How Therapeutic Breast Ultrasound Helps Breastfeeding Parents
At Jewell Chiropractic, we’re thrilled to offer therapeutic breast ultrasound treatments for nursing parents. Being a new parent is a lot of work, and when you encounter feeding challenges, it can feel overwhelming. Therapeutic breast ultrasound can help with common difficulties such as blocked ducts and mastitis to keep you more comfortable as you feed your baby.
The Jewell team is here to support you through all stages of life. We offer prenatal and postpartum services in our welcoming office in Portland, OR. And we also provide chiropractic care for children! You can see our options and book an appointment here.
How Do Therapeutic Breast Ultrasound Treatments Work?
The CDC and other global medical groups recommend exclusive breastfeeding for babies up to six months old. But as “natural” as breastfeeding seems, the reality of making it work can be pretty challenging.
Many parents want to breastfeed their babies but face difficulties that derail their efforts. Blocked milk ducts frequently occur in the first 12 weeks postpartum. A clog of milk can develop within the breast, slowing milk flow and causing a painful lump in the breast. Typically, this condition only happens on one side, but it can occur in both breasts.
Mastitis is an infection that may develop if the blockage doesn’t resolve quickly. People often stop nursing their babies when this happens, but you don’t have to give up on breastfeeding. In fact, continuing to nurse when you have a blocked duct will help resolve the problem.
Many infants are fussy when breastfeeding on the affected side because the milk flows more slowly. But continuing to allow your baby to latch and nurse will help your body dislodge the clot.
Therapeutic breast ultrasound technology is a wonderful, newer option for alleviating these painful conditions. The ultrasound machine uses sound waves to create enough heat and friction in the affected breast tissue to help loosen and alleviate clots. It’s a non-invasive option to give lactating parents the relief they need by reducing pain and inflammation and restoring milk flow.
Important note: Although blocked ducts and mastitis are most likely to occur in breastfeeding women, men and non-lactating people can also develop these conditions.
Breast Ultrasound Treatments at Jewell
We’re so happy to offer therapeutic breast ultrasounds to parents suffering from blocked milk ducts or mastitis. A typical course of treatment includes three to five visits. Ideally, there will be two or three days between treatments.
We encourage you to bring your baby or breast pump to each session. Immediately after the treatment, you can pump or breastfeed to help clear the milk ducts for quicker relief.
How Can I Avoid Blocked Ducts in the First Place?
There isn’t a definitive reason why some people end up with clogged ducts and mastitis while others don’t. But these habits and situations can raise your risk:
- Going too long between feedings
- Not fully emptying the breast during feedings
- Baby isn’t latching properly
Avoiding these situations can help you avoid blocked milk ducts or help you resolve them quickly before mastitis develops. Additionally, applying heat and massaging the breast before nursing your baby can help prevent blockages. Manual milk expression after a feeding session also helps by ensuring the breasts are empty.
However, despite best efforts, clogged ducts remain a frequent challenge for many parents. Reach out to the Jewell Chiropractic team to learn more about breast ultrasound treatments or to make your appointment today.