Pain While Breastfeeding

Updated on November 23, 2007
C.R. asks from Bristow, VA
6 answers

I have been nursing my 4 month old and supplementing with formula (since I can only pump a small amount while at work every day). In the past week or so, I've developed some pain in one of my breasts. It seems to start at the nipple and go towards my breastbone. It's more noticeable when I nurse my son. I have ruled out thrush (since I've had it twice, I know that pain...and the symptoms), and am pretty sure it's not mastidis since I don't have a fever, don't feel "flu-like" and don't have any red streaking. It doens't feel knotty like a clogged fact, it doesn't feel like anythings different besides this pain. He doesn't have any teeth yet (and hasn't nipped me, either), so I can't figure out what it could be. Any suggestions?

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So What Happened?

Thanks to everyone for their great advice and insight. Turns out there were a couple things going on...(1) I had a bruise on my nipple...I'm not sure if it's from the baby nipping me and me not remembering, or from him popping on and off to play, or when my 3 year old kicked me in the chest (by accident) while we were rough-housing. But I could just see the faint purplish color on the nipple and slightly onto the rest of my breast. (2)I had the beginning stages of bronchitis (was unaware at the time) and was coughing so hard that my chest muscles were sore. But now I am feeling better! Thanks!

More Answers



answers from Washington DC on

I don't know where you are located, but "Special Beginnings Birthing Center" has a lactaction consultant there named Flossie, who holds a free walk-in lactation consulting every monday, I think starting around 12 P.M. I haven't been to her but the girls at my LLL say she is awesome. It's worth a try. Their website is Good Luck. Oh yeah, they are located in Arnold, between Severna Park and Annapolis off of Ritchie Highway.



answers from Washington DC on

All that comes to mind since you have ruled out the plugged duct, mastitis, etc, is that you should check his latch-on. sometimes as they grow (and maybe as teeth begin to push at the gum) they change their latch-on a bit. ensure that he's not sucking in his lower lip or latching-on sort of crookedly so he can look around whilst nursing. if the pain gets worse or if you can't figure out what's causing it, do as everyone suggests and call the local la leche league. they are tremendously helpful.



answers from Washington DC on

Hi C.,

I remember those days. Great news that you are continuing to breastfeed although you are supplementing. It isn't an all or none thing and every little bit helps. What a great way to bond after a long work day.

I would suggest that since each mother and baby pair are different to call a La Leche League Leader for help. They also have a web site that you can send your questions in.

It's free advice and most know how to listen and get you help right away.

You may have a clogged duct that doesn't get enough stimulation to remain pain free. This is just a guess.

Good luck.



answers from Washington DC on

Hi C.,
I would definetly call your OB and ask a nurse (just to make sure) but it sounds like a swollen gland in your breast. I had one with my last son and I couldn't feel any bumps either. Try to massage or gently rub that side where it hurts when he's nursing on it to see if that takes any of the pain away. And of course make sure he's getting as much nipple in there as possible. (as they get older they seem to get lazier and use the tip, which can be crazy painful) Anyway, good luck! Those are just my experiences and advice. I'm the Mom of three boys with my fourth on the way.



answers from Norfolk on

Check his latch. He could be getting a little lazy on one side. That's about all I can think of.



answers from Washington DC on

Have you tried a warm compress? If it is a swollen gland (as another poster suggested), mild mastidis, or a blocked duct (and probably other conditions too) the compress will help, and it can't hurt. But it sounds like you should give someone a call- either your OB, a lactation consultant, or your normal doctor- and let them check it out. Good luck, and Happy Thanksgiving!!

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