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Thread: vasospasm / raynaud's help

  1. #1

    Default vasospasm / raynaud's help

    hi there,

    i'm a first time mom nursing my two month old boy. so far my experience has been pretty much nothing but pain the whole way through. after the first week my nipples became severely cracked due to what i believe was an improper latch. his latch feels/looks better now and the cracks are almost fully healed however now i am dealing with what i believe is vasopasm and/or raynaud's-- i'm not sure of the difference.
    my nipples are extremely sensitive to temperature and turn white and become incredibly painful with any change. the pain radiates throughout my entire breast. also, every time i put any clothing over my breasts even the slightest pressure causes my nipples to turn white and painful so leaving the house has become difficult.

    i don't see any signs of thrush as far as i know. my son does have some slight irritation on his penis but no white patches on either his mouth or bottom.

    has anyone else dealt with this? every time i feel like bresastfeeding is getting more comfortable it seems like i run into another problem.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    21,178

    Default Re: vasospasm / raynaud's help

    Welcome to the forum, and congratulations on the new baby and on making it through the first difficult months!

    Did you ever experience vasospasms before you had your baby? And the ones you're having now- are they exclusively in your nipples or are you getting them elsewhere (e.g. hands, fingers, feet)? When your nipple emerges from baby's mouth, does it appear symmetrical, like a pencil eraser, or asymmetrical/wedged/creased/ridged/shaped like a new lipstick?
    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!"

  3. #3

    Default Re: vasospasm / raynaud's help

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*mommal View Post
    Welcome to the forum, and congratulations on the new baby and on making it through the first difficult months!

    Did you ever experience vasospasms before you had your baby? And the ones you're having now- are they exclusively in your nipples or are you getting them elsewhere (e.g. hands, fingers, feet)? When your nipple emerges from baby's mouth, does it appear symmetrical, like a pencil eraser, or asymmetrical/wedged/creased/ridged/shaped like a new lipstick?
    thank you. it's definitely been a challenge but i'm determined because i know it's worth it.

    i've never experienced anything like this before and it is exclusively in my nipples. my nipple is shaped more like lipstick most of the time. flatter on one side and round on the other. his lip is down and he is opening wide enough to get the lower areola in his mouth. unfortunately, i live in a very rural area and don't have access to a LC or any sort of support group for knowledge.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    21,178

    Default Re: vasospasm / raynaud's help

    Thanks for answering those questions!

    Since this is exclusively in the nipples, never happened before you had a baby, and you have evidence of compression in the nipple (the post-feeding lipstick shape), I'm betting that this is a vasospasm related to compression. Not Raynaud's- which is good, because Raynaud's is potentially a life-long phenomenon and is sometimes associated with autoimmune conditions that you don't want to have. The other thing about this being related to compression is that it's very likely to go away as your baby grows and is able to get a better and better latch. Until then, here's what you do:
    - Strive for the best latch every time
    - Experiment with different nursing positions- there may be one that gets baby on more deeply and that will stop the compression and the vasospasms. I especially recommend trying the reclined position and the side-lying position.
    - Try the breast sandwich technique- if you don't know what that is, try googling it. If you still can't make sense of it, come back and ask. I'll be happy to write up an explanation- I just don't want to do it now because I am lazy and need to take my laundry off the line.
    - Stock up on sweaters and hot pads. Nothing treats vasospasms better than heat. When I have a vasospasm, I actually make myself a cup of hot tea and press the cup against the affected area. Works like a charm!

    This really should go away in time, I swear! It's kind of unfortunate that we're going into a cold time of year here in the northern hemisphere... But that's what sweaters and electric blankets were invented for, I guess.
    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!"

  5. #5

    Default Re: vasospasm / raynaud's help

    thank you for the encouragement. breastfeeding has turned out to be so much more challenging than i ever could have imagined but we seem to be improving and i'm pretty sure the worst part is over. thanks, again

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    21,178

    Default Re: vasospasm / raynaud's help

    I totally know what you mean. Breastfeeding my first baby was one of the most challenging things I ever did, and also one of the most rewarding. I always thought that because breastfeeding was natural, it would come naturally. Now I think of it more like long distance running- it's natural for humans to be able to run long distances, but it takes a lot of hard work to get to the end of a marathon.
    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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