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Thread: Flat Nipples While Pumping?

  1. #1

    Default Flat Nipples While Pumping?

    I am a FTM expecting baby at the end of this week.

    My midwife recommended that I use nipple stimulation with my breast pump to help kick-start labor. I got out my pump for the first time last night and am now very confused and in need of advice!

    I normally have flat nipples.

    When I tried out my pump last night, I noticed that my nipples remained flat the entire time. They are not being drawn into the flange tunnel despite a good suction.I gave up after about 3-4 minutes because it just didn't seem it was working correctly. I have an Ameda Purely Yours pump and initially tried the original flange size, then tried the smaller included one (thinking maybe the other was too large). Still nothing.

    Is it possible this is because the flange size is still too large for me? I am so confused!
    Last edited by @llli*ktbug87; January 17th, 2012 at 11:01 AM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Posts
    10,440

    Default Re: Flat Nipples While Pumping?

    Do your nipples ever stand out? I'm thinking this is because the adhesions you have, causing the flat nipples, haven't broken down. Maybe try some breast SHEILDS, which apply constant pressure to the areola, to break the adhesions.

    The other thing is that continued pumping and then nursing will bring your nipples out. Eventually. I had flat, even inverted nipples, and I breastfed my babies just fine It's more work, but possible.

    FWIW! I tried nipple stim with one of my babies, and it did nothing for me. Babies come when they are ready
    Susan
    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!

  3. #3

    Default Re: Flat Nipples While Pumping?

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*aprilsmagic View Post
    Do your nipples ever stand out? I'm thinking this is because the adhesions you have, causing the flat nipples, haven't broken down. Maybe try some breast SHEILDS, which apply constant pressure to the areola, to break the adhesions.

    The other thing is that continued pumping and then nursing will bring your nipples out. Eventually. I had flat, even inverted nipples, and I breastfed my babies just fine It's more work, but possible.

    FWIW! I tried nipple stim with one of my babies, and it did nothing for me. Babies come when they are ready
    My nipples do sometimes stand out when I am cold or during manual stimulation (though it isn't always easy to get them there).

    Do you think the problem could have anything to do with the flange size, or should I just go ahead and pick up a nipple shield?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    21,271

    Default Re: Flat Nipples While Pumping?

    Pick up a breast shell (example: http://www.amazon.com/Philips-AVENT-...uct/B000058DQJ). It's worth a try. It's a totally different thing from a breast shield or nipple shield, and it's designed to help flat or inverted nipples become everted. But don't expect too much- flat nipples can take real time to become everted, and it sounds like your baby is coming very soon.

    The reason your nipples don't stand out when pumping could be related to the flange size, or could be related to the efficiency of your pump. The Ameda PY is a lightweight pump that does not, in my experience, generate much suction. If you are serious about getting labor started via pumping, I would consider using a better pump. Maybe see a lactation consultant, preferably an IBCLC, for some advice? If you're planning on pumping a lot- for example, if you eventually plan to go back to work- I think you want a better machine than th APY.
    Coolest thing my big girl said recently: "How can you tell the world is moving when you are standing on it?"
    Coolest thing my little girl sang recently: "I love dat one-two pupples!"

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Posts
    10,440

    Default Re: Flat Nipples While Pumping?

    That is what I meant. My mistype. Breast shell

    FWIW, I have the equivalent pump to the PY, and I loved it. Wore it out by pumping for 2 years with it. I think Jenna has one she uses at work. It's a good pump. But nipple stim doesn't always cause contractions .... Unless you are ready to have a baby

    You may or may not need a nipple shield to nurse baby with flat nipples. Ask your midwife, or find an IBCLC.
    Susan
    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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