Happy Mothers Breastfed Babies
Results 1 to 8 of 8

Thread: Blisters and pain after pumping

  1. #1

    Default Blisters and pain after pumping

    Hi all, desperate for help on my pumping problems. I've been exclusively pumping for a month and a half now, and things aren't getting better. Last month I suffered from mastitis and currently having another painful episode of clogged ducts. Both times have occurred in my right breast, and yesterday I noticed the right nipple is covered with big clear blisters. Nipples are extremely sore, and pumping has become painful. I use medela symphony and 27mm flange. I was seen by two lactation consultants when I was in the hospital at the end of December and neither one saw an issue with the flange size. I've been using the lowest pumping level (between 3-4 bars) that would extract the milk and each session about twenty minutes. I pump every three hours and used to get 2.5 to 3 oz each session, currently down to 50-ish ml. What am I doing wrong and how do I deal with the blisters? I just noticed that some blisters are leaking out when I pump and is worried about giving the milk to my baby since it may be contaminated with the fluid from the leaking blisters. Should I pop and drain all the blisters or leave them alone? Is this going to affect my supply? I want to continue pumping as long as I can but I'm afraid these issues are going to cut off my supply. I'm also experiencing sharp knifelike tingles/pain in both breasts off and on throughout the day. I never thought I would have such difficulties in pumping when I stopped breastfeeding and I'm so discouraged overall. All I wanted was to provide my baby with the best nourishment and it's become seemingly impossible. Please advise!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    10,754

    Default Re: Blisters and pain after pumping

    It is possible you are doing nothing wrong. As helpful a tool as pumps can be, the fact is the physiology of pumping is very different from the physiology of nursing. To put it bluntly, our bodies were not designed to have milk extracted from the breasts this way. Regular pumping works for lots of mothers because of recent improvements in pump design. But it does not work for every mother, and people are still working on improving pumps for this very reason. So if EPing it is not working for you, it is not your fault.

    I am sorry I truly cannot advise you on the blisters. That sounds like it could be any number of things- blebs, friction blisters, or some kind of topical reaction to something. Or a combination. To me this is the kind of thing you need to see an IBCLC for.

    But here are some ideas re: pumping.

    If I am understanding correctly, the issues are only with your right breast?
    Is the output you are talking about for each breast or whole pump session?
    Despite what the LCs said, have you tried different size flanges? What was the correct size 6 or more weeks ago may no longer be the correct size.
    Does hand expression make sense for you, either as a replacement to pumping or to add to your routine in order to reduce pumping on your right side?
    Have you ever tried a completely different type of pump? A personal use electric, a hand held, etc? Yes the hospital grade is generally the best...but not in every circumstance.
    Have you tried lubricating the flange with olive oil?
    Have you tried pumping more often, but maybe for a shorter length of time?
    Some moms have found pumpin pal flanges helpful. pumpinpal.com
    If you pump both sides at the same time, try pumping each side separately. And vice versa.

    The cause of mastitis and plugged ducts is typically not frequent enough and/or not effective enough milk removal. This is also the cause of lowered milk production.

    So, what will harm your milk production over time is milk not being removed efficiently enough or often enough. Additionally, pain tends to inhibit letdown, making milk extraction harder. So yes, a pump not working well for you/injuring you is likely to reduce milk production on the side that is problematic. If your other side responds well to the pump, with no pain or issues with milk extraction, then you can maintain or even possibly up milk production in that breast.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    24,794

    Default Re: Blisters and pain after pumping

    with the PP. I would also encourage you to try a different flange size, and different pumps.

    Will your baby nurse at all? If EP doesn't seem to be working well, maybe now is a good time to try feeding the baby at the breast?

  4. #4

    Default Re: Blisters and pain after pumping

    Thanks for the suggestions, I will try a bigger flange and also maybe a manual pump. I also think pumping separately may help since I would be able to use hand compressions easier. Unfortunately baby refuses the breasts despite multiple efforts and it stresses both me and him too much for me to try anymore.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    24,794

    Default Re: Blisters and pain after pumping

    I am so sorry, that does sound very stressful! I don't want to push, but if I were in your situation I think I would try to continue to offer the breast once in a while. Sometimes things just "click" and the baby suddenly gets it and starts nursing. I am sure you have tried lots of different stuff, but if you decide you want to try again, this page may have some useful hints: http://kellymom.com/ages/newborn/nb-...ack-to-breast/

    Again, no pressure! I just hate to see a mom stuck with painful pumping, and I figure that if nursing could make a difference, it would be worth another try...

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    10,754

    Default Re: Blisters and pain after pumping

    If you think fit is your main issue, this article may be helpful. http://www.ameda.com/breast-pumping/...ted/flange-fit Both a too small or too large fit may be problematic. Also, sometimes a mom needs different sizes on each side.

    I agree with mommal. Sometimes a baby needs to grow a bit and latch becomes easier. Yes getting baby back to the breast can be frustrating and stressful, but pain and injury from pumping is of course also very stressful. The kellymom article mommal posted is the best of it's kind.
    Also, both getting baby back to the breast and pump fit is an area where in person assistance may be helpful- an IBCLC or a LLL Leader or similar.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Blisters and pain after pumping

    Is there hope for him to get back to the breast? I will try again today, but he hasn't been to the breast over a month. Baby is now two months old. As is, my supply was greatly affected by this episode of clogged ducts. My daily output was around 650ish ml, now down to less than 500ml. What can I do to get it up again??

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    24,794

    Default Re: Blisters and pain after pumping

    There is always hope. There just aren't any guarantees! Your baby may be one of the ones who goes back to the breast, or he may not. The only thing we really know for certain is that if you don't try, you'll never know. I'm not saying you have to try, of course! Just that you don't have to be afraid of trying. It's a "what do you have to lose?" kind of situation.

    Ways to increase supply when EP:
    - Pump more often. This is hands down the best way to improve supply.
    - Pump for longer time periods, as long as that does not make you sore.
    - Upgrade your pump to a more powerful machine.
    - Try a different shield size, particularly if pumping is uncomfortable or you lose suction while pumping.

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •