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One painful breast?

(4 Posts)
argylesocks Sat 16-Jul-11 13:14:40

I've been bf-ing my 9week old and have had problems with my right breast all along. It doesn't produce as much as my left, I keep getting blocked ducts and painful lumps that take days to go away. I can tolerate that but every couple of weeks I get this horrible pain in my right nipple only.

It lasts for days and is so painful I break out in sweat when I feed him on it. I don't get why it's only the right one. I've had his latch checked and it's fine. It's so bad today that I'm expressing the right one instead of having him feed on it. He feeds really often so having only one 'working' boob is a real pain!

What could the problem be?

rizzie Sat 16-Jul-11 17:02:50

Have you checked for mastitis? Mastitis is a blocked duct in your breast -- it can be treated with hot compresses, expressing milk from the breast and massaging the area. Mastitis often comes with fatigue and often flu-like symptoms. The worst thing you can do for mastitis is stop breastfeeding from the breast! So don't stop! If it is a deep infection (which it sounds like it might be) your doctor will prescribe you something to clear it up... do not let the problem go untreated if it is mastitis -- untreated mastitis can lead to bigger, nastier problems!
It is also possible you have a yeast infection in your breast... women usually complain of a deep pain in the breast, while feeding and after feeding... sometimes this pain can be in the armpit area. Yeast infection of the breast usually also comes with a rash on your nipple (which can be hard to see, quite honestly) and/or white spots/"thrush" in the baby's mouth. However, yeast infections do NOT always present with rash/thrush! So don't rule it out! I believe your treatment options are the same as with a vaginal infection: an oral treatment or a cream (if you use the cream, make sure you wash your breasts thoroughly before feeding again) and always speak with a nurse before taking oral treatments and breastfeeding. I do believe, however, that oral yeast treatments are perfectly safe while bf-ing.
Also, don't be too hard on yourself as frustrating and upsetting as the fatigue and pain can get... remember that breastfeeding IS tricky! It can take many weeks for both mama and baby to get comfortable, so some degree of nipple pain is normal as you get sensitized to your new job! It is WORK to breastfeed!! But it is very, very worth it and you will get through this, I promise... How unfortunate for us women that there is not more breastfeeding services and support out there, it is much needed and very appreciated, so best of luck to you and your baby : )

argylesocks Sat 16-Jul-11 17:33:30

Thanks smile would it be mastitis if there was no lump at the moment? The most recent lump went away a few days ago and my nipple is still killing me!

Also if it was thrush would it affect only one nipple? The left one is fine.

Sorry for all the questions.. I really appreciate it!

rizzie Sat 16-Jul-11 23:08:08

I think it's very possible to have mastitis and not be able to feel the lump all the time (especially as your breasts empty and fill constantly)... Yeast infection of the breast can definitely start in one breast alone... but will/should be spread to the other breast over time, as yeast is generally very easily spread.
At the moment, I would take some tylenol to help soothe your pain, and keep your top/bra off as much as possible. You can put some breastmilk on your nipples after feeding to help soothe cracked/chapped nipples.
If you think it's mastitis, try some of the things I mentioned in the first post while you wait to see a doctor. If you think it might be yeast within the breast, you should eliminate all sugars and breads from your diet; eat lots of yoghurt with active bacterial culture in them. You can buy some "gentian violet" at a pharmacy without a perscription (although call around to several pharmacies as not all of them have it), many women who have gone through thrush/yeast swear by it. It will stain your babies mouth & your nipples purple (gentian violet is a very deep purple colour) for about a day, but it supposedly works wonders. Gentian violet is harmless to you and your baby, and should give relief within 12-24 hours, so if you try that and you don't get relief... it probably isn't thrush/yeast. Seriously go see the doc for mastitis though!

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