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Thread: Severe stabbing pains :(

  1. #1

    Default Severe stabbing pains :(

    My LO was born on 23rd January. She is now 11 weeks old. I have been breastfeeding her exclusively. We had some latching problems at first but resolved it soon. When she was about 4 weeks old, I developed a plugged duct. It was terrible and in the middle of the night, the pain became unbearable and I turned to the Internet to look for ideas to get relief. I used a sterilized needle to remove the bleb on the nipple and then pumped out a lot of milk. The duct cleared and the relief was instant. I didn't have any problems except some tenderness in the area where there was a hard lump when I had the plugged duct. Now almost 2 months later, the pain in that area still persists. It is not constant but comes after my LO drains that breast. The pain is stabbing, shooting pains and really quite severe. It doesn't happen after every feed, but happens approximately once a day and lasts till the next feed. The area is also tender to the touch and painful when pressed. There is no redness, no hardening or any other alarming symptoms. Also, there is some pain in the nipple for the first few minutes of every feed. And only on that breast. I do also have issues with oversupply and an overactive letdown. She chokes and sputters for a while and I frequently 'leak' between feeds - mostly on the problem breast. I have not been favoring either side and practice block feeding as much as possible.

    I BF my ODD for 18 months and had no trouble. This time I feel like I am ready to call it quits and we're not even at 12 weeks yet! I have spoken to my doctor and she doesn't seem to know what causes this severe pain in an 'empty' breast. Any help would be greatly appreciated!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2006

    Default Re: Severe stabbing pains :(

    I've heard it suggested that the pain is caused by the sensation of milk ducts refilling, which would match well with oversupply (more milk = increased sensation). If you had any sort of plugged duct, then mastitis or subclinical mastitis could explain the sensation. If you had more generalized pain that afflicted more of the breast, then thrush would be a good explanation- particularly because you experienced shooting pain in between feedings, which is kind of a classic thrush symptom. And vasospasm could explain the pain- though that would be more likely to affect the nipple, rather than the whole breast.

    Questions for you:
    - Any changes in the skin of the nipple or breast? Peeling, flaking, dry-looking skin, nipples appearing more red/pink/shiny than normal?
    - Any symptoms of yeast in you or the baby? (E.g. vaginal yeast infection, yeast diaper rash, oral thrush)
    - Have you or baby had a recent course of antibiotics?
    - When baby unlatches, what shape is the nipple- symmetrical like a pencil eraser, or asymmetrical/wedged/creased/shaped like a new lipstick?
    - Do you ever notice the skin of the nipple blanch (turn white) or perhaps blanch and then turn bluish purple after feedings?

  3. #3

    Default Re: Severe stabbing pains :(

    Hi. Thank you so much for your reply! I did have a vaginal yeast infection while pregnant but I haven't had one since. I had a c-section and so I know I couldn't have transferred it to her. The shooting pain isn't restricted to a particular area but happens all over the breast. I know that it isn't let down pain because that's one feeling I am familiar with.

    To answer your questions -
    1. Yes the nipple seems to be pinker and like it's lost a layer of skin.
    2. No thrush in my baby's mouth. My ODD had a bad bout of that once, and so I know what that looks like.
    3. No antibiotics for either of us.
    4. Nipple after feeding on that particular breast is wedged looking. The other breast looks normal.
    5. Haven't noticed any blanching or any other color changes.

    Is it possible to have a yeast infection without the pain. With my ODD, we were both treated for the yeast infection diaper rash and oral thrush that she had. I don't know if I had an infection in the breast, but I never experienced any pain.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2006

    Default Re: Severe stabbing pains :(

    Okay, this is sounding more thrush-y, since you had a) a recent vaginal yeast infection, b) a c-section (which I assume came with a course of antibiotics, even though you said not...?), c) shooting pain throughout the breast, d) nipples which are pink and appear to have lost a layer of skin, and e) pain in between feedings. All those things would be consistent with thrush.

    Some things to know about thrush:
    - a c-section will not prevent a baby from acquiring thrush- the yeast that causes thrush or yeast infections is a normal part of your skin flora and you acquire it soon after birth regardless of how you are born, just from the environment or from touching/being touched by other people
    - it is absolutely possible for one member of the nursing pair to be asymptomatic though both are infected and require treatment- often baby will display symptoms but mom will not, or vice versa

    That being said, a wedge-shaped nipple on one side indicates that your baby's latch isn't all it could be, at least not on that side. And a poor latch could be causing pain, and potentially vasospasms related to compression. You might want to examine that nipple carefully after feeding and see if you do see blanching or a bluish-purple tinge.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Severe stabbing pains :(

    Wow. I learnt a lot from your reply. You're right about the antibiotics. I probably did have a dose of something when I was in the hospital. Yes, I am aware she probably still has a latch issue but she's not opening her mouth wide enough. I still keep trying though! I am going to talk to my doctor about a possible yeast infection and get that checked out. I suppose my LO will be treated as well. I will keep you posted on this thread. Thank you so much!!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2006

    Default Re: Severe stabbing pains :(

    Pease let us know how it goes! Thrush can be stubborn and a lot of docs don't know how to treat it. If your doc brushes you off with "Nope, no white patches in baby's mouth, it's not thrush", then see your child's pediatrician, who may have more experience dealing with the issue. And if you don't get a good response from either doc, come back to the forum and some of the ladies here may have OTC options that could help you.

    Finally, You may want to consider the possibility that this isn't thrush at all, but rather subclinical mastitis. The symptoms can apparently be quite similar!

  7. #7

    Default Re: Severe stabbing pains :(

    Thanks again! I will post after I see the doctor on Monday/Tuesday. In other news, my LO seems to be developing a rash. Doesn't look like what my ODD had when we had the yeast infection when she was a baby, but I think she needs to be treated as well. Will post again about this. Thanks a ton!

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