Areolar and nipple muscle spasm

Are there other types of spasm that bother the nipple?

With nipple vasospasm, the blood vessels leading to the nipple contract. Muscle spasm, or cramping can also affect the breast. It is usually caused by pain or feeling cold and can be fixed by massage. Areolar muscle spasm, in which the areola suddenly shrinks and the nipple root becomes very firm, can make latching harder or, if the baby is weak, impossible. Nipple muscle spasm can also happen but is not common.

A) Areolar muscle spasm

Some mothers have spasm or cramping of the areola, causing it to suddenly shrink and become more wrinkled. It can be brought on by feeling cold or by pain or appear with no cause. 

The pinch test will show that the nipple root feels very firm. 

Babies who are trying to breastfeed when spasm is present will need to increase their suction strength. This may result in nipple pain and damage. If the baby is weaker, as with a premature, sleepy newborn, or sick baby, areolar spasm can prevent the baby from latching or limit the amount of milk the baby can take in.

It is not generally painful. 

This is easily fixed using nipple root massage and is rarely a long-term problem.

B) Nipple muscle spasm

In mothers with nipple vasospasm (vasospasm), the nipple turns white after breastfeeding. In a very small number of mothers, the nipple may stay pink but become very hard. This is a spasm or cramp of the nipple muscles rather than the blood vessels leading to the nipple.

Nipple muscle spasm is most commonly brought on by cold and less often by irritation of the nipple.

It causes a temporary burning pain in the nipple and possibly an ache in the breast and back.  

It is treated the same way as vasospasmby massaging, fixing the underlying problem, and warmth.