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Thread: shooting pain

  1. #1

    Unhappy shooting pain

    Hi, I am on week 10 of breast feeding my first baby. I have been to see a certified lactation consultant because of latching issues and know my baby is latching correctly. They discovered that my baby has a very arched palate/roof of mouth so even though the latch is correct, she still pinches my nipples while she eats. I have been able to deal with the discomfort so far. However, for the last 2 weeks when my baby feeds on my left breast I get extremely sharp shooting pains throughout my breast. These pains are almost unbearable. The consultant thinks they are milk duct spasms. They come 5-10 minutes after she is done eating and last for over an hour. I have tried heat (wet and dry) and cold to relieve the pain and nothing helps. I have also struck out in a big way trying to get information about this. I had to start pumping (which does not cause the pain) because it was so bad and now my milk on that side is less and less. Does anyone have any thoughts or info that might be helpful. I am desperate!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Pottstown, PA

    Default Re: shooting pain

    Your lactation consultant would know better than I, but could it be thrush? I had thrush when my baby was around 6 weeks old (he's now 4mos) and it felt like shooting pains in my breasts that would start about 10 min after a feed. I also sometimes felt burning in my nipples. (My baby never showed any signs of thrush himself.) We cured it by taking grapefruit seed extract and using gentian violet on my nipples. Good luck and hope you feel better soon!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Northern Cal.

    Default Re: shooting pain

    Thrush can cause shooting pains like what you describe. That would be usually be in addition to nipple soreness, burning, and itching, though. Thrush can be difficult to diagnose, because it's not the same for everyone, so that's definitely worth looking into!

    Have you looked into Reynaud's syndrome? Do your nipples look blanched and white after nursing?

    I also had very strong, aching pains when I let down, caused by OALD. That can be normal (and usually gets better over time), but it's usually an aching, rather than a searing burning pain, which is more like thrush.

    I don't know much about the arched palate, but I could imagine that that alone might cause pain. Is she tongue tied? That can be difficult to diagnose too, but I always wonder when someone says they are in a TON of pain nursing.

    Sorry, I wish I could just give you an easy answer! But what you're describing doesn't sound right. I urge you to keep it up, take it day by day, and keep searching for answers. Get a second opinion from another LC. Don't give up. Many of us can sympathize with your story, because we dealt with a lot of pain at first too. I had an awful undiagnosed case of thrush that lasted a month or more, and I was in toe-curling pain every time I nursed like you. Once I figured out what was going on, though, I treated it, and presto, nursing was great! So there is a light at the end of this tunnel, sometimes it takes some work to see it!

    You can call me JoMo!

    Mom to baby boy Joe, born 5/4/09 and breastfed for more than two and a half years, and baby girl Maggie, born 7/9/12.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2011

    Default Re: shooting pain

    Oh i could write you post word for word.

    I EBF my 5week old and also get these pains after feeding. We have latch issues as well and my nipple comes out looking like a new lipstick and is very white.

    I am by no means an expert, but I have been working with an LC who has been looking into these sorts of pains as she thinks they are very commonly mistaken for thrush as it feels like the same pain.

    She believes that is due to a reduced bloodflow to the peck muscles that sits behind the breast. So she believes that stretching the muscles out, like you would for any muscle that hurts is the answer.

    So she has me putting both hands in a door frame and leaning forward, kind of like a standing pressup. ANd doing this several times a day. She has also had me working on my posture and getting my shoudlers back as much as possible as when you think about it, we do so much with babies hunched forward.

    She also says to make sure you are upright if not leaning back a little while feeding to stop the hunching over-which is hard when you have a painful latch and want to curl up in a ball.

    For me is helping, the pains I am getting are less often and not as intense as they were. It also only took 24hrs or so for me to notice a difference.

    She also recommends massage when you get the pain. I particularly find massaging right up under the breast when i have the pain instantly lessens the intensity.

    Also the heat like you have been doing helps.

    I think it is also similar to vasospam, which there is some stuff on the info page on this site somewhere-I was reading it this morning but not sure where i found it exactly or how to do a link, Maybe someone could do that for you.

    At the end of the day, the things that I have mentioned are in no way harmful to you, so if you try them and they don't work then you are no worse off. they have worked for me though so thought I would share.

  5. #5

    Default Re: shooting pain

    Thank you SO MUCH for posting this. I'm having the same issue... Motrin seems to help me, as does holding my breast tightly to my chest (though I can't really walk around like that all day).

    I've emailed my LC from the hospital to see if she can shed any light... I'll let you know if I hear back.

    The thought of nursing off my right side right now makes me want to cry...

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