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Raynaud's of the nipple

(23 Posts)
misspollysdolly Sun 31-Aug-08 22:43:02

Has anyone had this condition? If so what did it feel like? Was it ever misdiagnosed as being thrush? Is needle-like pain AFTER feeding consistent with the experience of others? Thanks

Wisknit Mon 01-Sep-08 07:01:26

I have known 2 people with this. And yes often gets diagnosed as thrush. One sign is blanching of the nipple. The blood seems to suddenly drain and it goes white. Try keeping your boobs warm, I know that may sound weird but it helped them.

Eirlys Mon 01-Sep-08 08:02:13

I've had this, together with thrush at the same time. My nipple often came out white after a feed; I could tell it wasn't what my ds was doing because it blanched after using the pump too, and it would go funny shades of purple as the blood comes rushing back.

It did hurt like hell and being in the cold will make it worse. I've seen suggestions on Kellymom to use a hairdryer on low heat after a feed on your nipple which would be nice (but I don't own a hairdryer!)

A bf counsellor recommended tea and red wine for me (can't remember why - I just got so happy at someone recommending I drink wine grin) but a cup of tea and a 125 ml glass a day really helped.

Now ds is 5 months and the pain has eased up a lot for me (and am off the red wine!) so in my experience it does get easier, although I'm slightly worried about what the winter is going to be like!

hazeyjane Mon 01-Sep-08 08:27:33

Can i ask does it hurt all the way through a feed? Does it hurt when expressing? Do your nipples have a bluey tinge to them sometimes? Do you have pain/sensitive nipples at any other times (ie before babies)

I wondered whether I had this problem when i tried to b'feed my dd's. With dd1 I definately had thrush as well (she had thrush in her mouth), and she had a tongue tie, we tried for a few weeks, with me expressing most feeds, even though this hurt almost as much as the feeding. With dd2, the pain was immense, she barely had to get near my nipple for it to feel like someone was going for it with a hacksaw, and expressing was just agony. Nobody mentioned this problem at the time , although a bf counsellor who i saw with dd2 said that some women just have hugely sensitive nipples and are unable to b'feed for that reason. When I mentioned the type of pain on Mumsnet recently a poster came on said it sounded like nipple vasospasm (the same thing right?). I've googled, but tend to get lost in the amount of information!

Divvy Mon 01-Sep-08 08:59:30

I have this right now, along with maybe mastitis.

The whiteness goes if you brush the nipple with a cloth or your finger.

I feel today like my breastfeeding days are coming to an end sad

misspollysdolly Mon 01-Sep-08 20:22:46

Thanks for responding. Those of you who have had this, does the pain happen after you've fed your baby? Does it feel like little needles about 1 cm under the skin on your breast? Is it intensely painful?

WigWamBam Mon 01-Sep-08 20:32:30

I developed it when I was pregnant - dd is seven now, and I still have it.

The pain is excrutiating, and once I am cold it takes a very long time to warm back up to the point where the pain stops. It's not what I would describe as a needle-like pain though, it's more like having your nipple in a vice. I had thrush in my nipple when I was breastfeeding though, and that did feel like little needles under the skin.

Generally, though, I didn't have it when I was feeding, or immediately afterwards - it is the cold which affects me, feeding rarely did.

If the whiteness can be brushed off, Divvy, it's not Reynauds. The whiteness of Reynauds is caused by a circulation problem, not something which can be removed with a cloth.

Divvy Mon 01-Sep-08 21:51:36

No, I ment not wipe of the white, but to brush the nipple.

Yes after feeding and yes feels like needles. Try very gentaly squeezing the nipple, if its white right now, give it a little squeeze, the pain will go and it will pink up smile

So now when ever I get the pain, I just squeeze.

ps..thanks to this thread, I realised this is what I had, and today found a cure for myself, hope it works for you too xx

LackaDAISYcal Mon 01-Sep-08 21:58:27

Yes, blanching of the nipples and needle like pain for up to half an hour after a feed, no (it wasn't picked up at all and I gave up at five weeks as a result), and yes.

I never got to the root cause of it with DS, no one suggested that's what the problem might be, and it wasn't until I found MN and started reading up on stuff prior to Dd being born that I discovered what the problem with DS was.

I started to get a bit of it when DD was little and found that my latch needed adjusting just the teensiest bit and it disappeared.

some advice from kellymom

emma1977 Mon 01-Sep-08 21:58:41

I had this in the early days of BFing and it makes me shudder to recall the pain.

During and after feeds (and in between) it felt as though a skewer had been rammed all the way through my nipple and out of my back. It even hurt to breathe or have my bra on sometimes. Heaven forbid I should get a cold draft across me or have to go outside (ds was born in December, so it was a bit chilly)!

My nipples would change colour from red/pink to white and black/purple.

