In The News

Breastfeeding Awareness Month

Antares Institute of Integrative Health is proud to support Breastfeeding Awareness Month. We offer a variety of services including a weekly breastfeeding support group for new moms hosted by our lactation consultant, Patty Janicek, RN, CCE, IBCIL

With over 37 years of experience, Patty has a wealth of knowledge to share with new moms. In her role, she is responsible for:

  • Supporting mothers and their breastfeeding goals
  • Providing breastfeeding assessments
  • Troubleshooting tips when breastfeeding issues arise

The breastfeeding support group offers a time for new moms to come together and support each other, follow up on their individual breast feeding goals, and ask any questions that they may have. In addition to the breastfeeding support group, Patty also offers private appointments to new parents.

Patty believes that breastfeeding exclusively is best for new babies but understands that for some moms this is impossible. Patty’s primary priority is to aid new mothers in any way she can. Patty is available to give tips and techniques for latching issues, milk production issues, support to dads and their new roles, learning how to use breast pumps, and how to deal with sore nipples.

Patty and Antares Institute have come together to support mothers when breastfeeding challenges arise. Clogged ducts are a common issue for nursing moms. It can be difficult for moms to clear the clogged ducts themselves. In some cases, this can turn into a bacterial infection called mastitis. Patty recommends seeking assistance from one of our physical therapists, within the first 24 hours, if the mother is unable to unclog the duct herself. From here, one of our licensed physical therapist can assist in the treatment of the breast.

For more information on Patty’s private or group sessions, physical therapy management of clogged milk ducts; please call Antares Institute at 630.321.2296.


Physical Therapy Management of Clogged Milk Ducts

Fullness of the breasts is a normal part of the nursing experience. This can cause some discomfort but it serves as a sign that the breasts need to be emptied either through nursing or pumping. If you are not fully emptying the breast of milk, engorgement can set in leading to tenderness and pain in the breast, and even a fever. These symptoms can be a sign of clogged milk ducts. Clogged milk ducts can be relieved through nursing or pumping. However, if the milk supply continues to build up and the engorgement of the breasts is not relieved, the breast can become even more swollen and painful. If the milk ducts remained clogged, it can form a hard lump in the breast, and in severe cases, can lead to a bacterial infection called mastitis.

What can you do if you have a blocked milk duct?

First, do not stop breast feeding. If you avoid nursing when the breasts are sore or uncomfortable, the risk of clogged milk ducts increases. When you nurse or pump, try to completely empty the breasts. Prior to each nursing session, apply mist heat to the breast in the shower or using a moist heating pad for 10-15 minutes. Attempt to nurse or pump the side with blocked duct first. If you are unable to fully empty the breast of milk with nursing, attempt to empty the breast with pumping. If you are unable to clear the clogged duct on your own, you may benefit from physical therapy to assist you.

What type of treatment does physical therapy have to offer?

It is recommended that a mother seek out treatment from a qualified physical therapist within 24 hours if she is unable to clear the blocked duct herself. Treatment will include moist heat and ultrasound to soften the tissue around the clogged duct. Hands on manual therapy with appropriate essential oils is initiated to unclog the milk duct. The session finishes with manual lymphatic drainage to reduce any localized inflammation in the breast. Patient are recommended to come daily until the blocked ducts are unblocked. Mothers are also educated on self care techniques to avoid future issues with clogged ducts.


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