When you think about Raynaud’s attacks in the extremities, you don’t necessarily think about breasts, but we continue to hear from Raynaud’s sufferers who are having problems with breastfeeding. We’ve posted information in the past on the subject, but recently found two more articles and wanted to bring them to the attention of fellow Frosties who may be dealing with this issue.
Getting diagnosed can be challenging. Both articles point out that the symptoms are very similar to thrush (or Candidiasis) which is caused by a yeast infection. Those who are misdiagnosed and treated for thrush may find the medications aggravate their Raynaud’s, so it’s important to get it right, and that can be difficult to do unless you have an attack in front of your doctor during an office visit. It helps to reference the color changes that occur when exposed to cold or extreme temperature changes (e.g. white or blue nipples).
The articles reference similar tips for new mothers experiencing Raynaud’s when breastfeeding, and several are no different than those offered to most Raynaud’s sufferers:
- Stay calm/avoid stress
- Avoid exposure to cold temperatures
- Avoid smoking, caffeine and alcohol (or use in moderation)
- Avoid beta blockers and other drugs that can constrict the blood vessels
A few tips specific to breastfeeding:
- Make sure you’re latching properly so the baby’s position isn’t causing the vasospasm
- Stay warm and covered during breastfeeding/ensure breast pads are dry
- Massaging olive oil into the breast and nipple may give relief