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Thread: Problem with different breast shields

  1. #1

    Default Problem with different breast shields

    I have a medela pump and am having problems getting the right fit breast shield.
    A 24mm is too large - it sucks up too much of my areola and leaves my areola red and sore. A 21mm is too small - my nipple rubs on the sides and gets raw (even if I use coconut oil for lubricant). I bought a 22mm insert for the 24mm shield from Maymom and am having problems with that too. My nipple seems to fit well without rubbing and my areola does not get sucked up. However, I get a ring on my areola where the insert stops and meets the larger breast shield. I pumped with the insert for 2 minutes and now have bruises in a ring from the insert. Any way to fix this problem? I am getting extremely frustrated with getting the right shield size and am considering buying a totally different brand pump. I start work in a week and am trying to get a storage supply but it is slow going because I just can't seem to get the right shield size. Thanks for your advice.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2009

    Default Re: Problem with different breast shields

    Hi so sorry you are having this difficulty. Just let me a assure you that you are not alone. Anatomically we are not really made to "pump" our breasts using suction, yet this is how all available breast pumps work. Pump technology has certainly improved to a point, but there is a long way to go. And of course it is outrageous pump manufactures do not offer flanges in a better variety of sizes.

    For your situation, Here are some random ideas-
    Another insert like pump in pals any different possibly?
    Do you know if any pump companies that offer a 22mm flange, so you would not need an insert to get the right size?
    What has Medela said about the problem? If you cannot pump comfortably with their pump, hopefully you can return it for a refund.
    Just to keep your pumping to a minimum, be sure you are not over estimating how much of a stash you need. Also if baby is getting any bottles now, maybe cut down or eliminate those for now so whatever you pump now can be put toward the back to work stash.
    Does reducing the setting you pump at help at all?
    Have you tried hand expressing before pumping to get the milk flowing (maybe allowing you to lower the setting)
    Have you tried pumping different times of day? Maybe trying when you are more "full?"
    Some moms find hand expression works well enough they do not need a pump. In any case, I suggest you learn hand expression before returning to work. if your pump does not work right you will need to get the milk out of the breasts somehow while separated from baby.

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