Background: It is not uncommon for mothers to have persistent pain with breastfeeding beyond the first few weeks after birth. Persistent pain can be multifactorial, with neuropathic pain maintained by central sensitization being one dimension. Our knowledge in delineating categories of persistent pain is simple and not very sophisticated. Methods: We have developed and tested a Lactation Quantitative Sensory Test (L-QST) to quantify the neuropathic component of persistent breastfeeding pain. We present three case reports of neuropathic breastfeeding pain and treatment, and we discuss the potential role of histamine and catecholamines in persistent breastfeeding-associated pain. Conclusions: The L-QST can be a useful tool to quantify neuropathic pain. Further studies are needed to test inter-observer reliability and reproducibility of this tool. Antihistamines can be considered for treating persistent pain in breastfeeding women with a history of allergy or atopy, and beta-blockers may be helpful in women with multiple pain disorders.
- Functional pain