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Thread: Pins and Needles type Pain in Breast

  1. #1

    Default Pins and Needles type Pain in Breast

    Second post in 1 week! Here goes...

    For the past 2 weeks or so I've been experiencing occasional pain in my left breast. In the past week it's happened 3 times so far. I don't see any nipple damage and sometimes it happens before I nurse and sometimes it happens after. It seems to be coming out of nowhere and its always in the middle of the night or early morning hours. I still have some nipple soreness on both the right and left breasts, but this usually happens when the baby is comfort nursing more than usual, or just really hungry. Regardless I don't think sore nipples would be causing the issue because it's not severe soreness.

    I can only describe the pain as a pins and needles sensation. It's annoying, impossible to sleep when it happens, and usually starts in the nipple then the sensation shoots through different areas of the breast. I've tried taking an anti-inflammatory and icing it, neither of which fully relieve the discomfort. In fact, the only thing that seems to help is pumping and nursing, but it takes several nursing sessions before I experience relief. I'm also not necessarily engorged when it happens. This morning at about 4am the pain started up again, this time I was engorged. I woke up to feed the baby and about 5 minutes after he nursed and fell back asleep the pain started up. It takes several hours before it goes away.

    Any idea what might be causing this and if so, how do I make it stop or make it feel better when it happens? I did some research online and alot of what I read was about milk let down, I guess that could be it, but wouldn't I be leaking if that were the case, and wouldn't I be experiencing this in both breasts? Also, the past few times it has happened (with the exception of this morning) my breast has been soft. When I do nurse the baby on that side it is incredibly uncomfortable, but only when this pins and needles sensation starts up out of nowhere.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2009

    Default Re: Pins and Needles type Pain in Breast

    Hi ok this is interesting. The pins and needles sensation certainly sounds like letdown. But almost nothing else you describe makes it sound like letdown. Letdown sensation typically begins up high in the breast or even under the arm and goes down towards the nipples it sounds like you are having the sensation in the reverse direction?
    Also the timing is weird. Letdown sensation typically happens during nursing sessions, or between nursing sessions. Not typically right after unless baby is nursing a very short period of time?
    Have you ever looked at your nipple after baby nurses? Does it look white or purpleish? Have you tried applying warmth to the nipple or breast when you're having this feeling? I am wondering if this is Vasospasm. That is usually described as much more painful than what you are saying, however the other aspects especially that The feeling presents after nursing sounds like Vasospasm to me. It is possible that being cold would cause the pain to come on at other times as well maybe? does that sound like it fits at all? If you want to look more at Vasospasm I believe Jack Newman has information on his website, there may be something here or on Kelly mom as well. Also it is described in the womanly Art of breast-feeding pretty thoroughly.

    How is breast-feeding going overall? About how many times does baby nurse each day? Does baby usually take one breast at a time, both breasts or a variety? Are you pumping at all? Aside from this issue, do you think baby has a good generally comfortable latch now? Are you finding that you're breast-feeding positions are comfortable for you?
    The other avenue to explore would be thrush. This would be kind of an odd presentation for thrush, however it should not be ruled out without at least thinking about it. Again dr. Jack Newman probably has the best information look at his Candida protocol. Do online search for Jack Newman breast-feeding and you should find his website. Also he's quoted all over the place. However probably best to find his website for the most up-to-date protocols.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Pins and Needles type Pain in Breast

    About a week ago, I was having random sharp pains in my breast. It ended up being a clogged duct. Maybe try a massage where it hurts and a hot compress?

  4. #4

    Default Re: Pins and Needles type Pain in Breast

    Correct, the sensation I am having is in the reverse direction so I don't think its let down either. The baby sleeps for 2-3 hours in between nursing sessions at night and he's latched on for at least 15 minutes, so its definitely not short sessions.

    I actually haven't even thought to look at my nipple after he nurses, but I'll make a point of doing that next time. I have noticed that both of my nipples are a light pinkish color but I didn't think that was a bad thing, I've never noticed them to look white or purple.

    After doing some research on Vasospams I wouldn't be surprised if that is the problem! The first time I felt the pain I was in tears. The last few times were definitely painful enough to keep me awake, but I was uncomfortable and angry at the zapping feeling that goes along with the pins and needles sensation. We do keep our bedroom warm because the baby sleeps in our room with us, so I don't usually get cold. For whatever reason though I always turn to ice when it happens because I'm trying to numb the area, but I will try heat next time to see if it helps. I will definitely look into the information on Kelly mom and Jack Newman as well.

    Breastfeeding was rough for the first couple of days, especially in the hospital trying to get him to latch on appropriately and I experienced some nipple damage right away which has since healed up. Since then I feel pretty good about the progress we've made. He latches on without a problem and while my nipples still get sore I'm not in pain anymore. Occasionally he'll latch on pretty quickly and I have to break the latch because he's literally just on the nipple and it hurts. I would say he nurses every 1-2 hours in the morning and it gradually spreads out to 2-3 hours as the day goes on, but I have no idea exactly how many times per day he nurses, it varies. He does nurse from both breasts, typically first thing in the morning when he's the hungriest. At night he only nurses from one breast at a time before he's content and falls asleep. I just started pumping, but I'm only pumping for 15 minutes once per day, both breasts at the same time with an electric pump. Overall, yes I think he has a good latch and we use the cradle and side lying nursing positions which work best for both of us. I will say his latch is better on the right breast, which is a little bit smaller so I think he can fit more of the nipple and areola in his mouth.

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