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Thread: Pump help

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Posts
    89

    Default Pump help

    I need some help. I have a Medela personal double breastpump - the one that doesn't even have a battery and just a power adapter b/c when I was getting my pump apparently every other woman on earth was as well so I got whatever Medela they had when my twins arrived - and it is the WORST!!

    I also rent a Symphony through the hospital which I love, but at work I have this Medela and the only way to extract the milk is to turn up the suction (it's always been like this and all the connectors/flanges have been changed/checked) and it hurts. Like I dread pumping at work. I don't know what to do. When it's on medium suction it draws out the milk and I get empty but I feel like my nipples are being tortured.

    HELP!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    20,962

    Default Re: Pump help

    Are your nipples rubbing against the side of the collection tubes?

    And can you describe the pain a little more? Do you notice anything co-occurring with the pain, maybe a color change in the nipple (e.g. nipple turning white or purple)?
    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
    Oct 2009
    Posts
    2,627

    Default Re: Pump help

    Can you take your Symphony to work in the meantime? Do you have the freestyle?
    Nursed my sweet daughter 3 years, 3 mos.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Posts
    89

    Default Re: Pump help

    Hi.
    There's no difference in how the pump is affecting my nipples. They are the same as they have been since I started using this pump over 5 months ago so even if they were rubbing before it never bothered me. I don't think they're rubbing though. They get squeezed in and out but the part of the nipple where the milk actually is released is totally free from the sides.

    The pain is like a pinch - and yes sometimes my nipples turn purple (although not the entire nipple and it has happened before but never with the pinching pain while pumping.)

    I can't take the Symphony to work as it's too big to carry, even in a canvas bag, as I take public transportation and walk and have other things to carry. The Medela I have is not the freestyle. I think it's literally the only Medela that was left on the shelves when my insurance company sent it to me. It is called the "Personal Double Pump" and doesn't even have a battery pack. Again. I hate it.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Cleveland, OH
    Posts
    510

    Default Re: Pump help

    Have your breasts changed size since you started pumping 5 months ago? Sometimes a flange size needs to be updated as the breasts change. As my breasts got smaller I needed to switch one, not both, of my flanges from a large to a medium, to avoid pain and purple nipples.
    My little man was born 12/17/2010.

    Baby girl was born 4/30/2014.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Posts
    89

    Default Re: Pump help

    I don't think my breasts have changed size - how would I even know? Is it worth going to a store that sells the flanges and seeing if they can help? I can go to one on Saturday morning....

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Posts
    89

    Default Re: Pump help

    Also let me add, I'm pumping right now and on the lowest suction, I'm fine. No bad pain and no pinch. It's just that I don't get as empty on this suction level and usually end up having to turn up the suction and that's when the pain/pinch starts.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Cleveland, OH
    Posts
    510

    Default Re: Pump help

    Trying out a new flange size is a rather inexpensive way to experiment with pumping comfort and output. I re-read your original post and it sounds like you have been having pain since the beginning? Maybe you were never in the correct flange size to start with? Flange size would be the first thing I would look at when dealing with discomfort. I know Medela has some information on their website about flange sizing, but I found the best way was to buy it and try it.

    Another thought, don't rely on the pumps suction to remove all of your milk. Use massage and breast compressions to help get the last couple of ounces while keeping the suction at a comfortable level. I see you are the mother of twins, so you are probably already a master at pumping technique, but it is worth repeating.

    Good Luck!
    My little man was born 12/17/2010.

    Baby girl was born 4/30/2014.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Posts
    89

    Default Re: Pump help

    Hi, I haven't had pain since the beginning, only recently has pain started. It's just that I'm not sure how to fix it. I've been pumping since day 1 - so perhaps at 8 months I'm just feeling everything more.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Posts
    56

    Default Re: Pump help

    First, I think the Medela pump you have is the new version Medela is making for insurance companies. It doesn't have all the bells and whistles of the PISA you find in the store so it is cheaper for insurance companies to provide to consumers. The pump however is the exact same one you get with the PISA you could buy in the store. I got this same pump when I had my daughter. I also have the Freestyle and they both feel the same and are equally efficient for me. One is not better than the other. So, don't feel like you have a crappy pump because it is a good pump. Obviously not has good as the hospital grade pump though.

    I sometimes find that I can tolerate higher suction in the letdown phase and still produce a lot of milk. Depending how my nipples are feeling, I will sometimes do multiple letdown phases because I find the quick sucking more tolerable. I would try either pumping longer in the let down phase or longer at a lower suction setting. Also, maybe look into different flanges. Just some things you can experiment with. Also, could you leave your symphony pump at work during the week? Would you have a safe place to store it? Might be an option so you don't have to tote it every day.

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