Treatments for Raynaud’s phenomenon (blanching of the nipple)
1. Identify and Fix the original cause of the pain: i.e. Poor Latching and/or Candida.
2. Stop Air Drying of the nipples. When baby comes off the breast, immediately cover the nipple with your warm hand while you get your bra done up. After talking a shower, avoid going out of the shower enclosure until the breasts are completely covered and kept warmed so the cold air cannot reach the nipples.
3. The All Purpose Nipple Ointment may also help for the soreness during the feeding, especially when ibuprofen powder has been mixed in. See the information sheets Candida Protocol and All Purpose Nipple Ointment.
4. Olive Oil Warming olive oil in mother’s fingers and then gently massaging the oil into the nipples during the burning may be very soothing. We have heard from many mothers that this gave them instant relief and seemed to decrease the occurrence of the vasospasm overall. It’s important that the oil be really massaged into the nipples and not just dabbed on
5. Vitamin B6 Multi Complex. There have not yet been studies done to show that vitamin B6 works, but enough anecdotal evidence has come forward to support that it does work at least some of the time. It is safe and will do no harm. It is best that B6 not be taken on its own but instead as part of a B complex of vitamins that includes niacin. Depending on the overall dose of the B complex, the amount of B6 itself should be approximately 100 mg 2x/day for at least a couple of weeks. So, for example, if the overall capsule is 125 mg of B complex and there is only 50 mg of B6 in that capsule, then mother would need to take 2 capsules at a time to equal one dose and that dose would need to be taken 2x/day. The mother continues it until she is pain free for a few weeks. It can be restarted if necessary. If you have been pain free for a week or two, try going off the vitamin B6. If vitamin B6 does not work within a week, it probably won’t.
6. Warm dry compresses can be very effective at stopping the vasospasm as it is occurring and for treating the pain. Lying down after a feeding and applying a heating pad to the breasts for a few minutes or more may help considerably. Certainly, it will allow mother to rest and this may help to deal with the pain, as well.
7. Magnesium supplements with added Calcium taken as 2 teaspoons (300mg Magnesium/200 mg Calcium (gluconate), or taken separately: 2x daily or 300mg Magnesium 2x daily & 200mg of Calcium.)
8. After working on the latch, possibly as effective as all of the above is the massaging of the chest muscles which are below the collar bone and above the breasts after the feedings or at onset of nipple or breast pain. The massage should be very vigorous and firm and is done on the chest, not necessarily the breasts. The mother could also massage under the pectoral muscles, in her armpits, but this massage should be done gently.
When this is not enough:
9. Nifedipine. This is a drug used for hypertension. One 30 mg tablet of the slow release formulation once a day often takes away the pain of vasospasm. After two weeks, stop the medication. If pain returns (about 10% of mothers), start it again. After two weeks, stop the medication. If pain returns (a very small number of mothers), start it again. No mothers I am aware of took more than three, two week courses. Side effects are uncommon, but headache may occur. It is a prescription drug. The dose can be increased if 1 tablet is insufficient. The nifedipine treatment may be used in conjunction with all of the other treatments listed above.