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Vol. 23 - Num. 90

Original Papers

Prevalence and characteristics of breastfeeding pain. Prospective multicentric study in Primary Care

Marta Carrera Polancoa, Ana M.ª Lorente García-Mauriñob, Begoña Domínguez Aurrecoecheac, ed de Pediatras Centinela-AEPap

aPediatra. CS Silvano. Madrid. España.
bPediatra. CS Juan de la Cierva. Getafe. Madrid. España.
cPediatra. Red de Investigación en Pediatría de Atención Primaria (PAPenRed). AEPap. España.

Correspondence: M Carrera. E-mail:

Reference of this article: Carrera Polanco M, Lorente García-Mauriño AM, Domínguez Aurrecoechea B, ed de Pediatras Centinela-AEPap. Prevalence and characteristics of breastfeeding pain. Prospective multicentric study in Primary Care. Rev Pediatr Aten Primaria. 2021;23:163-73.

Published in Internet: 24-06-2021 - Visits: 322


Introduction: painful breastfeeding (BF) has a very negative impact on the establishment of BF and is one of the main causes of BF cessation, and is therefore considered an important public health problem. Unfortunately, this problem is underestimated by the health care community and few studies have been devoted to its prevalence, characteristics and the attitude of the mothers that experience it.

Sample and methods: the study was conducted in the framework of the Breastfeeding and Child Development study (LAyDI) and focused on BF pain in the first 4 months post birth in a cohort of 203 lactating women managed in primary care centres of the Community of Madrid (Spain).

Results: we found a high incidence of pain in BF women (68.5%), most frequently with onset in the first days post birth, although in 13% of cases it developed after several weeks. In 44% of cases, the pain resolved within 15 days, but in 46% it lasted longer (in 17%, longer than 2 months). We found that 30.9% of mothers contemplated BF cessation at some point due to severe or sustained pain. However, despite having access to professional support, mostly provided by midwives, nearly half of the women who considered weaning did not seek help.

Conclusions: current efforts in different fields of study need to converge urgently to explore the aetiology and pathogenesis of pain and safe and effective approaches to its management in a nonjudgmental and unbiased environment.


Breastfeeding pain Dysbiosis Milk culture Primary Care Public Health



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