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Thread: Soreness when pumping - HELP!

  1. #1

    Default Soreness when pumping - HELP!

    I am exclusively breastfeeding my 5 week old and have just this week started pumping to try and get a supply ready for when I return to work in 6 weeks. I am only getting about half an ounce from each breast each time I pump, and afterwards my breasts are incredibly sore - not the nipple or areola area, but the breast tissue itself. Is this normal when starting to use an electric pump? I am using the Medela Pump-In-Style Advanced and I pump one breast at a time after nursing my son (usually about an hour after.)

  2. #2

    Default Re: Soreness when pumping - HELP!

    When I started pumping for my daughter, the nurses at the hospital gave me 36mm horns because they though my nipples were huge. Honestly, they just had some adhesions and they were pretty flat pre-pumping, but the horns were WAY too huge. Too much of my breast tissue was being sucked into the horn and it was causing awful soreness up inside, like my breast was being ripped off. I got myself a set of 30mm horns and I never had the same issue (nipple soreness from having flat nipples rub a little, sure, but not up inside)...

    I'm guessing it's a horn size issue, just from my experience. Do you notice a lot of tissue being sucked into the horn? If your breast is very soft and still kind of empty, could this be the problem?
    Marley & Emily 9-24-10
    (Done as of 5-23-12)

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Posts
    381

    Default Re: Soreness when pumping - HELP!

    What size horns/breastshields are you using? They may be the wrong size.

    http://www.medela.com/IW/en/breastfe...astshield.html

    Check the above link for an example on how the horn should fit. You may need to try a few different sizes before finding one that works, and your size may also change over time. You may also use 2 different sizes (which I did for months).

    If you have the correct size and are still feeling pain-do you have the suction or speed turned up too high?

    You can also put something like lanolin inside the horn to prevent chafing. I started doing this after I bled pumping and it has made a huge difference (for me).
    Full time working Mom to 3, DH is my hero as a SAHD:
    DS July'09, nursed for 12 weeks
    DD1 & DD2 April'11, tandem nursed for 16 months

  4. #4

    Default Re: Soreness when pumping - HELP!

    I "think" i am using the correct size, but of course, since this is my first child, i'm not really sure about anything yet...I am using the medium size that came with the pump, but it does seam like a lot of my areola is getting sucked up into the horn. Maybe I should get a smaller one and see if that helps? I dont think I am chafing, since it's the actual breast tissue that hurts so much not the part that is touching the breast shield. Thanks for the suggestions!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Posts
    381

    Default Re: Soreness when pumping - HELP!

    One thing to add-guidelines for sizes are just that-guidelines. They may not apply to all. I should probably use a smaller shield than I do, because my nipple is smaller, but for me it is much more comfortable to have most of the aereola come into the shield when pumping. Shields are not that expensive (I buy mine on amazon for about $11-12) so you can order up and down a size and see what feels better.
    Full time working Mom to 3, DH is my hero as a SAHD:
    DS July'09, nursed for 12 weeks
    DD1 & DD2 April'11, tandem nursed for 16 months

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Posts
    10,440

    Default Re: Soreness when pumping - HELP!

    Yep, the guidelines are just that. I should be using a 27, but the fit of a 36 is much more comfortable.

    I do find pumping painful though 14+ months and you would think I would have solved it. Going to a hospital grade pump and not using any professional grade pump helped. The action is smoother.

    ETA: could the suction be too high?
    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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