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Thread: breast soreness- exclusively pumping

  1. #1

    Default breast soreness- exclusively pumping

    New to the forum.
    Looking for some guidance. My breast and nipples are sore all the time. I am pumping exclusively because nursing would not work. I have a 5 wk old and tried nursing for a month , while pumping to build up a supply, and hated every second of nursing. After pain, frusteration and 2 lactation consultations I gave up. ( I also had difficulty with my daughter, now 2.5 yrs).

    I'm a great pumper.I make tons of milk. Reliably 6-8 oz every time and I have 120 oz frozen. ButI am so sore that I cannot hold the baby near me in the cradling position. I use the lowest spped on the pump and the actual pumping doesn't really hurt.

    I don't remember this soreness all over, but particularly on my niples hthe last time ( I nursed til 7 wks and pumped to day 90.)

    Is this what a yeast infection feels like?

    All feedback appreciated.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2006

    Default Re: breast soreness- exclusively pumping

    Thrush (yeast) can definitely make you feel sore. Some symptoms you might experience:
    - sensations of itching and/or burning
    - flaking or peeling skin
    - cracking, often described as slit-like cracks which can radiate all over the nipple
    - white patches on the nipple surface
    - soreness/burning/itching sensations which are more intense after the feeding/pump session is over
    - vaginal yeast infection

    In the absence of those symptoms, it's quite possible that the soreness you are experiencing is due to oversupply. Being able to express 6-8 oz every time you pump implies that you are producing a huge volume of milk. Most moms produce snout 1.5 oz per hour, and if you find you are producing way more than that, it may be time to explore options which allow you to throttle back on production a bit.

    I really admire you for making the commitment to pump. It's terrific that you have found a way to get milk into your baby despite challenges with direct breastfeeding. That being said, would you be interested in exploring the reasons direct breastfeeding didn't work for you? Maybe we can crowdsource and explanation for why nursing was so unpleasant and painful, and make it possible for you to nurse again? No pressure, of course- it's just that most of us find nursing easier and ultimately more pleasant than pumping, so if we could help make your life easier and more pleasant we'd love to do so!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2006

    Default Re: breast soreness- exclusively pumping

    I was sore and still am while EPing. This is one reason I really prefer direct nursing. Check your horn size and also try turning down the suction and/or pumping for a shorter time.

    I would second the suggestion to brainstorm and not give up on direct nursing. There are several mothers here how have gotten baby back to the breast after some weeks to even months of EPing. It can be done!
    Mama to my all-natural boys: Ian, 9-4-04, 11.5 lbs; Colton, 11-7-06, 9 lbs, in the water; Logan, 12-8-08, 9 lbs; Gavin, 1-18-11, 9 lbs; and an angel 1-15-06
    18+ months and for Gavin, born with an incomplete cleft lip and incomplete posterior cleft palate
    Sealed for time and eternity, 7-7-93
    Always babywearing, cosleeping and cloth diapering. Living with oppositional defiant disorder and ADHD. Ask me about cloth diapering and sewing your own diapers!

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