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Thread: Blanching

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
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    58

    Default Blanching

    I have a 7 week old DD and I am getting extremely frustrated. It is driving me to tears because I am not sure what is causing it. I have watch latch video after latch video and can't seem to get it down. It seems like my latch is ok but my nipples are still sore and extremly sensitive. I have no cracks or bleeding they are just purple for about 10 to 15 minutes after I BF. I am wondering if anyone is familiar with blanching. From the symtoms(purple nipples, tingling in nipples after feeding or when cold) I have been researching and believe it is blanching or vascospasm.
    Most recently she has been really fussy while nursing, I will take her off to burp her and she gets more mad and cries, usually happens more in the evening than during the day. I dont know if this is associated with it or not. I also have an oversupply of milk. My ped said I could feed twins.
    When my LO comes off the boob in the first few minutes of BF there is a stream of milk shooting her in the face. It is almost like a water gun shooting her so I put that into a burp cloth and wait until it quits then I resume BFing. Any suggestions would be so much appreciated.
    Last edited by sarahs1; May 7th, 2007 at 06:10 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
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    1,368

    Default Re: Blanching

    Hi there and welcome!

    Have you discussed your painful nipples with anyone in person? An IBCLC or LLLL would be able to give you a little more help one-on-one. Have you discussed your suspicions with your physician? Here are some things about vasospasm:

    "Sometimes, due to the baby compressing the tip of the nipple (improper latch as you have determined) the blood vessels in the nipple will constrict. The nipple may simply turn white or after the nipple turns white it may also turn blue and then red. The throbbing, stabbing or burning pain can last up to an hour or more. If the mother continues to have vasospasms even after the latch-on problem is corrected and warmth is applied after feedings, medication prescribed by the mother's doctor is an option. Women with Raynaud's phenomenon are at risk for vasospasm. " (The BAB, pg. 463)

    So, as you read above, you can try applying warmth after feedings. This helps some mothers.

    But it is important to get to the root of the problem. I think you are right to suspect that the oversupply could be causing this problem. The more trouble your dd has with your supply and let-down, the more she will compress your nipple. It is her way of controlling the flow, but it wreaks havoc on your nipples!

    Have you checked this link on oversupply?

    http://www.lalecheleague.org/FAQ/oversupply.html

    This article gives many ideas for dealing with oversupply and its common buddy, OALD (over active let-down). I would suggest reading this article and adjusting your nursing pattern as it mentions. Many mothers have found great remedy in block feeding. Also, positioning is key in dealing with OALD. Always make sure baby's head is higher than bottom. Nursing baby in a sitting up position is really helpful, so is nursing with the baby on top of you. (gravity really helps!) Taking baby off during let-down is very helpful, as you have found.

    Please let us know about some of these suggestions and if they might work for you.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Posts
    58

    Default Re: Blanching

    Well the oversupply link you sent sounds like my issues to a t. I went to a LL meeting and spoke with a leader and she didnt see any problem with my latch and wasn't sure what was causing the purple nipples. As far as the blanching goes. My nipples are not white when they come out, but purple stay they never turn red. I am going to call a LC today to see if she can come out and help. The pain is not extruciating but just annoying. The nipples are very very sensitive to the touch. I have been taking her off to wait for the spray to quit, I have only been doing this for a couple days so not sure if that is helping yet or not. I have also been reclinging while bf and have been keeping her bottom lower than her head. I guess I just have to wait and see if any of this helps.

    My dd only bf every 2.5 hours and only bf on one side per feeding, she always has. When blockfeeding every 3 hrs, does that mean I need to feed her twice on the right before switching to the left?

    When breastfeeding does it normally tickle a little bit when the BM is coming out or is that a sign she is latched incorrectly? Sorry for so many questions. I am just trying to get this figured out. I really want BF to work. I am not giving up. I guess all I have is time.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
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    1,368

    Default Re: Blanching

    Questions are great! No problem!

    You are already doing basic block feeding. Most moms will pick a block of time (2 or 3 hours to start). Anytime baby wants to nurse during that time they will only nurse on one side, say, the left. So, for example, if you were to start 3 hour block feeding at 9pm, you would only offer the left side from 9 pm until 12 am. Then from 12 am to 3 am you would only offer the right side. It may be once, it may be more. That depends on your dd. The idea is to give the other side some "down time". It will fill up. A full breast tells your body to slow production. So eventually getting that signal from each side every couple of hours, your body will slow down. Does this make sense?

    The tickling you are describing sounds like the "pins and needles" sensation that some moms experience during let-down. Completely normal!

    I think it is great that you are asking so many questions. You are doing a great job!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
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    58

    Default Re: Blanching

    How long does let down usually last because the tingling sensation usually happens in the middle of a feeding.

    Also when my nipples get hard they sting. Is this normal?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
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    1,368

    Default Re: Blanching

    Well, many moms have more than one let-down during a feeding. Some have several. So you could get that feeling several times. Is this something you have always had, or is it new?

    Pain in your nipples when they are hard, (or anytime) is not normal. Has this happened all along as well?

    Again, I strongly suggest seeing someone in person, if possible.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Posts
    58

    Default Re: Blanching

    It is almost like I can feel her sucking the milk out of my nipple. It doesn't really hurt, I can just feel it. I have always had this.
    As far as the pain in my nipple goes, I have always had this but just assumed it was part of breastfeeding or sensitive breasts and it would go away, but it hasn't. How hard is a improper to fix improper sucking. I noticed on the kellymom website it said improper sucking could be the culprit. I noticed sometimes when I feel like she is latched really well she will move her head around and uses her tongue to push my breast and nipple into another position in her mouth until it is comfortable for her. I never thought anything of it but now am wondering if I have taught her improper technique. Just a thought.

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