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Breastfeeding Moms Breastfeeding Moms

raynauds?

Posted by on Feb. 18, 2014 at 3:25 PM
  • 12 Replies
1 mom liked this

i experienced this for a few months in the first part of breastfeeding my twins and it was so painful, now im 36 weeks pregnant and already happening?! when i change clothes/bra or there is a temperature change. 

im curious if anyone else had it flare during pregnancy?

i know not much can be done, compression seems to help the discomfort until it subsides. this pregnancy is so weird, i have never had such extreme breast soreness and tenderness!

by on Feb. 18, 2014 at 3:25 PM
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Replies (1-10):
gdiamante
by Group Mod - Gina on Feb. 18, 2014 at 4:54 PM

Giving you a bump. I've never dealt with Raynaud's personally.

mostlymaydays
by Group Mod-Stacy on Feb. 18, 2014 at 4:59 PM
I have circulation problems in my hands, feet and nipples, regardless of breastfeeding or pregnancy. It's pretty much just a cold weather problem for me. I know several moms on thus board are on medication for it, both prescribed and some on vitamin suppliments, can't remember which ones. The cold isn't as bad as when it warms back up. Most days getting in the shower hurts at first. I'm pregnant and so far it's just my hands and feet. But being as it's one of the coldest winters we've had, that's where I'm laying the blame. You'd think it should subside when you're pregnant, considering all the extra blood you're pumping. :-(
K8wizzo
by Kate on Feb. 18, 2014 at 5:28 PM
Echoing this, though my nipples seem to be most affected when breastfeeding and pregnant--theh don't really bother me at other times. My hands and feet are horrible all the time. Cal/mag supplements are supposed to help, along with some other things. I didn't have as much trouble with Andy's pregnancy because I was on nifedipine for preterm labor, but coming off of that max dose to nothing kicked it into high gear.

Quoting mostlymaydays: I have circulation problems in my hands, feet and nipples, regardless of breastfeeding or pregnancy. It's pretty much just a cold weather problem for me. I know several moms on thus board are on medication for it, both prescribed and some on vitamin suppliments, can't remember which ones. The cold isn't as bad as when it warms back up. Most days getting in the shower hurts at first. I'm pregnant and so far it's just my hands and feet. But being as it's one of the coldest winters we've had, that's where I'm laying the blame. You'd think it should subside when you're pregnant, considering all the extra blood you're pumping. :-(
PolishMamma2
by Marta on Feb. 18, 2014 at 7:22 PM

 I had vasospasims after my ds was born. The only thing that helped me was the blood pressure meds. I had to take them for 3 weeks and after that it went away. Look it up on Kelly mom!!! Supposibly B vits work but they didnt for me.

PolishMamma2
by Marta on Feb. 18, 2014 at 7:26 PM

  the nipple

Vasospasm can also be caused by Raynaud’s Phenomenon (more info here), which causes sudden vasospasms in the extremities. When nipple vasospasm is caused by Raynaud’s Phenomenon (Raynaud’s of the nipple), the nipple turns white, then there is usually a noticeable triphasic color change – from white to blue to red – as blood flow returns. The color change may also be biphasic – from white to blue.

Vasospasm due to Raynaud’s is more likely to occur on both sides (rather than just one nipple), lasts for relatively long periods of time (rather than for a few seconds or a few minutes), and can occur during pregnancy and/or at times unrelated to feeding. Vasospasms may also occur in fingers or toes. Cold typically triggers the vasospasm and/or makes it worse. Nipple trauma (and other causes of compression blanching or vasospasm) can exacerbate the problem. Raynaud’s phenomenon may recur with subsequent pregnancies/breastfeeding, so be prepared to seek treatment quickly if you have experienced this in the past.

Per Anderson et al, “Because the breast pain associated with Raynaud’s phenomenon is so severe and throbbing, it is often mistaken for Candida albicans [yeast] infection. It is not unusual for mothers who have Raynaud’s phenomenon of the nipple to be treated inappropriately and often repeatedly for C albicans infections with topical or systemic antifungal agents.”

Keep in mind that Raynaud’s is not caused by breastfeeding (anyone might have it) — it simply has the potential to affect breastfeeding. For example, any person might have inverted nipples, which might or might not affect a mother’s breastfeeding relationship (as this can make latching or sore nipples more of a challenge in the beginning). Raynaud’s works the same way – anyone might have it coming into breastfeeding, and it might (or might not) affect the breastfeeding relationship if the vasospasms are triggered by bad latch, a sudden temperature change as baby unlatches, etc.

Some maternal medications have been associated with vasospasm, including oral contraceptives containing estrogen. Fibromyalgia, rheumatologic diseases (eg, systemic lupus erythematosus or rheumatoid arthritis), endocrine diseases (eg, hypothyroidism or carcinoid), and prior breast surgery have also been associated with Raynaud’s phenomenon. Some sources indicate that the antifungal medication fluconazole may be associated with vasospasm, although the manufacturer does not report this as a known complication of fluconazole use. Other sources feel that vasospasms experienced by mothers taking fluconazole are a result of nipple pain/trauma due to thrush (and not due to the medication used to treat the thrush).

Treatment options for vasospasm

  • Avoid cold. Apply dry heat to the breast when needed (this relaxes the “cramping” blood vessels). Some mothers benefit from keeping the entire body warm (warm clothing, warm room, wrap up in a blanket, etc.)
  • Cover the nipple as soon as possible after baby comes off the breast. Some moms say that it is helpful use a wool breast pad or a soft cloth diaper.
  • Apply dry heat immediately after breastfeeding. A rice sock can be useful as a source of dry heat: Fill a sock or a cloth bag with uncooked rice and microwave 45 seconds (or until desired warmth is achieved); hold the rice sock against the nipple (over the cloth or mom’s shirt) until blood flow resumes.
  • Massage the nipple with olive oil when mom is feeling pain from the vasospasm.
  • Avoid caffeine, nicotine/smoking, diet pills, cold medications containing pseudoephedrine or phenylephrine, beta blockers, and other vasoconstrictive drugs, as they can precipitate symptoms. Oral contraceptives containing estrogen have also been associated with vasospasm.
  • Medications and dietary supplements may also be helpful:
    • Ibuprofen.
    • Dietary supplementation with calcium/magnesium.
    • Dietary supplementation with a vitamin B complex that includes B6 and niacin.
    • Dietary supplementation with fish oil supplements.
    • Low dose oral nifedipine.

See links below for additional details.

PolishMamma2
by Marta on Feb. 18, 2014 at 7:27 PM

 The med was NIFEDIPINE its a low dose blood pressure med.

squeekers
by on Feb. 18, 2014 at 7:27 PM

 my friend has raynaurd's but her's is due to having lupus.

hip2it
by Bronze Member on Feb. 18, 2014 at 7:55 PM
I've experienced it while breastfeeding. I applied heat and kept my nipples warm. It's few and far between now.
carolyntx
by Bronze Member on Feb. 18, 2014 at 9:00 PM

i take B complex now as part of my pregnancy supplements so im assuming that hasnt worked... 

when taking the BP meds, did you have high BP to begin with?

Quoting PolishMamma2:

 I had vasospasims after my ds was born. The only thing that helped me was the blood pressure meds. I had to take them for 3 weeks and after that it went away. Look it up on Kelly mom!!! Supposibly B vits work but they didnt for me.


maggiemom2000
by Ruby Member on Feb. 18, 2014 at 9:09 PM

Taking a cal/mag supplement helped me a lot!

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