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Thread: Mammary Constriction Syndrome?

  1. #1
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    Default Mammary Constriction Syndrome?

    For the last week I will get deep sharp shooting intermittant pains in both breasts. Sometimes happens while nursing but usually after snd in between feedings. Nipples are not turning white, not having any nipple pain, no breast or nipple itching. Pain varies from mild to moderate. I admit I have probably not been using good posture while nursing. Saw some info on mammary constriction syndrome from the Newman Institue website and the treatment is massages and some strectching but you have to buy their Pain algorithm chart to get the pictures and explainations of them. Any one have this before and know what I can do to help it?

    Baby Girl will be 5weeks old next monday
    Last edited by @llli*gaylen; November 16th, 2012 at 04:42 PM. Reason: Forgot info

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Mammary Constriction Syndrome?

    It may not be exactly the same, but my breasts hurt when I'm cold. Even when I was not nursing, but very much more so when I am nursing. I'm not sure about mammary constriction syndrome. When I looked into it there were not many resources and the ones that were there called it "newly named and still hypothetical" so maybe that is what you have but I wouldn't pay someone to treat it sight unseen. I hope some other moms can give you more suggestions. Mine are: stay warm. Try to concentrate on your posture while breastfeeding and use pillows strategically. Best.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Mammary Constriction Syndrome?

    Hmm, that is a new one on me! With your permission I am happy to ask some local IBCLC’s about it. I am not finding a ton of info online, nor is this mentioned in my breastfeeding text, at least not by that name. What I am gathering is this is a fairly new theory and it's still being ‘studied.’

    I assume this is what you found? http://www.breastfeedinginc.ca/product.php?prodID=42 This flow chart is to help the clinician-the breastfeeding professional-to assess a sore nipple or painful breast situation in order to arrive at a possible diagnoses. Then it also includes the massage ideas and exercises as something the clinician will offer the mom if, through a process of elimination, the conclusion is that mammary constriction syndrome is the problem-possibly! That is why it costs $, because it is for the professional lactation consultant to use along with her training and expertise. No reason you cannot buy it and use it yourself of course.
    What lactation services do you have available in your area? Because, as the flow chart demonstrates, there are a few different things that could be causing this. For example I personally have an intermittent painful letdown sensation that could be described precisely as you describe your pain, and in my case it has gotten better over time, (baby now 3 months.) Interestingly I find it is usually worse if I have a letdown when baby is not nursing, and in any case is quite momentary. But it really hurts while its happening! I never considered doing massage (or anything else) for it but it could not hurt I suppose. It might help you to talk this out with a professional, or a local breastfeeding volunteer helper, or we could try 'talking it out' on this thread as well of course.

    As far as posture/positioning, mom being comfortable when nursing is soooo important for happy breastfeeding. Becasue as I am sure you are finding, you are nursing a lot! What type of positioning are you doing?

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Mammary Constriction Syndrome?

    Yes, the website you listed is what I was looking at. The immediate area (small town) where I live lacks good LC support all around. I delivered at a hospital an hour away in the city so the small local hospital LC isn't willing to be a good resource for me since I didn't deliever here. Funny since it is actually the facility where both my husband and I are empolyed in medical field positions. Anyway, the hospital I delivered at has a weekly support group but does not offer private one-on-one evaluations after discharge. The nearest LLL meeting is the same issue being in the city which makes it hard for me to get there. My husband isn't very supportive of me going down to the city to get help. I know of some women/mothers locally that have breastfeed several of there own babies and have helped other women that I need to try to contact. I realize it could also be a latch issue but my nipples do not turn white after nursing and I am not having any blisters or nipple pain; however, I do see that my nipple has the lipstick shape sometimes after she nurses. I keep thinking she is just a lazy sucker because after the first let down she only nibbles and I really have to work with compression to hear any swallowing but again maybe it is a latch issue instead.
    I figured this could be the issue because my shoulders and neck have been killing me. I usually nurse in the rocker with a nursing pillow either across my chest or football hold. I'm usually leaning forward a bit more than I should because I was trying tomhelp with gravity again because she is doing this nibbling thing. During the day when it is just me and her I will do side-laying.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Mammary Constriction Syndrome?

