Q. I had pain under breast and armpit following delivery. What could it be?

Answered by
Dr. Sagar Ramesh Makode
and medically reviewed by Dr.Nithila A
This is a premium question & answer published on Apr 19, 2019

Hello doctor,

Just had a baby three weeks ago. Three days ago it started to pain under left breast then under left armpit. The pain continued in a part of my arm, then a spot on my neck and then a spot on my shoulder. And I read about heart attack. And I have been under a lot of stress recently. Kindly advice.



Welcome to icliniq.com.

Unlikely to be a heart attack. This is atypical chest pain. I guess you do not have any shortness of breath. Considering your age group the possibility of heart attack is extremely low. Next, the pattern of pain is not consistent with the heart attack. Heart attack pain is sudden onset, retrosternal or left-sided rather than just below the breast, going to left arm associated with uneasiness sweating, etc. It usually does not persist for three days even without treatment.

The possibilities in you are musculoskeletal pain, cervical causes, pain from breast itself due to hormonal changes and stretching of tissues due to breast enlargement, etc. Try to press over the site and see if pain reappears, if yes then it suggests that it is a local pain rather than due to the heart attack.

So, unlikely to be related to heart attack, but should get examined by a local doctor and ECG done if necessary after examination. Examination of doctor will also help to assess the possibility of peripartum cardiomyopathy, which usually presents with shortness of breath rather than chest pain. Hope this helps you and get back if you have any doubts.

Thank you doctor,

I have no shortness of breath. But I had monitors while giving birth due to getting epidural and they said everything looked good.



Welcome back to icliniq.com.

Listening to all this, it does not appear anything serious. Peripartum cardiomyopathy may present late after delivery, but it is also an unlikely possibility as there is no shortness of breath. However, physical examination by local doctor will be confirmatory.

So, overall, does not appear worrisome from the heart perspective. Also, check for local signs like redness, swelling or tenderness.

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