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Raynaud's Disease?

550 Views 5 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  gratefulmum
Does anyone have experience with a diagnosis of Raynaud's Disease affecting the breasts? I've been breastfeeding my first for thirteen weeks now and for the first six weeks suffered through the usual first time mom nipple pain, etc. When the pain didn't stop and started to radiate deep into my breasts I talked to my MW and she chalked it up to yeast. I went on ten days of Diflucan with no abatement. It was eventually dd's pediatrician who suggested I might have Raynaud's syndrome, a condition that usually affects fingers and toes, where the blood vessels constrict too much, preventing blood flow and causing, in the breast's case, pain. Well, he put me on a heart medication for high blood pressure, Nifedepine, that has made a huge difference. Although it is still sometimes uncomfortable at times (I feel bruised deep in my breast tissue after some feedings) it is completely manageable...I don't grimace or have to pull her off, and I even enjoy it often.
Is anybody familiar with this? I plan on EBF and don't want to to take this medication for that length of time, for either of our sakes. I heard cal-mag supplements help as well as fish oils and EPO (in large quantities). Is there any other reason for my pain? I don't think so since the med has helped so much.
I just don't want the next years to be laden with drugs, and if I have more children, even longer.
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I have Raynauds/vasospasms to a certain extent, so I've researched it. Do you have the blanching of the nipples?

Dr. Tom Hale who writes the book Medications and Mothers Milk every year says the nifedipine/procardia is absolutely not contraindicated in bf. I totally understand the not wanting to rely on a prescription drug though. Just wanted you to know that as far as "drugs" go, this one gets the green light from Dr. Hale, FWIW

Also, if it was ever thrush, the current protocol for Diflucan is to take seven days beyond the cessation of pain, so 10 days might not have been enough????....many cases are really hard to get rid of....and it can take time (and $$$). I did all the routes of care for thrush. It was a beast to get rid of!

Wishing you all the best!
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I have Raynauds as well. My IBCLC has me take vit B6 for it. It has worked quite well. I took 100mg for 4 days and now I take 50mg each day. She says once I am pain free I can quit and just watch for symptoms and if they return then go back on the B6. She says if this hadn't worked that I could try the heart meds you are on.

If you don't like the idea of staying on a prescription med you might try the Vit. B6. My IBCLC says this almost always is enough and most of her patients never need the presciption meds.

As far as it being something else - it could have been a shallow latch that resolved on its own. From what I have learned though, Raynauds is more common than many people know. I would say stop the meds and try the Vit B6. Be sure to talk with your Dr. if you decide to quit the prescription as some meds need to be stopped slowly.

Good Luck, and feel free to ask me more about my Raynauds if you think I can help in any way

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I also have Raynauds. Vitamin E is good, and it's critical that you stay WARM. I know that's sort of an odd thing to say in the summer, but it's a very important aspect. When are you experiencing the pain? If it's while you're nursing, make sure your whole body (not just your breasts) is warm before you start. You may want to turn the thermostat up a degree or two and see if that helps. If you drink water while you nurse, use less ice. If you can stand it, cover up with a blanket. Better yet, do that a few minutes before you start the nursing session. If you go barefoot in your house, try wearing socks. In other words, practice behaviors that make your core temp warmer.

Some people have the most pain when the baby comes off, due to the wet breast being hit with air. If that's the case, always have something warm to apply on your breast the second you pull the baby off.

Good luck! I mainly have problems with my fingers and toes and have always been grateful that I don't have many problems with my breasts. However, a big part of the reason that I don't have breast problems is probably because I'm so used to taking care of my fingers and toes that I haven't let myself get cold in years.
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i totally agree with amy. it's worst for me right before i get in or out of the shower. go figure! keeping your breasts warm (but not doing anything to contribute to yeast) is a great point!
Thank you girls. I'm glad to hear about the B6. I think I'll talk to my naturopath and see what sort of advice she has about that, because I don't think my PCP will be as informed.
Yes, I do have blanched nipples. Usually only on one side though. That is the side that is much more painful. The pain is usually greatest after she finishes nursing, so maybe I'll try a hot pad for five minutes afterwards.
I don't think I ever had the thrush as dd never showed any signs. I think it was just the Raynaud's misdiagnosed.
Oh, and speaking of showers. I didn't have an enjoyable shower for months. I have cramped space as it is, and the water has no pressure adjustment, so I had to shower with my back facing the faucet because it hurt my nipples so badly.
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