I'm new to this forum, but not new to bf'ing. I nursed my older son for 14 months, which entailed pumping regularly at work. I used a Medela InStyle pump, got plenty of milk, and basically never had any problems pumping.
Fast forward five years and now I have a new little son to care for. I was blessed to get to spend four whole months with him all to myself, but now I have to return to work. I've been going in 2-3 days a week for a few weeks to get us both used to it, and to remind myself of the old routine of pumping. Next week I begin working 4 full days a week.
I am still getting a decent amount of milk, but in the last few days, my nipples have started getting VERY sore and sensitive. They also look like they're getting hickeys on them on the sides, or at least little tiny red dots (what I assume are broken blood vessels). I started turning the suction down and only pumping for strictly 10 minutes, whereas before I was doing maybe 15. It's still pretty tender. It hurts a little to nurse him, too, when I get home, although after a couple of times in the afternoon/evening, it's okay and things start to normalize--until I have to get the pump out the next day.
I have heard about getting different sized breast shields, but I'm confused why a) I didn't apparently need them with my first child, and b) why this would only start now after pumping three weeks (plus I did so periodically when he was an infant to build up a stash). I'd gladly go out and buy larger shields if I thought it would work, but I just don't know what is the problem. Help???