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Thread: Vasospasm, possible nipple trauma 4mo teething?

  1. #1

    Default Vasospasm, possible nipple trauma 4mo teething?

    my LO started chomping on my nipple at the end of a feeding -it hurt and surprised me, I thought it was a low supply issue and he was frustrated (especially after my Dr found at 4 months he had dropped a percentile in weight gain). After 3-4 days of this sudden vicious chewing, a little tooth started to poke through but by then I started getting vasospasm on the one side where he had been really clamping down painfully.

    So, it's been a week and he's better now that the tooth is out, latching is a little more painful but once he's feeding I feel no pain. I'm trying to end the feeding as soon as he starts to try and chew on me but I'm still getting the vasospasm after feeding. I've been applying heat and trying to massage but every feed is the same.

    I'm just not sure if I should start pumping from that side to let the nipple heal a bit? There is no obvious trauma that I can see, no cracks/bleeding or anything that looks off but it turns white and burns something awful for a couple of hours after feedings. The other nipple is fine, for some reason he's always gone easier on that side.

    Is there long term damage from vasospasm? I can live with it at this point but I'm worried if we run into any other problems from it I'll end up weaning early (we've had a steady stream of issues and this is testing my resolve to keep going for 1year!).

    any suggestions, tips are welcomed -thanks!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    24,794

    Default Re: Vasospasm, possible nipple trauma 4mo teething?

    Welcome to the forum!

    The good news about vasospasms is that while they are painful and annoying, they are not in and of themselves a health problem and they do not do any longterm damage. So no worried there, okay?

    It's very common for a mom to have more difficulty on one breast. We're not completely symmetrical beings and babies don't always choose to latch in the same way on different breasts. It may be that your baby has discovered that he can control the flow on the vasospasming side by clamping down.

    The best way to deal with vasospasms is to prevent them. Keep yourself warm- seriously, socks, slippers, and sweaters are your friends. Cold feet might not seem like an obvious contributor to a nipple vasospasm, but they certainly can be! And keep on taking your baby off the breast when he transitions from sucking-for-food to just playing around and sucking-for-comfort. Try to be patient with your baby. He got one tooth out but you can be sure that another is on its way, as teeth usually erupt in pairs.

    If there is trauma to the nipple, it should heal on its own even if you keep the baby at the breast. But if you want to try pumping that breast for a few days and seeing if that improves things, go for it. It's a personal choice to do so, and there's no "should" when it comes to pumping in this situation. The only word of caution I have for you is that if you are going to offer bottles, that could screw up your baby's latch just when you are hoping to improve it. A baby can chomp on a bottle as much as he wants, and that's not a habit you want him to adopt.

    Finally, I just want to point out that it is normal for babies to shift around on the growth charts. Breastfed babies often grow fastest in early infancy and then drop percentiles as they get towards the middle of their first year. They may decline even more as the year goes on, and they start to devote increasing amounts of calories to motion instead of packing them on as fat. So don't let your baby's place on the charts throw you into a panic about supply. Try to look at the "whole baby" picture. Of your baby is continuing to gain wright and grow in height and head circumference, and is mastering his developmental milestones at a normal rate, and is basically healthy, you don't have to worry if he jumps between lines on the chart.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Vasospasm, possible nipple trauma 4mo teething?

    Thanks for your suggestions, I will continue to feed and I might try a pump to see if it makes a difference in the pain, not sure if pumping will result in the same burning sensation. My apartment is getting much colder so I'll crank the heat to see if that helps -my feet and hands are always cold so it's tricky to get warm all the time, especially when I'm feeding him at night!

    I noticed during a couple of feeds this morning that his latch on that side is more shallow, I think the other tooth might be bothering him since he's chewing like crazy today but doesn't seem so interested in eating. Guess i'll keep an eye on it and work on the latching. I had really hoped we wouldn't be facing teeth so early! Just when he was getting the hang of things...

    Thanks for the quick response -my first 6 weeks of trying to breastfeed were awful and the forums here were pretty much all that kept me going until he miraculously latched! Will just try to keep being patient with myself as well. The dr. just brought back all those stress of those first 6 weeks and feelings of failing at this but he is meeting milestones and growing so will focus on that.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    24,794

    Default Re: Vasospasm, possible nipple trauma 4mo teething?

    Hang in there! Stay warm and stay patient. The warmth will get you through winter, the patience you will be using for the rest if your life as a mom.

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