It got better of its won accord after 2 months, but some people take nifedipine to ease it.

Lubyloo Mon 01-Sep-08 22:18:16

It is excruciating. I had vasospasm and had to stop BFIing at seven weeks because I was in constant pain.

The pain would suddenly shoot through and my nipple would go completely white. This happened during and for some time after afeed. I couldn't shower as I couldn't bear the water touching my nipple. I would describe the pain as the pain I would imagine you would feel if someone stubbed out a cigarette on your nipple - it really was that bad!

Mine was misdiagnosed as thrush by both a BF counsellor and my GP. Not surprisingly the cream I was prescribed made no difference!

It was only after I stopped feeding and my milk had dried up that a different GP diagnosed it. Apparently there are tablets you can take for it but I'm not sure if they are actually licensed.

I'm still very sad and angry at the lack of awareness and support about this condition. I was desperate to BF but the pain had me miserable and in tears all the time. If I have the same problem next time I am going to arm myself with all the info I can and do everything possible to treat it.

emma1977 Mon 01-Sep-08 22:26:59

Lubyloo- I forgot about the showering thing! I used to have to back into the shower and stand hunched so that the water couldn't splash on my boobs. Drying and dressing afterwards was also a precision act.

My HV had never heard of Raynaud's of the nipple and just dismissed me as smart-arse-know-it-all-doctor. Luckily my GP was far less of an arse.

Nifedipine is not specifically licenced to cover this condition (although is used often in bog-standard Raynaud's), but its use generally accepted as safe.

Lubyloo Mon 01-Sep-08 22:59:21

Emma - Your skewer description is very accurate! Are you a doctor then? Would a GP be happy to prescribe nifedipine?

I'm glad yours cleared up eventually. I wish I had known at the time that it can clear up or that there is medication to take. I just didn't have any time to do any research with a newborn baby. (It was before I discovered Mumsnet! wink)The thrush cream didn't work and I just couldn't see anyway of stopping the pain other than stopping the feeding. BFing was so much more painful than the birth!

emma1977 Mon 01-Sep-08 23:09:27

I'm a GP for my sins.

I personally would (and have) prescribe nifedipine, but I understand that some doctors would be reluctant and some wouldn't make the diagnosis (its very unusual and not something that gets much of a look in at medical school).

I didn't take it and just resorted to a lot of moaning, crying and biting on things when feeding. I very nearly gave up BFing at 6 weeks, but had to continue for ds's sake as he was very refluxy. Thank goodness it got better.

VeniVidiVickiQV Mon 01-Sep-08 23:15:16

Oh crikey! Is that what it is?? I developed it when pg and the GP had NO idea what it was - he'd never seen it before.

It happened when he was examined me and was utterly puzzled by it!

Divvy Tue 02-Sep-08 10:40:48

So what I discovered for myself yesterday about tweaking the nipple very gentally everytime it happens makes perfect sence then! As it is bringing blood flow back?

I would imagine this would work for pain during feeding too, if you take baby off tweak and re-latch?

luvaduck Tue 02-Sep-08 13:04:59

It's actually more common than people (including most doctors) think, some reports suggests up to 20% women

interesting reading

EachPeachPearMum Tue 02-Sep-08 15:33:39

This is really interesting- though I am extremely sorry for you all who are going through this of course.

DH has Raynaud's and it can be excruciating, though he never bf DDwink.

He has found that improving circulation has had a big impact. I think ginger can help, and his diet is greatly improved in terms of fruit and veg than when he first started suffering.

I find it fascinating that it happens at feeding... infant mouths are lovely and warm!

WigWamBam Tue 02-Sep-08 16:11:20

Ginkgo biloba can help in some people, apparently - another thing which helps with circulation problems.

I haven't found anything which helps mine, though, apart from not letting myself get cold in the first place.

There is obviously a gap in the market for furry breast cosies winkgrin

luvaduck Tue 02-Sep-08 16:47:46

look no further!

bought these as a joke for a friend when in NZ. should have bulk bought...

emma1977 Tue 02-Sep-08 17:36:35

Mmmmmm, they look cosy.

Whenever I had to go out in the cold, I used to warm up a pair of folded hankies on the radiator and stick them down my bra to keep my nips warm!

WigWamBam Tue 02-Sep-08 17:38:42

Oh my ...

I think I'll stick to shoving hankies down me bra ...

hazeyjane Wed 03-Sep-08 08:32:44

Agree that b'feeding was much more painful than birth, even though i had a long labour and 3rd degree tear!

Is there a definite way of finding out whether this could have been why feeding was so painful? With dd1 i know I started off with a bad latch as well (maybe due to her tongue tie), but even after the nipple had healed, it was still excruciating. With dd2 she latched on well straight away, but feeding was agony from start to finish.

The water hurting in the shower sounds very familiar too.

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