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Thread: Pain in breasts!! :(

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
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    Default Pain in breasts!! :(

    Hi there!

    I am nursing my 3wk old and for about the last week or 2 (since we have been home anyway), I have noticed a pain in my right breast after nursing. It almost feels like I dipped my breast in ice water. I know that both my nipples are still a bit cracked and sore and the baby does latch on well cause he is gaining weight, diapers good, etc... but I still experience a bit of pain at first latch on and then anywhere up to 30 minutes after we finish nursing on the right side. I had the baby checked for thrush, I don't seem to be running a fever or anything so I don't think that it is an infection but I must say that it hurts like the devil and I don't remember having this problem with my other BF children (though it's been over 5yrs since I nursed a baby). I thought that maybe I am experiencing nipple sensitivity since when I feel the pain, my nipples tend to harden up (like they would if they were touched, felt any air on them etc... sorry if that is TMI but I can't think of any other way to describe).

    If anyone has some advice for me, let me know. I have a Dr. appt scheduled for tomorrow and I am going to have him look at the cracked nipples and if they look infected, make sure I get something for them. I have never not nursed one of my children due to breast problems, I don't plan on beginning now.

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
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    43

    Default Re: Pain in breasts!! :(

    I think we might need to do some detective work to figure this out. One thing that occurred to me is nipple vasospasm, described here:

    http://www.kellymom.com/bf/concerns/...blanching.html

    If this doesn't seem to describe what you are experiencing, can you give me some more information about the pain? You said it hurt during latch-on, and then for 30 minutes after nursing. When is the pain most intense? Does the entire feeding session hurt, or does it hurt most when the baby comes off the breast? Is it a burning, stabbing, or aching pain, and where is the pain localized?

    Tell me more about your baby's nursing pattern in general: how frequently does the baby nurse, one or two breasts per feeding, how many wet and poopy diapers, weight gain number so far, do you feel like you have "enough" or "too much" milk, and how is baby's behavior in general?

    Lynnette

  3. #3
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    Jan 2006
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    Default Re: Pain in breasts!! :(

    Also, how does your nipple look when it comes out of baby's mouth -- round or pinched? Any color change?

    Lynnette

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
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    16

    Default Re: Pain in breasts!! :(

    Quote Originally Posted by LLLLynnette
    I think we might need to do some detective work to figure this out. One thing that occurred to me is nipple vasospasm, described here:

    http://www.kellymom.com/bf/concerns/...blanching.html

    If this doesn't seem to describe what you are experiencing, can you give me some more information about the pain? You said it hurt during latch-on, and then for 30 minutes after nursing. When is the pain most intense? Does the entire feeding session hurt, or does it hurt most when the baby comes off the breast? Is it a burning, stabbing, or aching pain, and where is the pain localized?

    Tell me more about your baby's nursing pattern in general: how frequently does the baby nurse, one or two breasts per feeding, how many wet and poopy diapers, weight gain number so far, do you feel like you have "enough" or "too much" milk, and how is baby's behavior in general?

    Lynnette

    Thanks Lynette... I did go to my Dr. appt today and he said the nipples look fine and that there is no infection, just cracked nipples that seem to be healing only slowly.
    What I started doing last night was making sure I held his chin open with my thumb while I was latching him on... this seems to diminish the pain I feel at the first initial latch... that has helped.
    However, I do still feel pain (more a stabbing) after nursing, but not necessarily immediately after nursing, and it is only on the right side... After nursing, my nipple looks pulled/elongated... and the only thing that is a different color is where I am already cracked (which seems to be healing slowly), and the color is more of a soaked, wet skin color, sort of whitish...

    I just read the link and the vasospasm really sounds similar to what I am experiencing... the whitish color is right at the center of my nipple but that is also where I am still cracked... my left breast is also this way, but I have no pain on that side... and the pain comes between nursings as well. I told my DH that I thought maybe that breast was just very sensitive... cause it seems to come with the cold or some sort of change.

