Nipple blanching is when the nipple turns white after a feeding occurs. This happens as a result of limited blood supply to the nipples. Nipple blanching can be painful and is often misdiagnosed as thrush. This is due to the shooting/burning pain that is typically associated with thrush. However, if your nipple returns to its normal colour after the feeding and there is no pain then the blanching is not an issue.
 
Blanching is most commonly caused by poor latching such as a shallow latch or improper sucking. If blanching is due to the baby’s compression of the nipple, it will be white and misshapen after coming out of the baby’s mouth. Pain may not start until circulation returns a few minutes after feeding is finished. If you are experiencing pain with blanching then you need to address the root of the problem.
 
Vasospasm is more severe and is caused by the sudden constriction of a blood vessel in the nipple and can be extremely painful. It can occur after nursing or in-between feedings. As opposed to blanching, the nipple will turn white shortly after nursing rather than coming out white and misshapen. Cold may trigger the vasospasm and can make the pain worse. Unlike blanching, it may not be caused by poor latching and can be caused by a trauma to the nipple which needs to be resolved.
 
Treatment for vasospasm includes: avoiding cold and applying a dry heat to the breast, cover the breast once feeding is finished, warm olive oil between the fingers and apply to the breast, and avoid caffeine and nicotine. It is also vital that you visit your G.P. as treatment in the form of anti-inflammatories may be necessary. 

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