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The Assessment and Treatment of Breastfeeding Conditions – October 2020

October 30, 2020 - November 2, 2020
Registration Information
  • Register before
    September 18th, 2020
    for early bird pricing

  • Regular Course Price:
    after September 18th, 2020

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
Assessment of Breastfeeding Conditions ON October 2020

Course description:

This four-day course will teach participants to assess and manage lactation related conditions in mothers and infants. Women’s health goes beyond the pelvis and physiotherapists, midwives, physicians, and others can contribute a unique set of skills to this field. Participants will learn about breast anatomy, stages of lactation, mechanical and chemical causes of breast inflammation, clinical problem solving, and evidence-based intervention options. A biopsychosocial framework will be used to address multifactorial conditions.

The infant component of the course will combine principles of musculoskeletal and neurological physiotherapy such as neonatal reflexes and orofacial anatomy. Participants will learn about normal positioning and latch, infant suck mechanics, musculoskeletal conditions of the neck and jaw, handling techniques, clinical problem solving, and evidence-based intervention options.

No previous experience in pediatrics is required.

Course Objectives

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 an evaluation of the lactating breast
  • Review clinical guidelines for mastitis and breast pain
  • Establish an evidence-based, individualized treatment plan for breast conditions
  • Practice manual 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

  • Understand the differences between infant and adult orofacial anatomy
  • Learn the mechanics of infant latch and suck
  • Assess the interaction between infant and mother during breastfeeding
  • 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 an evaluation of the breastfeeding infant
  • Establish an evidence-based, individualized treatment plan
  • Practice hands-on techniques for treating the breastfeeding infant
  • Learn to measure outcomes and when to refer to other healthcare providers
  • Understand the use and recommendations of tools such as breast pumps, bottles, supplemental nursing systems, nipple shields, etc.


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

Labs include breast palpation and manual techniques.


All 4 days run from 8:30am-4:30pm

Registration begins on the first day 15 minutes prior to the start time.

Please Note:

This course is both lecture and lab format

No prerequisites required


Breastfeeding Courses 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 is able to contribute 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