    Baby is getting plenty of milk, how often we nurse (duration) depends on him, he was comfort nursing but has seemed to slow that in the last few days... overall, we nurse about every 3 hrs, I let him take the lead on how long and when he nurses. He has gained over a pound in the last 2 weeks, and has recovered his birth weight. Sometimes, he nurses just one breast (when very sleepy and at night) but most times it is both breasts with about a 15-20 minute break in between. I think that he is definetely getting enough milk and about every other diaper is both wet/poopy.

    Do you think that the vasospasm is possible? When I read it, I thought that it was possible, since it feels like a cramp or stab in that breast. I have also noticed that after nursing or when I feel the "cramp" coming on, my first inclination is to push my breast as close to my body as possible, almost like I am trying to crush it against me and keep my breast close to my body until the cramp subsides.

    I hope this gives you more information. How funny this is almost, I hate being cold and often feel like I am the coldest person in the house!! Hard to believe that my breast cramps for the same reason.

    Thanks for the help... let me know if there is anything else I can do besides what I read in the link.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
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    43

    Default Re: Pain in breasts!! :(

    If you think it might be vasospasm (it sounds probable to me), try keeping a warm rice-sock (raw rice in a sock, microwaved a couple minutes) near you while nursing, and apply it to your nipple immediately when baby unlatches, so it never gets cold. If this doesn't work, there is a medication called nifedipine that has helped mothers with vasospasm.

    As you and baby learn to get a more comfortable latch, things should get substantially better.

    Check out the latching pages on Kellymom.com, the videos at
    http://www.thebirthden.com/Newman and the "How Breastfeeding Works" pages on this site: http://www.wiessinger.baka.com/bfing/index.html

    It sounds like holding his chin has helped you, but some babies do react to pressure on their chin by clenching, so keep this in mind. You might experiment with just resting your nipple right under his nose (holding him so close that your nipple is sitting right there above his upper lip) and see if this triggers the "gape" -- the wide open mouth with tongue down and forward. When he does this gape, this is the time when you can really get a big chunk of breast in his mouth and hopefully get a more comfortable latch.

    You are doing a great job!!! This will keep getting easier and easier. Keep working on the latch though, because this is the key to comfortable, happy breastfeeding. It certainly doesn't happen overnight though, so don't feel bad that you haven't gotten it down pat yet; it takes most mothers 4-6 weeks to feel like they really know what they're doing!

    Lynnette

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
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    135

    Default Re: Pain in breasts!! :(

    I used to have that stabbing pain, too, just as you say, lasting about half an hour after each feed. I found that a hot water bottle helped. After two months, the pain just stopped.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
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    17

    Default Re: Pain in breasts!! :(

    While you're investigating other causes of the pain, many moms find that an easy way to rule out thrush is by buying some OTC antifungal cream (like Monistat - something for yeast infections) and applying that to the nipple(s) after every feeding. If, after a few days, you notice some improvement in the pain, then you can approach your doctor with this information and s/he would be able to prescribe for you a thrush treatment.

    It's common for yeast to be harbored in cracks and fissures of the nipple, and it's also possible for the mother to have thrush symptoms, and not baby. However, if you do get treated for thrush, it's very important that both you AND your baby are treated, even if your baby is not showing any symptoms.

    Good luck and I hope you're able to get this figured out!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Posts
    16

    Default Re: Pain in breasts!! :(

    This is all very helpful. Also while I was searching the site, I found a post about nipple blisters because I can also see this whitish spot on my nipple. It too causes me pain at first latch and sometimes it goes away and sometimes it does not. So I read the posts about this and links provided and I think that too could be a problem I am having. I am going to try some of the things to help both in this thread and the ones I read in the nipple blisters thread and see if anything helps. I have surgery coming up and I will be away from my baby overnight, so I want all of these other problems out of the way before the surgery happens (question on that in a different post).

    Thanks ladies!!

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