The purpose of this study is to determine if lactating women with chronic breast pain have evidence of a bacterial and/or yeast infection that could be causing their pain.
The objectives of the study are to: 1) identify whether there is a difference in bacterial growth in breast milk from lactating mothers with chronic breast pain and asymptomatic mothers; 2) perform higher level microbial tests on the bacteria isolated from both groups of women to determine if there are metabolic/genetic differences in the bacteria that is associated with breast pain vs. bacteria that is not associated with breast pain.
The subjects of the study will include 40 lactating women, 20 with chronic breast pain and 20 who are asymptomatic and generally healthy. Milk samples are collected from each woman. The milk samples are de-identified from the subjects. The samples are cultured and bacterial growth is documented. The bacterial strains isolated are stocked, and will be sent to a lab in North Carolina for higher end studies to be done, in order to identify metabolic/genetic behaviors that might distinguish the bacteria from women with pain vs. women without pain. Each subject is given a pump kit for their breast pump, and is sent $10.00