Lymphascial Kinesiology Taping for Breastfeeding Mums in Azerbaijan
Through the wonder of modern technology, connections were made and knowledge was shared to improve outcomes of ladies experiencing the painful symptoms of breast engorgement while breastfeeding.
Last week, I received a lovely email from Səltənət Zülfüqarova:
“I’m writing to you from Azerbaijan… I’m a breastfeeding counsellor and working with moms with breast engorgement. I would kindly ask you, if you can teach me k-taping for breast engorgement reduction?...”
Less than a week later, we Skyped and with my beautiful daughter as my model (as usual), we spent 45 minutes talking about the principles of taping breasts and the extraordinary service that Səltənət provides in Azerbaijan.
Method for Taping for Engorgement
Lymphascial Kinesiology Taping has so many applications for all areas of the body. The principles of applying tape are different for different outcomes. Usually, to drain breasts of fluid, following surgery or because of cancer-related swelling, the tape is applied to drain the breasts via the lymphatic system to the nearest sets of lymph nodes. With engorgement, even though the main exit route is via the nipple, if you drain too much through the nipple, the natural ‘supply and demand’ mechanism will refill the breast to its former capacity. Because of this, taping is still applied to enhance lymphatic drainage systemically. This reduces pressure and the risk of infections such as mastitis.
Whilst tape must NOT be applied with any infection present (fever, pus, swelling, heat, tracking veins towards lymph nodes), symptoms of engorgement are inflammation; still warm, red and swollen but CAN be treated.
- Tape the breast when it is as empty as possible (following a feed, massage etc.).
- Tape is cut into 4 or 5 fingers with the anchor tape starting from sets of lymph nodes.
- Taping from lymph nodes to the nipple, WITHOUT ANY STRETCH and with the arm raised, will address internal lymphatic drainage and reduce the likelihood of infection. This also reduces pressure build up within the breast, as the tape gently lifts the skin away from the underlying structures when the lady moves her arm during normal daily activity.
- Tape can be worn for 3-7 days. Ladies can shower and feed as normal.
- Tape must be carefully removed using olive oil or baby oil to wet the tape before a shower, then gently roll and remove without harming the delicate breast skin.
Səltənət’s website, www.anasudu.az , which translates to English, provides such a lot of really useful information for pregnant ladies and new mums. I highly recommend having a read. She already uses many techniques to ease breast engorgement, including LaVie warming lactation massage pads https://laviemom.com , gentle, vacuum suction ‘dry cupping’ therapy and Maya Bolman’s Breast Gymnastics Maya Bolman, IBCLC - Breast Gymnastics for Engorgement | Facebook. Lymphascial kinesiology taping will be a useful addition to her toolbox.
I believe that if the UK could deliver such informed, local services, many more new mums would be encouraged to persevere with breastfeeding. 33 years ago, when I became a first-time mum, I stayed in hospital for a week with three other ladies in the same room. We were taught to feed and bathe our babies and left feeling confident and healed. I was also lucky enough to have sisters-in-law very close by to show me and help.
However, that seems like a distant memory. Giving birth in the UK seems so medicalised now. I have been present at births and regularly hear stories of how mums are so traumatised by the birthing experience that they are in shock for weeks. To then be sent home the day after giving birth, before the milk has ‘come in’ or the emotional ‘baby blues’ has passed, seems inhumane. I believe it makes bonding with the baby more difficult because mum is exhausted, often in pain and totally inexperienced. I also think it leads to post-natal depression and helplessness. Perhaps it is time to better prepare and support new mums for the most important role they will ever have?