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ABSTRACT

The effect of the use of a breast shell in the treatment of postpartum nipple pain was compared with no treatment in a convenience sample of 20 breastfeeding women. The women served as their own controls by wearing the breast shell over one breast for four days. Pain in both nipples was evaluated daily using the verbal descriptor scale from the McGill Pain Questionnaire. Comparison of mean ranks of pain intensity with the Wilcoxon test demonstrated no significant difference between treatment and control data. However, 80% of the subjects reported they would use the breast shell again. Distinct patterns of postpartum nipple pain were delineated. These patterns of nipple pain are significant both in the clinical counseling of breastfeeding women and in the design of future studies.