Only partial right breast letdown while pumping....
I have a 4 month old and have been occasionally pumping without difficulty for about 2 months. Aside from a few sore nipple and positioning issues breastfeeding has been great. About a month ago I had what looked like a milk blister on my right nipple - my son couldn't release it and I used a sterile needle and then nursed. but since then my right breast won't consistently release entirely while pumping. Left side is still a total champ but the upper inner third of my right breast just won't release despite letdowns while pumping.......so by the end of the work day I'm rock hard and sore just in that part of the breast. My baby works his nursing magic when I get home and as long as I'm just nursing my right breast is fine.
I keep thinking it's a clogged pore in my nipple - but I don't see any obvious suspects or any repeat milk blisters. And how could it be clogged for the pump but not my baby? And sometimes I get great full breast let down on the right side. It seems to be unpredictable.
I'm hoping someone here has had a similar experience!
Re: Only partial right breast letdown while pumping....
Welcome to the forum!
It makes perfect sense that your baby can drain areas of the breast that your pump cannot. Babies are almost always better at emptying the breast than pumps are. If you're not getting nipple pain when nursing or pumping, then it may be that the plug is happening deeper inside the breast.
Some things which might help:
- try a different shield size on the side you're having trouble with
- try a different pump
- combine breast massage/hand expression with pumping- you may be able to move the milk down towards the sinuses where the pump will remove it
- do a warm-water soak before pumping (immerse the nipple in a shot glass full of warm water for 30-60 seconds)
- add a soy lecithin supplement to your diet
- reduce saturated fat in your diet