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Breastfeeding Conditions – Maternal and Infant Factors: Live-Online – September 2021

September 17, 2021 - September 19, 2021
Registration Information
  • Register before
    August 6th, 2021
    for early bird pricing

  • Regular Course Price:
    after August 6th, 2021

Instructor: Mercedes Eustergerling

Mercedes is a women’s health physiotherapist and the founder of Vida Health & Wellness in Calgary, Alberta. She received a Bachelor of Kinesiology from the University of Calgary in 2008, a Master of Physical Therapy from the University of Western Ontario in 2010, a post-graduate certificate in pain management from the University of Alberta in 2014, and a Master of Health Management from McMaster University in 2018.

Mercedes has unique experience in physiotherapy for breastfeeding support and is an international board certified lactation consultant (IBCLC). She is passionate about bringing a physiotherapy approach to the lactation world and bringing lactation into the physiotherapy practice.

Please note:

To register for this course, please download the following registration forms in pdf format and email it to info@pelvichealthsolutions.ca or fax it to 888-653-4533

download the PDF
Breastfeeding Conditions September 2021


This three-day live-online continuing education course is designed for physiotherapists and other health professionals in peripartum or pediatric health. It provides a thorough introduction to the physiology of the lactating breast, infant orofacial anatomy, feeding mechanics, dysfunction and treatment interventions, and the physical therapist’s role in breastfeeding and pumping support.

Participants will learn to assess and treat breast inflammation and pain such as mastitis, blocked ducts, milk blebs, and cracked nipples. Through interactive labs and discussions, participants will learn to assess the impacts of factors such as torticollis, tongue tie, and cardiorespiratory or neurological conditions on infant feeding. Participants will develop skills to evaluate and adapt the latch, positioning, and infant feeding mechanics in an individualized approach. This course will also cover when to refer to other health professionals so that the participant will be able to clearly communicate the role of physical therapy during lactation.

Evidence-based assessment and treatment techniques will be emphasized. During labs, participants will have the opportunity to systematically assess the breast and practice therapeutic breast massage and manual milk expression, and to perform a complete evaluation and treatment with a maternal/infant dyad in a virtual (telehealth-style) format.

Special Considerations:

This course includes non-internal lab work on breast tissue. Participants will be asked to evaluate images of breasts and to palpate their own chests. Pregnant and lactating individuals are welcome to register, as are those without breasts.

PLEASE NOTE: This course includes breast assessment and exam techniques, which will be practiced in lab time. We strive to foster an environment that is safe and supportive. Survivors of past trauma should be aware that performing or experiencing a breast exam may be triggering, and that many, regardless of their histories, feel strong emotions when practicing these techniques. In order to foster an environment that is non-triggering and safe for all participants, we recommend all participants consider the emotional impact they may experience during the course and consider consulting a trauma counsellor or therapist prior to attending.


Upon completion of this course, participants will be able to:

Maternal Factors:

  • Understand the importance of breastfeeding for women, children, and society
  • Outline the physiotherapist’s role in breastfeeding support
  • Learn the physiology and anatomy of the lactating breast
  • Develop clinical reasoning skills for the assessment of breastfeeding issues
  • Practice a physiotherapy evaluation of the lactating breast
  • Review clinical guidelines for mastitis and breast pain
  • Establish an evidence-based, individualized treatment plan for breast conditions
  • Practice physiotherapy techniques for treating the lactating breast
  • Learn to measure outcomes and when to refer to other healthcare providers
  • Review hygiene, protection, and safety for handling bodily fluids

Infant Factors:

  • Learn the mechanics of infant latch and suck
  • Develop clinical reasoning skills for the assessment of infant breastfeeding issues
  • Understand conditions such as torticollis, plagiocephaly, tongue tie, lip tie, and palate anomalies
  • Practice a physiotherapy evaluation of the breastfeeding infant
  • Establish an evidence-based, individualized treatment plan
  • Practice physiotherapy techniques for treating the breastfeeding infant
  • Learn to measure outcomes and when to refer to other healthcare providers
  • Review hygiene, protection, and safety for handling bodily fluids


Participants will have access to online content on prior to the start of the course, including video modules and case study worksheets. These modules must be completed prior to the first day of in-person learning, as the rest of the course will build on the information covered within them.

Audience: This course is open to physiotherapists, occupational therapists, chiropractors, naturopaths, midwives, nurses, physicians, lactation consultants, and doulas. No previous experience in pediatrics is required.

Labs include breast palpation and manual techniques.

Date/Hours: September 17-19, 2021from 10:30am-6:00pm ET (Toronto)


Breastfeeding Course FAQ

Q: Will I be a lactation consultant if I take this course? Does this course count toward lactation education hours?

A: This course is developed for physiotherapists and do not cover all of the topics required to be a lactation consultant. It is not accredited by the World Health Organization, LEAARC, or IBLCE. The information included in these courses will allow participants to offer breastfeeding support for their patients and to determine whether they want to continue into lactation consulting in the future.


Q: I work in private practice/orthopaedics/pelvic health. Will I be able to implement breastfeeding support into my work?

A: Every clinic has a different setup and it’s difficult to know whether breastfeeding support can be done. Talk with your clinic manager to determine what you’re able to do within your setting.

Breastfeeding appointments require the same logistics as pelvic health: one hour appointments and private rooms. If your clinic has several rooms, it is possible to see more than one patient at a time. Some physician-run clinics do up to 3 per hour, though this can be quite difficult to keep on time. You will need a comfortable chair and a nursing pillow in your breastfeeding room. All other equipment is standard in a physiotherapy clinic (bed, gloves, etc).


Q: This topic seems interesting, but I already have a full schedule. Why would I add breastfeeding support?

A: The patients you’re currently seeing for other conditions are the same people that are struggling with breastfeeding. For them, talking with someone they already trust is invaluable. You can provide complete women’s health care and become the go-to person for postpartum support. Adding breastfeeding support to your busy practice may allow you to grow your staff and expand your clinic offerings.


Q: Why should physiotherapists be doing breastfeeding support?

A: The lactation world is very good at certain aspects of breastfeeding, but there are women and babies that still struggle. The physiotherapy approach contributes a unique perspective that can make a huge difference in these lives.


Q: Can I take this course if I’m not a physiotherapist?

A: This course does not involve an internal component, and is open to all health care providers. Please note that your scope of practice may differ from the class materials and you should check with your regulatory college.

The Assessment & Treatment of Breastfeeding Conditions is a fantastic course for any physiotherapist working with post-partum clients! Mercedes does an incredible job of outlining the current evidence surrounding Breastfeeding Conditions AND ensuring that as physiotherapists we are working well within our scope of practice. The course ties pelvic health, women’s health and paediatrics into a beautiful Biopsychosocial framework. I highly recommend this course

– Kelsie M