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Thread: Breast pain

  1. #1
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    Aug 2014
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    Default Breast pain

    When I nurse on my right side I get this sharp pain in the inside of my breast (area between my nipple and sternum). When she is not nursing the area is still sore, but more of an ache. It is functioning well and matches the output on my left breast, which doesn't hurt (3-4oz per breast per 15 min pump session)

    Do you know what this is and how to fix it?

    (I am a FTM and baby is 1 month- this has been going on since I started breastfeeding.)

  2. #2
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    May 2006
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    Default Re: Breast pain

    Anything going on aside from the pain? Redness, dry or flaking skin, cracks? Does the baby have thrush?
    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
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    Aug 2014
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    Default Re: Breast pain

    No, the nipple is fine, well it gets sore when she latches wrong and I have to keep fixing her (working on transitioning off the nipple shield). I don't think she has thrush, lips and mouth look good. Feels like nerve pain if that is a thing? Like a jolt of stabbing pain that jumps me, then lessens, and this jolt happens a few times in a feeding. Maybe this is normal, but I don't get it on my left breast.

    Also, some days are better than others and this morning hasn't been bad, but yesterday was.

  4. #4
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    May 2006
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    Default Re: Breast pain

    Since it happens a few times during a feeding, I'm going to guess that it's a letdown sensation. Seem women describe it as a tingling sensation, some as cramping. Some don't feel it at all. It's not weird for it to happen on one side and not the other, either.
    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
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    Default Re: Breast pain

    I do get tingles when I have a let down, but maybe you can get both feelings of tingles and pain?

    My nipples, temp and baby's health are fine so I'm sure we don't have an infection. Baby is relearning to latch since we are transitioning from using a nipple shield so 3/4th of the feedings are with the shield making it difficult to tell a correct latch, so that could be the cause, but my nipple is fine. No itching and Baby is only one month old so no teething issues.

    I do seem to have oversupply and a fast letdown, could this be a possible reason? Could a clogged duct last 1 month and feel like that?

  6. #6
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    May 2006
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    Default Re: Breast pain

    Oversupply and fast letdown can be associated with pain. If they are causing what you're experiencing, things should get better as the oversupply calms down.
    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!"

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
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    5,609

    Default Re: Breast pain

    There are many good suggestions above. However, I am afraid I cannot agree with everything.

    If a mother is having breast pain, there is a reason. It may be related to nursing, of course. But the cause is not "nursing." Nursing is not a pathology, and nursing when there are no issues is usually painless and often pleasurable.

    Breastfeeding mothers can and do safely take most prescription medications. While herbal remedies are probably usually ok as well, they also may have side affects and can 'go into' milk. However, as with prescription meds, in such tiny amounts it is not typically an issue. For more, see the books The Nursing Mothers Herbal and Medications and Mothers Milk. Questions about medications and nursing can be directed to the people at www.infantrisk.com
    A newborn typically needs to nurse as often and long as baby wishes. So it is not practical and is potentially harmful to take a young baby off the breast and give the baby something else to put in its mouth when there is nipple pain.

    If a newborn is clamping or has a poor latch, and causing a mother pain, gently unlatching baby may be a good idea so that baby can then be re-latched correctly. Also, sometimes adjustments can be made once baby is nursing, without having to unlatch. If clamping is due to a fast milk flow, adjusting moms position and nursing more frequently will probably help.
    Breast pain has many causes, and adjusting latch and positioning as needed can certainly be important. But there are many ways to hold a baby to nurse. Research in the last 10 years has shown that mothers and babies may adopt any number of comfortable and effective breastfeeding positions.



    Deep breast pain that is not clearly associated with a latch issue or thrush can be a hard one to figure out. I also wonder if this is related to letdown pain. Or maybe a very deep plug that is hard to feel if you are very full? I see no reason why a plug would not last a month if steps were not taken to get it out. Also, plugs can reoccur. But I have to say, the apparent consistency of this sensation and it lasting from birth until now is a stumper. That part does not really fit with any scenario I can think of.
    Does it happen ever when baby is NOT nursing? Or when pumping? Any other pain when pumping? Is your pump new, effective, a good fit for you?
    Why are you pumping and how often? Pumping 'extra' might lead to over production, which may lead to other breastfeeding issues.
    Last edited by @llli*maddieb; August 29th, 2014 at 12:00 AM.

  8. #8
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    Aug 2014
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    Default Re: Breast pain

    Thank you everyone for your replies! Breastfeeding is tricky for me and it really helps to have this resource to help me figure all this out!


