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Thread: Breast pain...is it infection, or my breast pump?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
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    11

    Default Breast pain...is it infection, or my breast pump?

    My LO has latching problems and a clampdown reflex, so for the past week or so I have been exclusively pumping and feeding her bottles. And for a couple of days now, I've had these new pains in my breast. I say "new" because I used to be in a lot of pain whenever I'd try to nurse her using a nipple shield, because of the way she would clamp down on it. Now that I'm just pumping, I'm actually in pain more often!! I have sharp pains that twinge the nipples frequently throughout the day, becoming more noticeable when I haven't pumped in 3 hours or more. The pain seems to be related to my let-down reflex also: when I massage the nipple in some lanolin ointment, I start leaking immediately and that leaking is accompanied by pain.

    Also, every time I finish pumping, I look at my nipples and they look whitish--the way your fingers look when you've been under water for a long time and they get raisiny and lose their color. It's usually a long time before the color returns to my nipples but this isn't accompanied by any particular pain.

    My nipples have deep crevices and an overall bumpy/scaly sort of appearance. Sometimes after pumping they look like your tongue would look after burning it on some hot food, one or two bumpy taste buds popping out and damaged. I don't think I have thrush, although I don't know much about it. My baby does have a very slight white area on her tongue...

    In your experienced opinions, does this sound like thrush, or has my constant pumping done damage to my breast?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
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    18,063

    Default Re: Breast pain...is it infection, or my breast pump?

    could be thrush...
    http://www.kellymom.com/bf/concerns/...resources.html

    how are you treating your pain?
    are you nipples bleeding?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2006
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    21,147

    Default Re: Breast pain...is it infection, or my breast pump?

    I wouldn't worry about pumping damaging the breast- at least not permanently. Trust me, the breast is really resilient and heals well!

    The 2 things that spring to my mind from your post are vasospasm (which would explain the
    blanching) and nipple blisters (which could explain the "bumpy taste bud" appearance of your nipples, though thrush could also explain it). Overall, it sounds like a fast letdown is the root of your problem.

    How old is your baby (I'm guessing under a month?), and have you tried nursing her straight from the tap recently? The reason I ask is that babies who get a lot of bottles or even a very few bottles early on can forget how to latch and come to resist feeding from the breast. And while pumping seems like the way out of a difficult situation now, it's a lot harder in the long run!

    I would definitely look for a lactation consultant, preferably an IBCLC, for help with what you're experiencing.
    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!"

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
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    11

    Default Re: Breast pain...is it infection, or my breast pump?

    No, they're not bleeding... And I'm not really treating the pain at all. I just try to gently massage lanolin on them, but they are so sensitive that that is painful and like I said, brings on the release of milk.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
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    11

    Default Re: Breast pain...is it infection, or my breast pump?

    Yes, she's only two weeks... I try to bring her to the breast at least once a day, but she pretty much refuses always. Once in a while I have gotten her to stay on the breast for a few seconds, but she comes off it. I have an appointment with a LC on Tuesday. I'm just really concerned about all the pain I'm in, and wondering what I should do to treat it or if I have to wait til Tuesday.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2006
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    21,147

    Default Re: Breast pain...is it infection, or my breast pump?

    I try to bring her to the breast at least once a day, but she pretty much refuses always.
    Oh, that must be so hard! This link may help: Help - My Baby Won't Nurse!

    Once in a while I have gotten her to stay on the breast for a few seconds, but she comes off it.
    Believe it or not, that's great! Something is better than nothing.

    I have an appointment with a LC on Tuesday.
    Wonderful! I hope she can give you the help you need.

    I'm just really concerned about all the pain I'm in, and wondering what I should do to treat it or if I have to wait til Tuesday.
    I'm thinking that the pain is related to oversupply, because that can cause all the symptoms you're experiencing: vasospasms, baby clamping down, baby reluctant to feed from breast, painful feelings during letdown/leaking, painful feelings due to fullness when you've gone several hours without pumping/nursing... When you pump, how much milk do you get? How much can you get?

    Treating oversupply generally requires that you remove less milk from the breast. When milk sits unused in the breast, it sends the message to your body that you're making too much, and your body gradually reduces supply. So if oversupply is the problem, reducing the amount/frequency you're pumping and putting up with the pain from fullness should eventually reduce your supply to a more manageable level.

    Of course, even if you are experiencing oversupply, that doesn't rule out the thrush possibility. You could have one or the other, or both, which is why I think it's great that you're going to the LC.
    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
    Mar 2010
    Posts
    11

    Default Re: Breast pain...is it infection, or my breast pump?

    OK, so it turns out that I probably have thrush. At least that's the only explanation I can think of for the fungusey white stuff I found in a ring around my nipple after using my breast pump...

    This morning it hurt the entire time I was pumping. I have an appt. with baby's pediatrician and another appt. with a LC both on Tuesday, but I don't know if I should keep pumping until then... Any good home remedies for thrush? I read about the Grapefruit Seed Extract but I don't know where to get it.

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