therapist is always there to guide you along the way. Slouching down to your baby is a no-no. You’ll be maintaining a neutral back position while your shoulders and back are supported. Lastly, make sure those arms are supported by pillows as well.⁠ ⁠

They would usually give you some postural advice that can be done at the comfort of your home that would include:

  • Shoulder stretches – this would include pectoral stretching using your doorway. Spread your arm wide, with one arm grasping the doorway stretching is first at 60 degrees, then 90 degrees, and finally at 120 degrees. Gently rotate the chest away from the arm until a moderate stretch is felt. This will be done on both shoulders.
  • Neck stretches – some examples of neck stretches would be:
    Upper Trapezius Stretch- Gently tilt your head until the moderate stretch and hold for 20 seconds. This will be done three times. Use hand to gently increase the stretch.
  • Levator Scapula Stretch- Gently rotate your head down towards the armpit and hold for 20 seconds and done three times. Use had to gently increase the stretch
  • Upper back stretches – this is done by using a chair. Arch your back over a chair, supporting your head with your hands, and open your elbows out. Hold the position for 20 seconds and repeat as needed.

2. Pain and Discomfort Management

Looking down all the time to see proper latching with your baby can also cause neck and back strains. Your Physical Therapist will help you with managing that pain and teach you effective exercises that can really help decrease it.

3. Identifying Signs of Infection

Mastitis is one of the most common infections that a lactating mom might encounter, It usually happens when the mother’s milk ducts are blocked, this will cause pain, decreased milk production and breastfeeding cessation since stimuli coming from the baby’s sucking will make it all the more uncomfortable for the mother. With physical therapy, non-invasive methods will be done to help you with this problem.

4. Advice on Relaxation Technique

Your physical therapist will also be teaching you relaxation techniques. After all the sessions with infection control, pain management, and proper positioning, it’s also part of the treatment plan to guide you in relaxing especially when you’re at home. Doing deep breaths while simultaneously focusing on relaxing specific areas of your body. This time for you and your little one will be in true bliss.

These are just some of the ways that Physical Therapy can help you in managing your problems with breastfeeding. Your treatment will always be in collaboration with your physician, and that way your management will always be individualized.

If you are a new mother and want to know more about the benefits of physical therapy and how it helps in breastfeeding, then get in touch with us today.

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