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Thread: Severe nipple pain on left side

  1. #1

    Default Severe nipple pain on left side

    My DS is 6 weeks old. The first 3 weeks were a BF nightmare but I stuck with it. My nipple pain was pretty bad, typical of other women, based on what I have read. Day by day, it got a little better. Around 4 weeks, I thought I got the hang of it... until 5 weeks. The pain in my left nipple will sometimes get so intense, it brings me to tears. LO started using a pacifier but only about 20 min/day. He also took a bottle of EBM, but only 2 in the past 2 weeks.

    My signs/symptoms include pain during feeding, mostly in the late evening into the night and only on the left. The pain can be described as a burning, my nipple is being sawed off. It seems as though the morning isn't as bad because I nipple had time to "rest." It will also hurt after feeding and a warm compress relieves the pain immediately. My nipple is also super sensitive. I can't put them directly under the shower and it kills when my LO accidently grabs them. If the pain occurred during feeding, it will also hurt for about 30 min-1 hour afterwards. My nipple will also turn white, mostly on the left, sometimes on the right. I tried pumping, which helps a little but when I'm done, my nipple still aches a little and is really hot.

    I have researched the problem extensively, read all my books and have ruled out almost everything. The pain is similar to that described as mastitis, but I don't have the other symptoms, redness, fever, etc. Then I thought it might be c. albicans but LO does not have any signs of thrush in the mouth or perineum. When I called my LC, she thought it sounded like Raynaud's, but it only occurs in the left and not so much the right and from what I read Raynaud's occurs in both breast, not just one. I feel like because I had a week of non-painful BF, that it can't be the latch.

    I survived today, but last night I was ready to give up. I want so badly to give up because I feel as though BF has prevented me from enjoying my LO. Any insight or even a light at the end of the tunnel would be helpful. Thanks!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
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    The Armpit of the Universe
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    Default Re: Severe nipple pain on left side

    Based on the white nipples and the nipple pain (which is actually not supposed to happen, but is all too common), I'd guess you are having problems with a shallow latch causing vasospasms: http://kellymom.com/bf/concerns/moth...ple-blanching/ I had this for a while when our latch wasn't quite right, but it did go away once we fixed the latch. It really helped me to put my hand over my nipple afterwards to keep it warm. Is there something different about your positioning at night that could be causing latch to be a little off?

    ETA: are your nipples at all cracked or traumatized?

    It could also be thrush, sometimes one member of the nursing pair is asymptomatic.

    If you could get hands-on help with an LC, preferably an IBCLC, that would be the best way to work on latch issues.

    Hang in there, mama, it does get easier!
    mama to a little raccoon, born under the full moon, Nov '11

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    21,178

    Default Re: Severe nipple pain on left side

    with the PP. Nipples turning white, pain relieved by heat? That's classic vasospasm, which doesn't necessarily have to mean Raynaud's. Vasospasm due to compression is probably more common than vasospasm due to Raynaud's. And even if this is Raynaud's, your symptoms are still compatible because Raynaud's is more likely to occur on both sides but can also occur on just side.

    I would fire up a heating pad and keep it available at all times!
    Coolest thing my big girl said recently: "How can you tell the world is moving when you are standing on it?"
    Coolest thing my little girl sang recently: "I love dat one-two pupples!"

  4. #4

    Default Re: Severe nipple pain on left side

    After a few days, I definitely decided it's vasospasm. Now what? Will it go away? Has anyone else had this problem?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    21,178

    Default Re: Severe nipple pain on left side

    Depends on what's causing it. Vasospasms caused by compression will probably go away as the baby grows. Bigger baby = bigger mouth = deeper latch = less compression = fewer vasospasms. Vasospasms caused by Raynaud's, on the other hand, are unlikely to go away, although it may be possible to treat them with a drug called Nifedipine. Talk to your doctor if they persist beyond your baby's first few months. And treat with heat as long as they persist!
    Coolest thing my big girl said recently: "How can you tell the world is moving when you are standing on it?"
    Coolest thing my little girl sang recently: "I love dat one-two pupples!"

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