    I can give you some positioning suggestions, which might also help with latch. Lets start there.

    You got it, don't lean forward. I get the gravity idea, but leaning forward actually may impede milk flow as it causes constriction in the chest/neck/back muscles, also, it hurts/is uncomfortable and pain impedes letdown.

    Also nursing pillows, while helpful in some situations, can also cause latch issues. So you could consider ditching the pillow. What kind is it? See https://breastfeedingusa.org/content...who-needs-them for more.

    Are there weight gain concerns? Is baby pooping enough? I am wondering why you are concerned about hearing swallowing.

    Also, how often is baby nursing (how many times in 24 hours)

    OK so I suggest, if possible, get off the rocker and get onto a couch or big comfy chair. Start when baby is alert but calm, or even start when baby is asleep but will probably want to wake and nurse fairly soon. Lean back into the couch pillows- You want to feel supported and relaxed. Put baby more or less on top of you, in any position you like. Lay baby with her cheek on your breast and see if she tries to latch. You can adjust her position as you need to help her, by lifting her bottom up and down or from side to side. Do anything you like to help her latch, or let her self attach, whatever is working.

    You can stay in the rocker if you can rock it back and stay back. Maybe using a LOW (about 6 inches?) stool or pile of books or one thick book like an unabridged dictionary under your feet to give you a natural body tilt.

    If it does not work to latch in the leaning back position, try latching while sitting up and THEN lean back. Keep fiddling with it, remember you can adjust YOUR position and baby’s position as much as you like. This is not a 'one size fits all' positioning with rules. Do what works. The key is that mom is leaning back (even slightly) so gravity supports mom AND brings baby to the breast rather than breast to baby.

    Check out 'latch help' pictorial here http://cwgenna.com/qhcontent.html#latch

    and this video: http://www.biologicalnurturing.com/video/bn3clip.html

    and this: http://www.llli.org/docs/00000000000...astfeeding.pdf
    Last edited by @llli*lllmeg; November 16th, 2012 at 11:32 PM. Reason: can't spell

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Mammary Constriction Syndrome?

    Thank you so much for your advice!

    The pillow I am using is a Simplesse: http://www.simplisse.com/gia-angled-...eeding-pillow/

    My rocker is a glider/recliner that will lock in any position. If I recline and lock it then I am very comfortable with her nursing. I guess I have been doing things counter productively being too worried she isn't getting the hindmilk thus sacrificing mine and probably her comfort.

    Weight seems okay to me but will know for sure next week at her check-up. Birth weight was 7#9oz., discharge weight was 7#3oz., 8 day old check was 7#11oz. I checked her weight at the office without a doctor visit (I work there as a LPN) at 3 weeks old and she was 8#8oz. Poops over the last 4-5 days have decreased to 1-2 (that are larger than a quarter but will have several more smears besides that). While they are brown and somewhat seedy they are not as seedy as they were and the consistancy is a bit slimy. Had a stringy green poop once but didn't smell bad. She just does really well for the first 5 minutes then seems to putter out without any second let downs (which in hindsight now maybe has been my posture preventing). After that first 5 mins I don't see the good chin movement or hear any swallowing. She could nibble like that for hours if I let her and trust me I have so she isn't one of those babes that will delatch for me to know when she's done. My breast will feel totally soft afterward so she is draining it pretty well I would guess. Sometimes she'll perk back up then and I will but her back on the same breast if I am able to easily and express more milk from that breast otherwise I'll offer the other. If she doesn't take the other than I pump it. Nursing about 8-10 times in 24 hours but hard to really put a number on it since she will cluster feed sometimes twice a day for 2-3 hours. Trying to power pump after feedings to build up a supply before going back to work.

    Sorry for such a long post -I probably give too much info.
    Last edited by @llli*gaylen; November 17th, 2012 at 05:19 AM. Reason: Spelling errors

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Mammary Constriction Syndrome?

    being too worried she isn't getting the hindmilk thus sacrificing mine and probably her comfort.
    Excuse me while I

    I am not angry, at all, at you!!!!! I am just so tired of moms being told they need to worry about formilk/hindmilk. You may not remember where you even heard it or read it, but someone at some point put it into your head that this is something to worry about. And its NOT! In the vast majority of the time, its not even something a mom need think about, ever.

