Chronic Nipple/Breast Pain
General Breastfeeding Medicine Topics Chronic Nipple/Breast Pain

Chronic Nipple/Breast Pain

Women may report several days or weeks of having deep dull aching breast pain or sharp shooting pains in the breasts, with or without breast tenderness. The symptoms may also include nipple pain and nipple sensitivity, painful milk ejection, and recurrent plugs. These women lack breast redness or other signs of acute mastitis.

Sorting out the underlying etiology of deep breast pain can be difficult, and referral to a lactation specialist is indicated.

The Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine’s protocol entitled ‘Persistent Pain with Breastfeeding’ is helpful;

Several etiologies can be considered:




  1. Urbaniak, C, et al. Breast, Milk amd Microbes: A complex relationship that does not end with lactation. Women’s Health 2012: 8(4), 385-398.
  2. Delgado S, Arroyo R, Jimenez E et al Staphylococcus epidermidis strains isolated from breast milk of women suffering infectious mastitis: potential virulence traits and resistance to antibiotics BMC Microbiology 2009 9:82
  3. Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine Protocol Committee. ABM Clinical Protocol #26:  Persistent Pain with Breastfeeding Breastfeeding Med1(2) 2016