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Thread: Nipple Pain when Pumping

  1. #1

    Default Nipple Pain when Pumping

    It has been 4 weeks since my LO was born. So far the only pain I've experienced is when she first latches on. After a few sucks it goes away. I figured everything was fine since she's been gaining weight and getting what she needs. However, now I'm trying to build a stash for when I go back to work by pumping once a day. I have been doing really well and getting around 4 oz a session. However, the past week my nipples have been very painful after I pump and then breastfeeding is way more painful than it has been in the past. My first attempt to fix the pain was to change flange sizes. I use an ameda pump and was using the medium flanges and it seemed like more than just my nipple was being sucked in so I bought the smaller flanges. The first session with the smaller flanges went great! However, the second session was horrible because I couldn't get a good suction. I have very large breasts (when I was fitted for a nursing bra after my milk cane in, I was sized at a 36K) and the horn part is much smaller. Today when I pumped it was so painful I stopped at 10 minutes.

    I'm not sure what to do. I'm wondering if maybe baby is latching poorly and I don't notice the pain when breastfeeding but do with pumping. I tried to check the latch and her lips are positioned correctly, however, I don't think she has a very deep latch. My nipple looks like the shape of a new thing of lipstick after she's done. Also the whole areola is not in her mouth but my breasts are so large I can't get any more in. I've tried several techniques.

    What can I do to make pumping easier so I can keep feeding my baby while st work?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2009

    Default Re: Nipple Pain when Pumping

    Oh dear, this does sound like pump injury.
    Here is what I suggest.

    One, stop pumping at all for a few days so you can heal. When are you back at work and how much milk do you have stashed already? If you give us details about your work situation (when returning, how many days a week, how long each day separated from baby etc) maybe we can help you figure out how to build enough of a stash without injuring yourself.

    Two, try to not use your expressed milk for bottles now so you can save more for your return to work. If you need your baby to have a bottle due to a separation, make sure you leave enough but not too much. All baby should need is an ounce to an ounce and a half per hour of separation.
    If you want baby to get "practice" bottles, those can be very small and infrequent.

    Third: while you are healing, trouble shoot your pump. IS this a brand new pump? If not the motor might be wonky and this might cause injury. Of course even a new pump could malfunction.

    If you are very large breasted I wonder if you need a larger flange. Have you looked at the Ameda website? I think they have a graphic about how to size your flange.

    What setting are you pumping on? You generally want to keep the setting low enough to not be uncomfortable.

    How long do you pump for? Right now, while you are just building up a stash, there is no need to pump 4 ounces at a time. Maybe shortening your pump sessions will help.

    Are you pumping one or both sides? Some moms find they pump better one sided and others prefer both sides. Some moms find they need to get their hands involved in holding the breast into the flange, and that is one reason one sided nursing might be better. Better in your case would mean, do what is most comfortable for you, even if it means pumping less at a time.

    You can also try lubing the pump flange with olive oil.

    For latch issues, since you have tried many things on your own, my best suggestion is to see a board certified lactation consultant (IBCLC) to get a set of experienced eyes on the problem. What you are describing with the shape of the nipple after nursing does sound like latch is not quite right. However there is certainly no need for the whole areola to be in baby's mouth for the latch to be good.

    You can bring your pump to the consult and she should be able to help you troubleshoot there as well.

    What is involved in Lactation Consult: http://cwgenna.com/lconsult.html
    Last edited by @llli*maddieb; November 25th, 2016 at 12:09 PM.

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