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Thread: Blanched Nipple! HELP!

  1. #1

    Default Blanched Nipple! HELP!

    My right nipple has been blanched after feeding. Typically comes out white around the tip of the nipple the pain gets worse after feeding.

    Is this normal? After what should i do?


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2006

    Default Re: Blanched Nipple! HELP!

    Blanching is often due to a poor latch. Is it hurting? Is baby having enough wets and stools?

    Another term for that is vasospasm. If you search it, I'm sure you will find a lot of info. I don't have bookmarks about that.

    ETA: duh. You say it is hurting. Sorry I missed that. Has your baby been checked for tongue tie? Has an IBCLC checked your latch?
    Mama to my all-natural boys: Ian, 9-4-04, 11.5 lbs; Colton, 11-7-06, 9 lbs, in the water; Logan, 12-8-08, 9 lbs; Gavin, 1-18-11, 9 lbs; and an angel 1-15-06
    18+ months and for Gavin, born with an incomplete cleft lip and incomplete posterior cleft palate
    Sealed for time and eternity, 7-7-93
    Always babywearing, cosleeping and cloth diapering. Living with oppositional defiant disorder and ADHD. Ask me about cloth diapering and sewing your own diapers!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Brussels, Belgium

    Default Re: Blanched Nipple! HELP!

    Susan's right
    and check the great resources on the bottom of the page too. I have more than plain old nipple blanching as I have Raynaud's phenomenon, which was diagnosed in my hands as a teenager and has spread to my nipples during bfing. Hardly anyone, evne obs and LCs, know that Raynaud's can occur in the nipples. I went to 5 practitioners until I finally saw this Kellymom link on LLL and was diagnosed. The good news is both mechanical blanching due to a shallow latch (baby's mouth is small) and Raynaud's both get better over time. While you are working on the latch try drinking steaming hot tea, and if you have pain take a hot shower afterward and see if that helps. Wear warm clothes too! I wear a polarfleece jacket to bed in winter now.

    Do you get symptoms when baby is not bfing, but when you suddenly feel cold? I got painful twinges beginning when I went outside in winter, or stepped into the refrigerated section of my grocer. You should have seen the expression on an ob's face when I told her that (I think she wondered if I was playing with a full deck, LOL).

    BTW I took the medical treatment for Raynaud's for (see my signature link) for 8 days until the side effect headaches overwhelmed me. Last night I saw in the shower I had triphasic colour changes on my nipples (normal-mulberry purple-white) when I got into the shower, but the pain is entirely gone. Just letting you know even if it's the worst case and you have Raynaud's phenomenon that you can both feel better right away from getting warm, and you can take a medicine to feel better which might well help long-term even if you stop the treatment early, as some people in that study did due to headaches. (I'm going to write the authors to let them know my experience, to help out!)
    Katharine in Belgium
    Be the change you want to see in the world--Mahatma Gandhi
    DD2 Feb 2015 - natural birth VBAC with DD (2010) & DS (2011 VBAC)
    Ouch! Is it thrush or Raynaud's phenomenon?

  4. #4

    Default Re: Blanched Nipple! HELP!

    Thanks for the input. I did see a LLL LC my first week of BF when my nipples we starting to peel...she helped me work on positioning the baby correctly, and said the latch looked good. The nipple blanching just started end of week 3 going into week 4...

    Pain is typically after nursing...almost like there is a clamp on my nipple. The pain is only on the right side...

    Baby has lots of wet diapers and lots of poopy diapers...sometimes up to 6 a day...never less than 3...

    I will try the warm compress....

    I hate nipple pain though! Makes me dread nursing that side...what I have been doing is nursing first the side that doesn't hurt and then finishing off a session w the tender side...

    Should I take further measures beyond that?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2009

    Default Re: Blanched Nipple! HELP!

    This sounds like vasospasm, alright. If I understand this condition correctly, it is the blood flow back into the nipple that causes the pain after nursing-the clamping feeling after nursing, and heat will hopefully help. there are a few suggestions at the end of the article referenced above, including applying warmth after nursing, avoiding triggers such as cold, caffeine, alcohol and nicoine, and to take a mild pain reliever. But the number one thing that will help is to stop whatever is causing the compression of the nipple, which is likely a latch issue, no matter what the latch looks like, it should not hurt.

    I did see a LLL LC my first week of BF when my nipples we starting to peel...she helped me work on positioning the baby correctly, and said the latch looked good. The nipple blanching just started end of week 3 going into week 4...

    Hmmm- never mind what it looked like, did the latch FEEL good? And has that changed? or did it hurt then and it has continued to hurt?

    Did you see a La Leche League Leader (peer helper, volunteer and unpaid) or a Lactation Consultant? (has a clinical education in lactation support and likely charges a fee for her service? LLL Leaders offer support and direct mothers to breastfeeding information that may help them, can offer positioning tips, that kind of thing. Certainly I will look at a mom who is nursing and make suggestions based on what I see. But for a really troublesome latch that is causing a mom to feel like she cannot nurse anymore due to the pain, imo it is important to see a Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC) if at all possible. Also, if anyone ever tells you that a latch is fine based on how it looks, when you are telling them it hurts, that is not helpful. A latch can look fine and still hurt and that means something is up and further assessment is needed. On the other hand, if the latch was feeling OK then, and now hurts, something has changed and that needs to be assesed.

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