Low Level Laser Therapy for Breastfeeding and Lactating Mothers

Low level Laser Therapy (LLLT) has been applied to breastfeeding and lactating mothers with great success at the Laser Pain Clinic Australia. Laser treatment has been shown to assist in the resolution of nipple damage, Mastitis and blocked milk ducts relating to incorrect attachment during feeding, abnormalities of the baby’s palate or tongue and milk production which is too low or too high.

Laser is safe and effective and has no known side-effects in lactating mothers. Treatment for these conditions is fast and pain free.

There are numerous research papers on this topic including research currently being undertaken in Western Australia by a Physiotherapist conducting their Doctoral (Ph.D.) research study treating damaged nipples using laser.

Treatment to this condition group is performed by 3 of our practitioners. They are interested in offering laser treatment to this patient category as they are passionate advocators of breastfeeding and enjoy assisting women to stay on their path to pain-free breastfeeding.

Our practitioners do not provide any breastfeeding advice relating to attachment, expressing, the use of creams, shields, or other aids. We ensure the understands that LLLT will only heal the damaged tissue in the short term and if the contributory breastfeeding issues are not being concurrently addressed, then LLLT will not assist in the long term. We strongly encourage every patient to consult a professional Lactation Consultant while undertaking laser treatment.

All our clinicians follow a stringent protocol when using LLLT to treat breastfeeding issues. They assess the local tissue for colour change, heat, feel and appearance of the wound. They use a specific Thor Laser probe to deliver Laser to the local site. We expect to see a reduction in inflammation within 1 hour and the tissue to begin healing within 24 hours. If the patient has any specific breastfeeding questions, we refer them to the Australian Breastfeeding Association (ABA), local maternal and child health nurse or a private Lactation Consultant.

Case Study- Laser for Nipple Damage

A 34-year-old first-time mother consulted with significant nipple damage after breastfeeding her 3-week-old daughter. The baby had a tongue-tie and the mother had a large volume of milk making it hard for the baby to attach fully to the breast. The skin on both nipples became damaged and sore.

The mother consulted a lactation consultant who recommended the baby undergo a tongue tie release. The mother was to express and bottle feed to allow the nipples to heal. Positioning of the baby and attachment was addressed. Although pain had reduced, the healing process was slow, so the mother sought Thor Laser treatment to speed up this process.

Thor cluster Laser was applied to the skin over the nipples and areola to repair the damaged tissue cells. The LED Laser was applied over lymphatic ducts to stimulate drainage of fluid and thereby speed the healing process. The mother received 3 Laser treatments over an 8-day period which reduced her pain levels by 90%. Following the recommendations of the lactation consultant also benefited the patient. The patient was reviewed 2 weeks following treatment and reported that she was breastfeeding without pain.