What are vasospams?

Vasospasms occur when blood flow to an area decreases due to the sudden tightening of the blood vessels in the area. Postpartum vasospasms can occur during pregnancy and breastfeeding in the nipples and breasts. Also called mammary constriction syndrome, vasospasms of the breast result in a stabbing pain.

What causes vasospasms?

Vasospasms can occur due to anything from an uncomfortable latch to the tension associated with the position that the mother is breastfeeding. Most causes of nipple pain, such as pulling at the breast because of decreased milk flow, a shallow latch, or even tension in the mother in anticipation of breastfeeding, can be associated with Vasospasms.

What are the symptoms of Vasospasms?
  • Burning sensation in the breast or nipple
  • Throbbing sensation in the breast or nipple
  • "Pins and needles" sensation in the breast or nipple
  • Color change in nipples (white, blue/purple, dark red)
  • Nipples may alternate between colors
  • The breast becomes pale
  • Delayed healing of nipple wounds

What is the treatment for Vasospasms?

Consult with your ob-gyn or lactation consultant if you have any of the above symptoms.

Once identified, treatments for Vasospams can typically be conducted at home. Some common remedies include:

  • Improve the baby’s attachment to the breast and adjust the breastfeeding position
  • Keep the nipples and breast warm
  • Pectoral muscle massage
  • Stretch the muscles around the breast to keep the blood flowing to the area
  • Vitamin B6 and/or magnesium supplements can help relax the muscles and help with the pain.

Who can help diagnose/treat Vasospasms?
  • OB/Gyn
  • Lactation Consultant (LC)