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Thread: Vasospasm, thrush or poor latch-on?

  1. #1

    Default Vasospasm, thrush or poor latch-on?


    A month ago I gave birth to my son with a c-section (hence, antibiotics for a week). Although I was planning to breastfeed him exclusively, we didn't start off well. He could not latch on and at the time I didn't even know he wasn't latching on. I kept doing what I was doing wrong, resulting to a hungry baby, bottles of pumped milk, injured nipples and a lot of crying for the both of us!

    A week after the birth we had made some progress. I managed to get him to put most of the areola into his mouth and I felt the difference immediately. My cracked nipples started to heal finally and I was able to breastfeed him exclusively to avoid any further confusion. He's been feeding well, as often as he wants and putting on weight. A midwife who visited me and saw me breastfeeding confirmed that we were both doing fine. But... A few days later I started having pain in the areola of my right breast and a few bumps which went away after some gentle massaging. It hurt a lot when he latched on but the pain subsided while he was feeding, so I stuck it out. It was nothing compared to the nipple pain of the first days!

    However, during the following days my nipples started feeling extremely sensitive and kind of raw. When breastfeeding I would feel a tingling sensation that was not painful but especially in longer feeding sessions it would become very uncomfortable. I could tell something was not right and yes, sometimes my nipples would look lipstick shaped afterwards - especially in the cross-cradle position, the football hold works always better for us. Moreover, I felt stabbing pains in my breasts and a burning sensation, like pins, in my nipples and areolas not just when breastfeeding, anytime really, e.g. when I cough, or even when I drink water!!

    I suspected thrush even if the baby had no symptoms because of the antibiotics I had taken and the cracked, injured nipples which I nabbed with breast milk all the time during those first days. After talking to the pediatrician baby and I started taking an anti-fungal (miconazole) - it's been three days now. The stabbing pain has kinda subsided but the burning and the super sensitivity not really. I started wondering whether it's vasospasms because I do see my nipples change color sometimes, not particularly after feedings though. Their usual color these days is pink-red, like they are inflamed. I started using APNO as well and I hope it's OK to use it together with the miconazole.

    Hopefully I will see some progress, although I really don't know if it's thrush, vasospasms or both! Can just the poor latching cause the burning and the super-sensitivity? I definitely want to work on the latching, it seems that my baby is content with our current style and just won't open his mouth big enough when I bring him to the breast. Or maybe his suckling is not right, how can I work on that? I am planning to attend a local LLL meeting (in Athens, Greece where I live) but if you have any tips in the meantime about our latching problems and about my breast/nipple issues I would be grateful to read them.

    Thank you and sorry for the long post!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2006

    Default Re: Vasospasm, thrush or poor latch-on?

    Welcome and congratulations on the new baby! Sounds like it's been an eventful- and challenging- month for you.

    What you describe sounds like a lot of different issues all at once. The initial cracking and pain- that sounds like a latch problem, in part because things improved when you figured out how to get a better latch. The little bumps in the areola area- those could have been small plugged ducts. Again, the way they resolved is informative, since plugged ducts can be fixed with massage and draining of the breast.

    The current problem is harder to figure out. On the one hand, nipple sensitivity, inflamed-looking nipples, and a burning sensation in between feedings... Well, that just screams thrush to me. Particularly as it kicked in after things started to get better, and because you had antibiotics.

    But on the other hand, there are other potential causes for your pain. Lipstick nipples definitely indicate a latch problem, and vasospasm pain can be mistaken for thrush pain. In addition, vasospasms often occur when there's a latch problem.

    I think you're right to treat this as thrush. But I think that you should also operate under the assumption that your latch still isn't quite right- so here are some resources that may help:

  3. #3

    Default Re: Vasospasm, thrush or poor latch-on?

    Thank you so much for the response. The links are quite useful. I am certainly going to work on getting a better latch and continue with the candida treatment. At the same time I will also follow some of the tips for vasospam, like covering my nipples after feedings and using warm compresses. It does feel better when I do that - I don't know if it's just my impression!

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