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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Please help me!! I have been nursing my 9 month old dd with pain for most of our nursing relationship, and I am almost at my limit. I got treated for thrush for the pain several times, and except for the first time, it didn't help.

I'm pretty sure I have Raynauds from all the links (which I have looked at at length!) especially because I had severe nipple pain before my dd was born when I walked in the cold weather, and I have the blanching, etc.

now that it's cold again and my dd has started nightwaking again I'm in pretty severe pain, especially at night. I got some evening primrose oil and am taking 3 capsules a day--is that enough? vitamin B didn't really work. I exercise at least once a day.

I just don't know what else to do. I wanted to let my dd self-wean but I don't think I can take this much longer. I don't even know which doctor to call if I called one...a dermatologist, midwife, gp, or what?

Any help or even just support will be greatly appreciated.
Thanks.
 

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you need a really good LC Raynauds can be hard to treat so call and ask if they have experience with it before you make an appt.
 

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Vitamin E is good for Raynauds (and circulation in general). From my research, it looks like 400 IUs is considered safe by just about everybody. There are people who take a lot more than that, but as a nursing mom, I probably wouldn't.

There aren't too many really good food sources for Vitamin E. I have Raynauds, and I'm seriously considering taking extra Vitamin E for the winter, but I don't really like supplements. Or at least, I wish I could take about 200 IUs so that I'd have more room to take more by actually eating food. It's hard to find the smaller amounts, though. The Eggland's Best eggs have extra Vitamin E. I think it's about 20% of the RDA. Wheat germ is another good source. I try to eat at least one container of yogurt each day with 2 TBSP of wheat germ mixed in.

The most important thing you can do is keep yourself WARM. Sleep in warm jammies. You may even want to wear socks and gloves if that's what it takes. Turn up the thermostat a few degrees. Take hot baths or hot showers if you get too cold during the day. Keeping yourself warm overall will protect you somewhat when you're exposed to sudden cold. If you're experiencing the most pain when your DD unlatches and your wet breast is exposed to air, try to minimize that exposure. Keep a warm water bottle nearby and get it on your breast immediately when she lets go.
 

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Oh, I really feel for you. I had Raynaud's with two of my children. With my third child, I thought it was thrush, but treatment didn't seem to help much. I also had breast pain which ended up was not due to thrush, but underlying muscle pain from hauling the baby carseat around. I stopped doing that and was advised by a doctor to take ibuprofen and also use a heating pad on my chest when I had the chance. I think the heating pad really helped, even though I didn't know it was Raynaud's at the time. I started to feel better when my daughter was around 4 or 5 months (spring coming probably helped too!)

With my 4th baby, my son, I thought it must be thrush again, and it wasn't until six months later that I learned about Raynaud's and figured out that was the problem. (Incidently, Raynaud's of the nipples can be a secondary problem to thrush or bad latch on). I visited a lactation consultant who advised me to take TEN Evening Primrose Oil capsules a day. There is a study by two board certified lactation consultants that can be found online (you can track it down by searching "Raynaud's + nipple) that describes this treatment. Actually, in this study, they reccommend 12 capsules a day and that is what I ended up taking. After about a week of this, I started feeling improvement, but it took about 6 weeks before I realized I wasn't thinking about how my nipples felt anymore. From time to time, it seems to act up again (when my son is teething, or when I am ovulating) and I take the evening primrose oil for a few days until it goes away again.

There is also a drug that can be used to help this. It is mentioned in the study I told you about and also can be found in some information from Dr. Jack Newman (www.breastfeedingonline.com)

I have also heard of women who get relief when using wool breast pads.

Good luck and hang in there.

Jeanne
 

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mine didn't get better until spring also...ibuprofen really helped...especially so that I could sleep. I was wondering why my nipples have been hurting again lately, and I think it is the Reynald's returning again with the cold weather. Great...only 2 more nursing months to go. I hope I ,ake it!
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks for your responses, mamas.

How does Allegra help? Did you go to a gp to get a prescription? I would go to an LC but they can't prescribe anything and I think I'm past the point of herbs.

I did see my chiro the other day and he recommended massage of the *very* tight muscles around my breasts. It has been helping but overnight they just tighten up again.

I guess we can all just try to hang in there! My dd is sleeping better now so it's not such a horrendous thing...for some reason when she was up all night teething it was just killing me.
 

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There are prescription treatment options for Raynaud's. I have helped two moms with it.
*Nitroglycerin ointment or spray, 2%, applied sparingly after every nursing session for first 24 hours, and then only when blanching occurs, or
*One 30-mg long-acting tablet of nifedipine per day for two weeks.

Another thing I thought of, since heat helps relieve the pain, is to get a wipe warmer and put washcloths in it -- that way the moms had fast access to something warm immediately after nursing.

 

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i just finished rereading an article on the compleat mother website on raynauds. if you haven't already checked it out it's at http://www.compleatmother.com/arch_raynaud.htm . the mom who wrote it is swedish and took some homeopathic remedies that helped her. several other women wrote in at the bottom of the page to offer other tips, too.

hth
 

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I also have raynauds and have been treated extensively for thrush. Dd is 6 months old and the pain is coming back and I was thinking it was thrush and it may be, but you made me remember that it may be the raynauds since it is getting cold again. My midwife suggested 2000 mg of Calcium and 1000 mg of Magnesium daily. This doesn't really start to help for 6 weeks, when it finally gets built up in your system. She also put me on a hypertension medication for a month, I think it was nifedipine that someone else mentioned. That helped so much! But my insurance ran out and I couldn't afford any more. Some things that make it worse are birth control pills, and diflucan, used to treat thrush. All I can say is keep those nipples covered and warm. You might try getting some wool breast pads; I'm thinking about doing that for the winter months. I hope it gets better for you.
 

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You might want to avoid the vitamin B. Too much of it can make things worse. I've had Reynauds in my hands and feet--and it was mistaken for thrush, too.
This might help you, if you can do this, soak your feet in warm water (I bought a foot bath massage thing at the Costco for about 35 bucks) and soak your feet while you nurse.
That helps me to "warm up". Also drink warm fluids.
Or tepid water. Calcium, fish oil and vitamin E aer also helpful.
I hope this helps. I totally relate.
 
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