    OK, whoo, thanks for letting me blow off some steam. Sorry about that!

    OK everything else sounds normal. Except the power pump after feedings (?) I just don't know what that means. do you mean every feeding? Or what? Also can you tell me,
    what type of pump you are using, is pumping comfortable, and how long do you typically pump for, how much do you express when pumping, and when you are returning to work, and what your plan is for pumping when back at work?

    ps never too much info

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Mammary Constriction Syndrome?

    http://lowmilksupply.org/powerpumping.shtml

    I will pump about 10 minutes a couple times in a morning usually after a feeding and will get less than 1/2oz between both breasts. I had been trying to pump between feedings like to above link suggested but I wasn't getting much out and was annoyed with sitting threre pumping so I quit. At night she will sleep 4-5 hours and with that first feeding she will only take 1 breast. The breast she doesn't take I get 2.5oz and another half to 1 oz. from the breast she took. It is comfortable to pump but a little less than 1/2 of my areola does go into the flang (currently using 24mm, planning on picking up a 21mm this next week to see if that helps get any more out).

    Returning to work after Christmas and first week will only be 2 days. She will be 10 weeks then so I know I still have time before I really need to worry about having a stash but I like to be sure. I work 4 - 10 hour shifts with Thursday and weekends being my days off. I planning on pumping 3 times (two in morning and once is afternoon) plus most days I can leave to go nurse her at lunch (my mom watches my kids, I have a 3 yr old too which I only nursed for 2 weeks). Of course if I cannot leave then I'd pump at lunch making 4 pumps in 10 hours. I have a Medela Advance in Style double pump.

    Thank you for saying that about foremilk/hindmilk. I kept telling myself not to worry about it couldn't help it. I'm going to forget about it - it was stressing me out more than I care to admit.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Mammary Constriction Syndrome?

    OK, so, I think this is a protocol for moms who are ONLY pumping? Like when a baby cannot latch or baby is in the NICU... I suppose it could also be helpful for a mom who is pumping as well as nursing due to low supply issues.

    But for a mom with normal production who is exclusively nursing her baby, this will possibly lead to overproduction. I know overproduction sounds great, especially if you are concerned about pumping when back to work. But it’s really not. Ideally we make enough milk for our babies. Not more than enough. Plus pumps remove milk differently than babies and pumping can create or exacerbate breast tissue injury and edema/swelling in the areola. As far as sizing goes, yes getting the right fit it VERY important. You want your nipple to move freely in the tube but for the pump to not pull in too much areola. Sounds like you are on top of taking care of that. Also remember to start at a low setting and move up from there as needed but never go beyond the point it is comfortable to pump.

    Since you are having this intermittent breast pain, I would suggest NOT pumping for a little bit, if possible, to see if that helps. I meant to ask you how much of a stash you have already. Because all you absolutely NEED is enough for the first day of work. Ideally, you should be able to pump enough for baby when at work for the next day. Of course many moms like to have a bit more stashed for peace of mind and that is fine. But pumping too much causes its own set of issues.

    It sounds like you have a very good plan for pumping frequency when at work. And extra points for fitting nursing into the workday! And as long as your pump is a new pump, that is the right grade of pump to have for pumping at work. (If its used there are just some things to watch out for.)

    Know how much milk you will likely need to leave for your caregivers. Inadvertent overfeeding is a real problem and can really undermine a hard working and pumping mom. Kellymom has a nice article about how much pumped milk baby needs while you are away. I also encourage you to share this information with your caregivers: http://www.llli.org/docs/00000000000...fyour_milk.pdf

    I kind of like the looks of that pillow. It appears soft and malleable so you can make it work for different body sizes? Are you saying that once your lean back it is comfortable to nurse, even the latch? Then do that even if it is with the pillow. In other words, if it ain't broke...

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Mammary Constriction Syndrome?

    Error see next reply
    Last edited by @llli*gaylen; November 17th, 2012 at 10:24 PM. Reason: My computerverror

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