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Thread: Lots of Breast Pain

  1. #1

    Default Lots of Breast Pain

    I am currently breastfeeding and pumping for my 5 week old son, Joshua and I am dealing with A LOT of breast pain. Sometimes in my nipples but more so overall in my whole breasts (both are super sore). I am nursing frequently and pumping and I know when I'm engorged and pump or nurse so I don't think that's it. Also, I've gotten a lot of lessons and done a lot of research on proper latch and my son seems to have the hang of it, so I don't think that's it either. I have very large breasts (40DD) and I have ALWAYS had super sensitivity in the tissue as well as nipples so I'm assuming it's just that. My question is, has any other women dealt with this? If so, what remedy brought you some relief? Tylenol isn't quite doing the trick. Did you use heat or cold? Let me know. Thanks!

  2. #2

    Default Re: Lots of Breast Pain

    I have had breast pain before. Not related to breastfeeding but still I have had it. The main cause of it in me is breast growth and so every tissue there has to grow and the skin and muscles stretch and that hurts in like outbursts. Just the opiates secreted by my brain relieved it. In other words it was relieved naturally

  3. #3

    Default Re: Lots of Breast Pain

    Can you explain why you are pumping as well as nursing? Pumps can cause breast injury and certainly pumping extra in other words pumping when it is not really needed might cause extra wear and tear on the breast. Of course pumping "extra" also will worsen overproduction if you're dealing with that. I am not saying it is not okay even possibly necessary in your case to pump I'm just wondering why you're doing it.
    Can you be more specific about the pain? Is it worse when you nurse and or pump? between nursing sessions? is it deep e breast pain or nipple pain? sharp, dull ache, Burning etc? Have you examined your breasts for any physical issues? Such as plugs? Creased nipple after nursing or signs of nipple injury? Are your nipples blanched after nursing?
    As far as heat or cold, I would suggest that cold is probably best if it is an issue of inflammation. However if it is a situation like Vasospasm heat would be more appropriate and cold not a good idea as cold makes it worse.
    Last edited by @llli*lllmeg; March 10th, 2014 at 09:02 PM.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2014

    Default Re: Lots of Breast Pain

    It depends when to use heat and cold compresses. lllmeg has the right questions so your situation can be assessed as what your condition might be.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Lots of Breast Pain

    I pump bc I am trying to increase my supply, build up a reserve and clear supply as my baby has some difficulty clearing me out. Although, as we get the hang of it, he is doing better at emptying my breasts himself. The pain isn't constant, it come and goes. Dull ache and throbbing in the tissues. My nipples get sore sometimes from chapping but lanolin usually helps and it goes away a minute or so into nursing or pumping. I would describe that pain as a pinching/burning pain.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Lots of Breast Pain

    Okay first off do you mean you were trying to build up the reserve in your freezer? Are you anticipating being back to work or some other separation and if so when? I ask because pumping in the early weeks can be pretty problematic in some cases. So if you can hold off on pumping to build reserves that might be best.
    Assuming your baby is gaining appropriately while exclusively breast-feeding, there is no reason to pump in order to increase milk production. If the baby is nursing frequently and effectively meaning the baby gets enough milk to grow and thrive, that makes for good milk production. There is no need for an infant to "empty" the breast every time baby nurses or even at any time. It would probably be pretty hard for a baby to "empty" a full well producing Breast at this age.

    The pain you're describing sounds to me like either letdown pain, or the pain from being overfull or overly engorged. My other suspicion would be a deep plug that you cannot feel because you are full and/or because you are large breasted. Again I would be concerned about the pumping causing or exacerbating overproduction. That is going to make any or all of these things more likely or more problematic.
    Letdown pain or letdown sensation means that it is something you feel when your milk ejection reflex occurs. This can happen during nursing sessions, during pumping sessions and in between as well. In my personal experience it is the in-between nursing session letdowns that hurt the most. Some mothers feel nothing, other mothers just feel mild sensation, but some others myself included experience letdown as pretty painful. However it is usually pretty momentary as well it doesn't tend to last long, especially if you are able to nurse right away.
    Another cause of nipple & breast pain that is hard to pin down is thrush. Dr. Jack Newman probably has one of the most informative online articles about that.
    Sorry I can't be more specific. Is there anyway you can see a lactation consultant or a local breast-feeding volunteer person about this issue? If this is something as simple as letdown pain it will probably alleviate on it's own relatively soon. However you certainly don't want to miss something more serious.
    If you and baby have latch pretty well figured out, then that burning when baby latches should go away soon. If you're finding that it is not you might want to continue to work on latch. Sometimes experimenting with different positions can help with latch as well. If you do continue to pump, I would also suggest pump at the lowest setting that you can that seems to work. Also don't pump for too long each time. And make sure your pump flanges are proper fit.
    Last edited by @llli*lllmeg; March 12th, 2014 at 08:03 PM.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Lots of Breast Pain

    Oh hold on are you using a nipple shield? I didn't put the two names together. Okay if you're using a nipple shield then you probably do need to pump at least until you're sure you have established a good milk production. I personally used a nipple shield in the first few weeks and pumped and got really bad overproduction. So in my case pumping was probably not necessary. But the fact is many other mothers find that the nipple shield causes low production. This is because nipple shields can harm production. Or perhaps whatever the issue is that causes the need for a nipple shield might be harming milk production. Really it is considered best if you were still seeing someone for breast-feeding help while using the shield is that possible for you?

  8. #8

    Default Re: Lots of Breast Pain

    Yes I am using a shield but starting to get him to latch without now. I am pumping bc my son wasn't getting enough milk from nursing and for a freezer supply for when I leave him with my mom or for when we're out in public as I'm not comfortable nursing in public bc nursing for me is a bit complicated. Although I do nurse in public too sometimes. I'm not too concerned about the pain bc it doesn't last and is relieved easily now and it seems to get worse if I've let myself get engorged so I try not to. Anyway, thanks for the advice. I think we'll be just fine now :-)

  9. #9

    Default Re: Lots of Breast Pain

    I'm glad things seem to be getting a little easier. Yes there is nothing like the freedom that comes once you don't have to use the nipple shield anymore! I hope this will also begin to make nursing in public easier for you as well.
    Engorgement certainly may make it more difficult for baby to latch or to latch comfortably. So that is one of the many reasons to try to avoid it.

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