WHAT TO EXPECT
What it is:
Breastfeeding Physiotherapy is a unique approach to supporting
breastfeeding, infant bottle feeding, pumping, and breast health.
It considers infant reflexes, joint and muscle function through the
jaw and neck, and positioning factors to help with infant feeding.
It can also assist lactating mothers with pain and other complications that can arise while nursing. By working in cooperation with lactation consultants and lactation doctors, a Physiotherapist trained to assess and treat breastfeeding related conditions can help support healthy infant feeding.
What it treats:
infant latch issues
torticolis (head turning restriction or preference)
nipple pain and/or damage
infant bottle feeding/latch issues
How it's done:
All Breastfeeding Physiotherapy appointments are done one on one in a private room. The initial assessment will include mother and infant or only one depending on what the current concern is. It will begin with discussion around current and previous breastfeeding experiences, birth process, medical conditions, and other factors of both mother and/or infant that can affect breastfeeding.
A physical exam is done that may include the breast and nipple to assess for inflammation, skin damage, and shape. Infant examinations include assessing the baby's ability to suck, joints and muscles in the neck and jaw, head shape, tongue movement, and reflexes.
Once the cause of the issues are identified, an individualized plan is made collaboratively that typically includes education about the stages of breastfeeding and their importance, positioning for infant and mother, in clinic treatments and home self-treatments. For supporting other breastfeeding or feeding related goals, education on pumping technique and bottle suggestions can also be given.