Yikes, that sounds painful - I wonder if you have mastitis. Is your breast, swollen, red, or warm? Do you have a fever or feel like you have the flu? It also may be a yeast infection. But I think that a yeast infection is usually described as a burning pain, where mastitis is described as a stabbing pain. Look up symptoms of mastitis on the internet and see if that sounds like you.
I am not sure whether you should go to your primary doctor or OB for this - your OB might be best.
I just got over a case of mastitis about two weeks ago...it is *extremely* painful...I'd guess much moreso than just a letdown. It could be the beginnings of mastitis, but I also noticed that you've recently returned to work? So I assume you're pumping.
I know for me, there are weeks when pumping really affects the breast tenderness level; I think around the time of ovulation or just before starting my period (I have a Mirena IUD, so I don't really have a predictable or noticeable cycle anymore, therefore I can't exactly say when I ovulate or when I'm due for a period, but both still do happen). During those times, not only are my breasts a little tender with pumping, but later in the evening when I'm able to nurse my baby, the letdown is a little more painful than just the average feeling of pressure or tingling.
I've never had a yeast infection, so I wouldn't know how to describe the feelings of those symptoms to you, but speaking from experience with mastitis, if you are coming down with it, be aware for these symptoms:
- very extreme pain in your breasts, anything that touches them feels like a knife stabbing you
- pain inhaling, as your chest expands and hurts your breasts
- pain would be an understatement when letdown occurs
- difficulty raising your arms over your head because it hurts your breasts
- difficulty turning your torso from side to side because it hurts your breasts
- feeling like you're coming down with the flu (potential fever, body aches, fatigue, chills)
- redness, localized or generalized, on the breast
- breasts are hot to the touch
When I had mastitis, I went to my OB. You get antibiotics and feel normal again within a week.
Thanks for the input. I looked up the symptoms for both yeast infections and mastitis and I don't think I have either. The painful letdown is my only symptom. Pumping does seem to make them more tender, maybe it is also affecting my letdown.
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