Your physiotherapist, osteopath, and nurse at Cigonia can help you find solutions to various breastfeeding-related issues so that it can be painless for the mother and to ensure better positioning of the baby, which will thereby improve the latch.

Breastfeeding problems and their solutions

In November 2022, the clinic launched classes on breastfeeding introduction, as well as a new consultation sequence for breastfeeding problems. First, scheduling a 90-minute breastfeeding evaluation in physiotherapy allows for a comprehensive assessment of your breastfeeding pattern and the development of a treatment plan. The latter can provide solutions to issues such as mastitis, engorgement, blocked milk ducts, milk bleb / blisters, cervical problems, carpal tunnel problems, musculoskeletal pain (e.g., pain between the shoulder blades), and abdominal and pelvic issues related to your delivery that may affect your breastfeeding (e.g., perineal scar pain in a seated position), etc.

Bad posture and tensions can cause an inadequate suction resulting in injuries to the mother. Your physiotherapist can also evaluate your baby and help you treat their problems that can affect breastfeeding, such as plagiocephaly and congenital torticollis, oro-facial tensions, tongue ties (note that the physiotherapist cannot cut a tongue tie, but can evaluate it to objectify its impact on the breastfeeding function), hypotonia in babies, etc. Depending on the findings, follow-up in pediatric physiotherapy or pediatric osteopathy may be recommended. Speaking of osteopathy, what is the osteopathic approach to breastfeeding?

Breastfeeding service - Cigonia clinic

An appointment in pediatric osteopathy to promote an adequate and effective breastfeeding pattern, in baby’s comfort.

Pediatric osteopathic follow-up is frequently offered following a physiotherapy evaluation. Osteopaths have the ability to validate if there are any tensions present in the baby and can evaluate their overall posture in addition to addressing the issues listed above. Please note that it is also possible to make an appointment directly with an osteopath to evaluate the baby if the mother does not require professional care.

*In osteopathy, breastfeeding issues are only addressed from the baby’s point of view and no examination is performed on the mother.

Introduction to Breastfeeding : A monthly group class

Since questions are often numerous when it comes to starting breastfeeding with a baby, we have set up group classes, specially offered to couples who wish to prepare well for the breastfeeding of a newborn, but also who wish to find answers to their questions. Once a month, the “Introduction to Breastfeeding” classes will take place, led by our physiotherapy professionals. Parents and babies are welcome!

Duration: 60 minutes (in addition to a 15-minute question period)

Price: $60, a physiotherapy receipt will be issued for insurance purposes.

Registration: registration is mandatory and can only be done by phone: 819-821-3434

Upcoming classes on the calendar:

  • September 21, 2023 – FULL
  • October 19, 2023: 7:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
  • November 23, 2023: 7:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
  •  December 7: 7:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

Inflammatory mastitis

Inflammatory mastitis is characterized by a sudden onset of symptoms such as :

  • a fever of 39-40°C

  • flu-like syndrome: chills, intense fatigue, diffuse aches and pains

  • breast pain, most often unilateral

  • Localized redness in one quadrant of the breast (a lobe)

To ensure that physiotherapy treatment is the preferred option, it is preferable that symptoms have appeared less than 48 hours ago or have improved in the last 24 hours. However, if you have consulted your doctor and the symptoms persist, we will be able to meet with you for a consultation. If medication seems necessary, we will be able to direct you to our clinical nurse specialist.

Nipple pain during breastfeeding

Nipple pain during breastfeeding is a common problem. 50% of women who breastfeed complain of nipple damage. A break in the skin of the nipple increases the risk of infection and mastitis.

The most common cause of nipple damage is ineffective and suboptimal breastfeeding. All signs of nipple damage, whether it be redness, blisters, cracks, or deeper lesions, require a comprehensive evaluation of the mother and the baby during breastfeeding. The evaluation will be done separately by physiotherapy and nursing care to screen for individual issues, as well as together to screen for underlying issues.

