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Thread: mammary dysplasia

  1. #1

    Default mammary dysplasia

    Hi!! I'm 38 weeks pregnant and waiting anxiously... I have this question:
    Since I’m a teenager my breasts hurt and are uncomfortable because of mammary dysplasia. All the doctors I’ve seen say this is the “way I’m made” and there is not much to do about it. I just live with it. Usually my nipples hurt or itch but I’m used to it. So, I guess my question is if this could cause some kind of trouble when trying to breastfeed... since breastfeeding it’s not supposed to hurt... not sure how I’ll do with this issue that my nipples and breasts have always hurt. Do you have any information about this?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2009

    Default Re: mammary dysplasia

    Congratulations! Wow you are close to baby time!

    So it was hard to find info on "mammary dysplasia." However, I gather it is another term for fibrocystic breasts? If you search "fibrocystic breast" and breastfeeding, that leads to more info-some of it kind of out there. In a quick search, these are the most helpful things I found: http://en.allexperts.com/q/Breastfee...st-Disease.htm and http://en.allexperts.com/q/Breastfee...st-disease.htm Both refer moms to a book I am not familiar with. The reassuring thing is that fibrocystic breasts are not a barrier to breastfeeding typically.

    When it is said that “breastfeeding is not supposed to hurt,” that is referring to baby’s latch. For a long time myths have existed about breastfeeding and breast pain. For example, you may hear it suggested that a mom needs to "toughen" her nipples before nursing or that breastfeeding "always hurts for the first two weeks" etc. While certainly breastfeeding CAN be painful, especially early on, that is a red flag that something is wrong, usually with baby’s latch, more rarely it indicates a yeast or bacterial infection or some other issue. But usually, it's a latch issue. Why we want to tamp down those myths about pain is that while sometimes latch improves and pain resolves fine with only time & practice, some moms are led by these myths to allow severe pain to continue and even nipple damage to occur, thinking it is normal, and this leads to mom stopping breastfeeding because it is just too painful, when with good assistance the issues were likely solvable.

    According to the IBCLC in the first above link, some moms with pain from fibrocystic breasts find things improve when nursing. But if you continue to have pain, I would guess what to look out for would be a different sort of pain than what you are used to, misshapen nipples after baby nurses, (creased or new lipstick shape after nursing indicates a latch issue) and/or nipple damage. These symptoms would suggest (almost always solvable) latch issues, so, would suggest a different cause for the pain than what you already experience.

    All expecting moms will find it helpful to familiarize themselves with the many different latch and positioning techniques that help baby latch comfortably. These should be treated as guidelines, not rules. Each mamma and baby pair fits together in thier own unique way. You also may want to speak to a local board certified lactation consultant (IBCLC) and any local LLL Leaders or other local breastfeeding support people so you know who is around to offer you support and assistance after your baby is born. I also suggest the book the Womanly Art of Breastfeeding 8th edition. It does not have info on your particular concern but it does cover all typical aspects of breastfeeding.

    Some links you may find helpful on positioning & latch: http://www.llli.org/docs/00000000000...astfeeding.pdf and www.biologicalnurturing.com



    And Normal newborn breastfeeding behavior: http://kellymom.com/bf/normal/newborn-nursing/

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