    It does seem that the more progress I make on oversupply the better it is, I'm not sure why though. It's just funny I have issues with engorgement in both breasts but it must just be the way my ducts or nerves are in the right side that make it more painful.

    No worries on meds I only take a multi-vit and a probiotic everyday.

    Baby does clamp and I try to relatch her each time (unless she is coughing after then I have her take a break first). She often only nurses for 10-15 minutes, but she has lots of wet and dirty diapers and she has been gaining .5lbs a week (drs scales), so I'm thinking this is my baby's 'normal'...

    I do wonder if there is a deep plug, I do massage the area, but I'm not sure how to really reach it. I did have one plugged duct in that breast in a different location (underside), that I was able to sort out in 1 day, but I could feel the lump in that one so it wasn't very deep.

    It does hurt when baby is not nursing but there is no stabbing, jolt pain when she isn't. I don't get the pain when pumping, I think it is effective (medela in style double electric). I started using it in the hospital on day 4. Baby started breastfeeding great from birth, then got jaundice and lost too much weight. She was too weak to latch, so we did a bottle with breastfeeding attempts for a week. Then I started using a nipple shield to help her latch. (I made the mistake of still pumping 3 times a day after breastfeeding which caused my engorgement/OS problems- I stopped this at week 2 after talking to my lactation consultant). Now I just pump at around 4am when my husband does one of her night time feeds so she continues to be exposed to the bottle and I get extra sleep (I will be going back to work part-time in Nov). I only pump for 5 minutes (3oz each breast -6oz total on average). She now does half of her feedings without the shield, I think she would do more if I wasn't so engorged all the time.

    In short I think the engorgement is exasperating a plugged duct problem, which causes a stabbing pain when baby clamps. I need to focus on correcting my oversupply and try to deeply massage the sore spot to help unplug the duct.

  9. #9
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    Jun 2009
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    Default Re: Breast pain

    Okay based on your pump output, and also you continuing to feel engorgement at a month, I do think you're dealing with overproduction. Again not everything points to that. Gain of half a pound a week is normal gain. So it's a good gain but it is not the very fast gain one would expect to see when a mom has overproduction. So again one piece does not quite fit.

    Production tend to regulate somewhere around 4 to 6 weeks. Regulate means that production becomes enough for baby not more than enough.
    While figuring out over production, it is usually suggested that mom not pump at all, and that all bottles be avoided. Baby nursing frequently and normally will usually tell the body the right amount of milk to be making.
    Yes even one bottle a day can make a difference as can one pumping session.
    However if you wish to keep your current practice going then I would suggest pump for even shorter amount of time. It sounds like you are pumping 6 ounce?s that is more than a baby needs at a single feeding.
    To further complicate this issue, sometimes pumping is needed in order to avoid engorgement. So it can get a little complicated.
    You could also try pumping every few days as well as giving the bottle every few days.

    You mentioned massaging for the plug. There are many many other ways to approach a plug. When I get on a computer later I will post some links. As I will also post some links about decreasing milk production. Again because your baby is not gaining overly rapidly, I would be very concerned about you doing this at this point. On the other hand regular engorgement at this point indicates something is not right. Are you able to talk to your lactation consultant again? It would really be best if you could see someone to make sure baby is effectively transferring milk. Also you could talk to them about how frequently baby nurses. Typically a baby will nurse very frequently night and day at this age. 10 or more nursing sessions per 24 hours is typical. In other words 10 times is the typical minimum. If baby is taking long stretches between feedings, while baby may get enough milk, specially if mom has high production, the long time be tween nursing can lead to engorgement and plugs.
    Last edited by @llli*maddieb; August 30th, 2014 at 10:45 AM.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
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    22

    Default Re: Breast pain

    I see my lactation consultant every Friday at a breastfeeding social group at my hospital...she thinks I should relax, continue to work on the engorgement and use ice after nursing to sooth the pain. Baby has also been sleeping longer hours (1-2 nearly five hour stretches a day sleeping) and the changes are likely causing the increased engorgement and possibly plugs). She typically nurses 10 times a day- she tends to cluster feed every late afternoon...I try to get her to eat more consistently by holding her skin to skin and trying to put my nipple in her mouth when it's been a long stretch, but it doesn't work. She also typically gets her full fast and comes off after 10-20 minutes...I try re latching her on the other breast, but she is full and won't take it. My pediatrician has assured me that .5lbs a week is " great and ideal" and that I can at this point allow her to sleep longer than 3 hrs.

    Do breasts ever while breastfeeding ever feel actually comfortable? If so when typically?

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