Here are some elements that can cause nipple pain:

Issues concerning the mother that can cause ineffective breastfeeding by the child

  • Presence of scar tissue and adhesions on the breast (surgeries in the past)

  • Breast and nipple shapes that require specific techniques for breastfeeding

  • Inadequate latching techniques

  • Postural disorders in the mother

  • Milk production-related disorders

  • Presence of recurrent mastitis

Issues concerning the baby

Early detection and prevention of breastfeeding-related complications

Some babies have difficulty assuming certain positions which can be a sign of musculoskeletal problems in infants. Although breastfeeding is not always compromised with this type of problem, it often hides a lack of neck rotation in the baby (congenital torticollis), which can cause other positioning-related problems in the long run, including plagiocephaly.

Physiotherapists and nurses at Cigonia will be able to evaluate the mother and child and screen for these problems in the infant.

Prevention is crucial for babies because if they are screened and treated before 1 month of age, 98% will have regained normal mobility within 1.5 months. In screened babies between 2 months and 6 months of age, mobility will take approximately 6 months of treatment to be restored. In babies screened and treated after 6 months of age, mobility will require 9-10 months of treatment to be restored, and the risks of not fully recovering the range of motion increase (Petronic et all., 2010).

Pain in the pelvis, back, shoulders, arms, and wrists during breastfeeding

Breastfeeding can cause a lot of discomfort for the mother. A woman spends an average of 45 to 90 minutes per feeding and does this 8 to 10 times a day with her newborn during the installation of breastfeeding. In addition to recovering from sometimes difficult childbirth for some, the establishment of breastfeeding can bring out old injuries known to some and new pain to others.

Our physiotherapists will be able to evaluate and treat both your breastfeeding-related issues and your pain to help you regain comfort during breastfeeding. Your physiotherapist can guide you towards the best therapeutic approach.

What to know about your physiotherapy appointement?

Make sure you have followed up on your baby’s weight gain with a health professional trained in breastfeeding support (IBCLC lactation consultant, postnatal support nurse, physician, breastfeeding specialist physician). Take your temperature

Your physiotherapist may refer you to another professional based on the evaluation that will be done. Make sure to visit us with your baby and be favorably at a time when the baby will be hungry.

Make sure you receive appropriate care from your treating physician or breastfeeding specialist physician.

For example: if you have an open wound or specific skin issues on the nipple, or if you suffer from a known condition that is already being treated, make sure to continue the prescribed treatments and bring your medication list with you to your first appointment.

What is physiotherapy for breastfeeding-related disorders:

  • Working in collaboration with breastfeeding professionals will allow us to complement ongoing treatments and refer as needed.

  • The use and teaching of manual techniques aimed at optimizing blood and lymphatic circulation in the chest region.

  • The use of electrotherapy, such as ultrasound, for the treatment of inflammation of breast tissue.

  • The use of techniques for muscle relaxation, mobility, and stretching for the mother or infant.

  • A review of advices and exercises specific to you and your baby’s condition.

  • A review of preventive teaching on mastitis, the technical gestures to be do and the positioning of the baby at the breast.

  • The implementation of a multidisciplinary care by our team to address all issues related to both the mother and the child (osteopathy, massage therapy, pediatrics, physiotherapy, acupuncture).

What is the role of the nurse in breastfeeding problems:

Evaluate, advise, refer, and prescribe specific medications and interventions related to breastfeeding:

  • Breastfeeding positioning and latching

  • Dermatological conditions (cracks, thrush, nipple lesions)

  • Milk production (overproduction or underproduction)

  • Child-related disorders (plagiocephaly, torticollis, tongue ties)


“I was very happy to be seen quickly with my baby. The service was very comprehensive, with applicable advice that I had not received elsewhere! In a few hours everything was back to normal and I also understood what was causing the mastitis. I am delighted with this meeting and I found the place and the physiotherapist to be very competent and welcoming!”

33-year-old mother, Sherbrooke, Physiotherapy and breastfeeding

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