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Thread: Pain with Pumping

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Salt Lake City
    Posts
    86

    Default Pain with Pumping

    I have 13-week-old twins and have been back at work for 4 weeks. Pumping has been painful since the beginning. I've been using a Lansinoh double electric, but it got too painful so I switched to an Evenflo single electric. The Evenflo is also better at expressing more milk, but it still causes me some pain. I've tried using an Evenflo single manual, and it doesn't hurt very much, but it doesn't express more than an ounce or two from each side (my typical production seems to be three ounces per side per session). I have ordered a fourth pump through my insurance company and will hopefully get it soon. It's a double electric, but I have a feeling it will be similar to the Lansinoh I already have. I'm currently pumping twice at work and not getting enough milk for the babies, so we are having to supplement. I would like to add a third session and stop supplementing, but the pain is too intense for me to face that now.

    I have been treated for thrush twice, once with Niastin cream about five weeks ago and once with a single dose of Diflucan a week ago. For a day or two it seemed like it was getting better, but it's tough to say because those were also weekend days, when I usually don't have very much pain.

    In addition to the nipple pain, which feels like needles during pumping, I have some shooting breast pain. It comes and goes and doesn't only happen during and after feedings, which I read is the common experience with thrush. My nipples do get white and purple. They are often bright pink. They are scaly and rough and look blistery. They are cracked and sensitive when my shirt rubs on them or I or one of the babies brushes against them. I had THREE different rounds of antibiotics after the babies were born, plus one round during the birth. I have had a yeast infection several times since they were born. We treated them for thrush once, though they never really had white patches, because it seemed to fit with my symptoms. One of them had what looked like a yeast diaper rash, too. They are currently not having any symptoms at all. It's not always painful when they eat, and it's not nearly as painful as pumping. I got larger flanges about a week and a half ago and didn't see any improvement in the pain.

    Can thrush be so resistant to treatment? Is it possible I just need to treat it again? Or do you think it could be something else? Can a pump cause pain because it is lower quality? Did anyone else experience different levels of pain with different pumps?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    21,120

    Default Re: Pain with Pumping

    Thrush can be incredibly stubborn. It's important to treat both mom and babies simultaneously, because it's quite common for one member of the nursing pair to be asymptomatic though all are infected. Rigorous hygiene is also part of the puzzle- you want to sterilize all pump parts and bottles, wash clothing, bras, burp cloths, and towels in hot water and change them at least once per day. Expressed milk may need to be scalded, and anything you express while treating for thrush should be labeled so that you don't reinfect yourself later on.

    Pumping shouldn't hurt. If it does, possible explanations include thrush, bacterial infection, shields too large or small, and the machine being turned up too high. The quality of the machine probably doesn't matter.

    Nipples that turn white and purple sounds like vasospasm.

    PS: nice avatar! Your pic is adorable.
    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!"

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    NY
    Posts
    600

    Default Re: Pain with Pumping

    Ugh, to the thrush, mama!

    How high do you have the suction turned up on your pump? I find that I have to be really gentle with pumping. When it is even a little bit too high for my comfort, I get less milk. I also can vouch for one pump being more comfortable versus another for me personally--I have two Medela double electrics, and my Freestyle is much rougher on me than my Pump In Style is. I have no idea why that is, but I also pump more milk with my PIS than I can with the Freestyle.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Salt Lake City
    Posts
    86

    Default Re: Pain with Pumping

    Thanks for the information on thrush. I may need to go back to my doctor for more treatments for all of us. I was able to borrow my sister-in-law's Medela Pump in Style today and it doesn't hurt as much.

    I've been using my Lansinoh on the third lowest setting. The lowest doesn't get anything out. The Medela got quite a lot on the lowest setting, so that may just be the key.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Salt Lake City
    Posts
    86

    Default Re: Pain with Pumping

    Just checking in with an update. I treated the thrush with no results and tried a different pump from my insurance company, which hurt worse. So I sprung for a Medela Pump in Style and have seen no improvements. Appointment with a lactation consultant tomorrow.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    5,600

    Default Re: Pain with Pumping

    I am so sorry you are having this pain! ugh! I hope the IBCLC helps you get to the bottom of this mystery!

    I doubt this is relevent but here is my weirdest pump story. I was helping a mom who was eping for her second baby, she had also epd for almost a year for her oldest. She was using the same pump she had used with no issues before -a medela pump in style. But this time, it was really really painful to pump. she tried everything. (Except get a new pump.) No difference.

    Then she went away on a trip and forgot her power cord and had to run the pump with the battery. NO PAIN!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Posts
    17

    Default Re: Pain with Pumping

    IF you've tried everything, and it sounds like you have, go for the Pumpin Pal flanges. I bought them as a last resort and they work great once you get used to them.

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