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Thread: Nipple Pain! Conflicting advice from experts

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
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    Default Nipple Pain! Conflicting advice from experts

    Hi, there.
    My DD is 5 weeks old and I've had nipple pain from the get-go. First it was latching problems that caused cracks (I would sob from the pain). Now, it's burning pain and blanching even when I'm not feeding her. Chloe does have a tendency to push and pull and clamp and fuss, which doesn't help! Anyway, my lactation consultant says it's thrush but the pediatrician and my OB have examined us and both say No. At first I didn't believe them because in all my research, I've read that burning nipples ARE a sign of thrush. But as 2 1/2 weeks have passed and the baby not showing signs of thrush...and the fact I'm still in pain despite 10 days of nystatin cream...I'm beginning to think it's something else and NOT thrush. At this point, I don't know where to turn for help!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
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    3,900

    Default Re: Nipple Pain! Conflicting advice from experts

    Welcome to the forum!

    I'm so sorry you are still experiencing pain. (((hugs)))

    You are right, if thrush treatments aren't helping at all, you probably aren't experiencing thrush.

    It is possible that you are experiencing nipple blanching from nipple trauma. Nipple blanching is often misdiagnosed as thrush because the painful symptoms are similar. It is especially likely that blanching is the issue since you mention your baby clamps down on the nipple. Has your IBCLC helped you work on the clamping issue?

    In the meanwhile, try to avoid letting your nipples get cold. You can either keep your whole body warm, or have a warm cloth at the ready to place of the nipple when baby unlatches.

    Consider dry heat after feedings (a warm rice sock works for many mothers).

    Avoid caffeine and cigarette smoke.

    More info:
    http://www.kellymom.com/bf/concerns/...blanching.html
    http://www.lalecheleague.org/llleade...bMar00p10.html

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
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    185

    Default Re: Nipple Pain! Conflicting advice from experts

    I don't know if you have thrush either, but I did experience much the same problems as you. My OB and the ped said I didn't have thrush and the LC said I did. I did not respond to the Nystatin cream either so it was assumed it wasn't thrush and a latch issue.
    Weeks later...
    It turned out I DID have thrush. I needed to treat me with the Nystatic cream, DD with Nystatin oral medication and take a anti-yeast pill (Diflucan I believe) because the thrush was in my ducts. Within 1 week, the pain was gone and I've never have anymore pain. It was like a miracle.
    I would recommend exploring all those options before deciding that it isn't thrush. I spent so much time in pain and turmoil that was unnecessary.
    Good luck.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
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    Default Re: Nipple Pain! Conflicting advice from experts

    Burning nipples *are* a sign of thrush, for sure. It should not be totally ruled out. But, certainly explore the other causes of burning pain. In your case, blanching is probably at least part of the problem.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
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    Default Re: Nipple Pain! Conflicting advice from experts

    Thanks for the fast responses! I'm going to schedule a follow-up with my LC to see if latching is part of the problem. But boy, I sure would love the same miracle that Laura's Mom had. (This morning, I was in tears again.) One of the hardest parts, for me, is trying to assert myself to the docs who refuse to prescribe. I've got my 6-wk with the OB Thursday--and I'm not optimistic
    Laura's Mom: when you found out it was thrush, what was the tip-off? Did she start showing signs in her mouth?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
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    866

    Default Re: Nipple Pain! Conflicting advice from experts

    Thrush is hard to detect on the nipple. You can have it without your LO showing any symptoms. If you are dry/cracked you can try pure olive oil that does not need to be washed off between feedings. (Natural anti-fungal)

    Nystatin is only effective 40% of the time and unfortunately often the only thing the doctor will prescribe. Try buying Grapefruit seed extract. Non-toxic, and very potent, when added to water it kills candida and has many other uses as well. Check out the link below...and good luck =)

    http://www.nutribiotic.com/GSELiquid.htm
    Leslie- Momma to Aiden 02/28/06 AND Owen 2/28/08...What timing

    Older and wiser voices can always help you find the right path, if you are only willing to listen.--Jimmy Buffet


  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
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    185

    Default Re: Nipple Pain! Conflicting advice from experts

    The thing that really made me push for more treatment option for thrush was the burning, shooting pain in my breasts, especially at let down. I didn't have these symptoms at first, but after a few weeks the thrush had taken root in my milk ducts. My dd never showed any white patches or symptom of thrush at all, so you can't always go by that.
    Your problems could be a combination of a latch problem and thrush, so you're doing the right thing in getting help from a LC.
    I understand how you feel about asserting yourself with the docs. It's hard to make them listen to you and stand your ground. Please have the courage I didn't have at first and insist on what you feel is the right treatment for you. The treatment for thrush isn't invasive or harmful to your LO, so there's really no reason for your doc to be that hesitant. And remember that to be really successful, thrush has to be treated on your nipples and in your LO's mouth. You also have to sterilize any pacis and anything that comes into contact with your breast, your baby's mouth, or your milk.
    Again, good luck and be assertive at your 6 week check up. It's your body and your right to be heard!! I really wish I had done so at first and saved myself weeks of pain and doubt. You CAN get this fixed and get on with a wonderful bfing relationship with your baby.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
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    Default Re: Nipple Pain! Conflicting advice from experts

    I just would worry that you are focusing on one thing instead of both. Yes, the pain *could* be from thrush, but you also mention your baby sometimes clamps. That can lead to nipple blanching, and the exact same kind of pain you describe.

    The best thing you can do, as far as advocating for yourself goes, is printing off some info to take in to your OB. Let him/her know how long you've been in pain, what you've tried, and that you're not getting better. Let him know that nystatin doesn't work for many cases of thrush nowadays, and sometimes the only way to get rid of it is with a stronger appoach. Show him the evidence for different treatments, and decide together what would help you. You can do it!

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