Breastfeeding problems are frequently experienced by new mums, and can be a big challenge. In fact breast and nipple pain, nipple damage and mastitis are some of the main reasons mothers give up breastfeeding prematurely (Buck et.al. 2016).While there are a limited number of effective treatments for these conditions, low level laser therapy can be particularly effective in accelerating healing of damaged nipples and easing pain. Perfect Balance Clinic is now offering this highly effective treatment to mothers with breast feeding problems.
While there are a limited number of effective treatments for these conditions, low level laser therapy can be particularly effective in accelerating healing of damaged nipples and easing pain. Perfect Balance Clinic is now offering this highly effective treatment to mothers with breast feeding problems.Breastfeeding to six months postpartum is strongly recommended by leading health authorities, as there are proven significant benefits for both the baby and the mother. Breastfeeding isn’t always easy; Breastfeeding to six months postpartum is strongly recommended by leading health authorities, as there are proven significant benefits for both the baby and the mother. Breastfeeding isn’t always easy; while most women start doing so, many of them discontinue prematurely due to problems they encounter, the most common of which is painful nipples.
Nipple pain and trauma is common, and can affect between over half of breastfeeding women (Tait. 2000), with typically associated characteristics including sore, cracked, bleeding and blistered nipples, often with fissures and abrasions.
Healing such damaged nipples can be difficult because of the continually repeated trauma from the infant sucking; furthermore the damaged nipple is prone to bacterial and fungal infection resulting in problems such as blocked ducts and mastitis. While some mums soldier on regardless, it is hardly surprising that many mums give up breastfeeding early, even though they would prefer to continue with it if it wasn’t for the discomfort.
The conventional treatment for such conditions includes painkillers such as paracetamol or ibuprofen to help with the discomfort, antibiotic and antifungal creams, nipple protection devices, and topical dressings such as warm compresses. Often the problems are caused by incorrect latching and positioning, and better education in these techniques, such as we provide at our Perfect Balance Breastfeeding Clinic, certainly helps.
One treatment that is proving to be of great benefit for treatment of painful nipples in breastfeeding mums is low level laser therapy. The therapy speeds up wound healing, and most mums with nipple pain report pain relief and accelerated healing after just one treatment. The treatment is also beneficial in clearing blocked ducts and helping the healing process in mums with mastitis. Furthermore, the treatment means that antibiotics can be avoided.
At Perfect Balance we are seeing tremendous benefits almost immediately following treatment, and various research groups are reporting similar results. For instance, in a recent triple blind randomised controlled trial (Coca et.al., 2016) women treated with low level laser therapy showed a significant decrease in pain intensity 24 hours after treatment and the therapy was proven to be “effective for treating nipple lesions in breastfeeding women with pain, providing relief and prolonging exclusive breastfeeding”.
What is low level laser therapy?
Low level laser therapy is a gentle painless treatment that uses low power lasers on the damaged areas. The laser light improves tissue repair, reduces inflammation, and reduces pain. Treatments last just a few minutes and are entirely painless with no known side effects. While the biological mechanisms are complex, the main effect is thought to be on a specific protein in the mitochondria (cytochrome c oxidase) which improves ATP levels and reduces oxidative damage; this results in improved tissue repair and reduced inflammation.Your next step
Your next step…
Are you a breastfeeding mum who is experiencing nipple pain and discomfort? Are you experiencing any problems with latching and positioning? At Perfect Balance, our low level laser therapy specialists are achieving excellent results at relieving pain, reducing inflammation, and accelerating the healing of painful nipples, blocked ducts and mastitis. Our breastfeeding clinic can also advise on reducing such problems in the future by helping you achieve optimal latching and positioning.
Prior to providing low level laser therapy we will fully assess your individual situation by carrying out a full assessment of both you and your baby including observing a breastfeed. This way we can build a complete picture of the underlying cause of your breastfeeding difficulties. Don’t endure the pain or give up breastfeeding too soon; just call us to make an appointment.
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Buck M.L., Eckereder G., Amir L.H., (2016),
Buck M.L., Eckereder G., Amir L.H., (2016), Low level laser therapy for breastfeeding problems, Breastfeeding Review, Vol. 24, No. 2; 27-31
Tait P., (2000), Nipple pain in breastfeeding women: causes, treatment, and prevention strategies. Journal of Midwifery and Women’s Health 2000;45:197–201.
Coca K.P., et al., (2016), Efficacy of Low-Level Laser Therapy in Relieving Nipple Pain in Breastfeeding Women: A Triple-Blind, Randomized, Controlled Trial, Pain Management Nursing , Volume 17 , Issue 4 ; 281 – 289.