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Thread: Please help! Exhausted with pumping... Hurts so much

  1. #1

    Unhappy Please help! Exhausted with pumping... Hurts so much

    Please help me.. I am a mother of 9 weeks old baby boy and he takes pumped milk only via bottle.Tried breastfeeding with One visit with lactation consultant at 4 weeks was successfully, but he went back to bottle after couple of weeks, so I had to go back to exclusively pumping.

    Now, I pump 6 times a day, get at least 90ml each side, total 180 ml. Milk supply is more than enough to the baby..

    but pumping hurts so much.. I can't explain in words but I would say 10/10.. I am thinking to give up and feed him formula but I am unable to stop the breast milk supply. If I stop pumping, I get the lumps on upper part of breast and it hurts, I had to use hot water shower and pump again to get rid of milk. after pumping it pains like all the nerves are pulling.. breast are sagging.. nipples grew to 2-3 inches and sometimes sour. Getting very low in energy.

    Please help if there is something I can do to get rid of this pain and reduce or totally get rid of pumping. I am not sure if the 10 weeks baby is too old to get back to breastfeeding.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
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    10,754

    Default Re: Please help! Exhausted with pumping... Hurts so much

    Hi itsindus, welcome to the forum.

    First off babies can get back to the breast at any point. 10 weeks is absolutely not too old. You make (more than) enough milk, and that is half the battle. Unless your baby has some physical barrier to being able to extract milk from the breast, your baby is likely to be able to start nursing again, but in some cases it can take a good deal of patience and persistence. Also, do not expect baby to only nurse 6 times in 24 hours. Most babies nurse between 8-12 times in 24 hours. They have to, because unlike the pump they are not going to take such large amounts at a time.

    To get baby back to the breast, you may need to reduce how much babe gets in bottles. You will want to listen to your body, because the transition may mean less milk is taken out, and while this is what you want eventually, (because you currently make more than enough milk) you have to take it slow. So basically once baby is starting to nurse, you can reduce pumping but you may need to pump or hand express as needed to avoid getting overly full until baby is completely nursing and your milk production has adjusted to enough for baby, rather than too much. Here is a good article on encouraging baby to nurse: http://kellymom.com/ages/newborn/nb-...ack-to-breast/

    Ok, about the pumping. Wow ok, pumping should not hurt- it is not the most pleasant feeling on earth, but it should never be painful. From what you are describing with our nipple being so far pulled, I think your pump flange may be way to large? Perhaps you are pumping at too high a setting? How long do you pump each time? What kind of a pump is this?

    Also lactating and breastfeeding does not cause sagging breasts. This is a myth. Pregnancy changes breasts and in some moms, it is a big change and often not noticed until the breasts become less full of milk as time goes on.

    However, I can see where a poorly fitted pump or pumping at too high a setting might cause breast tissue injury.

    I think you may have mastitis if your energy is low? Or you could just be ill. You will need to figure that out before you try to reduce production, because the last thing you want to do if you have mastitis is to reduce milk removal. More on mastitis and plugs: http://kellymom.com/bf/concerns/mother/mastitis/

    To safely reduce milk production and wean off the pump (if you are not going to be nursing baby) then you have to slowly and very gradually reduce how much milk you pump. The less overall milk you pump out, the less your body will get the message to make. But this takes time to do safely.

    My first suggestion would be to actually increase how many times in a day you pump. Pumping 6 times is low and that appears to be allowing the breasts to get very full between sessions and that fullness is what leads to plugs and/or mastitis.

    Then, start pumping a little less out each time you pump. If you usually pump 90 mils a side, try pumping 80 per side for a day or 2, and so on. You may be able to move faster, but that depends on how your body responds. Every mom is different in this.
    Last edited by @llli*maddieb; July 30th, 2017 at 09:55 AM.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Please help! Exhausted with pumping... Hurts so much

    Hi Maddieb

    Thank you so much for detailed answer.

    1) Baby can re-latch ?? it is a great news. I will post my question on a different thread.

    2) Pumping hurting.. I am using M** brand basic electric pump which was covered by my insurance. I am using the setting 3 of 10. and 20 minutes pumping for every 4 hours. I will try to rent a hospital pump to see if it is going to help with my pain.

    3) I got it checked for mastitis my OBGYN and she prescribed my anti-biotic and refered me t to a breast surgery specialist after using the medicine for 10 days. Breast surgery specialist upon visit told I am absolutely fine and have no infection or lumps.

    4) I am planning to store while I have enough flow and before I try to reduce my supply

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    10,754

    Default Re: Please help! Exhausted with pumping... Hurts so much

    Do you mean medela? it is ok to say what brand here. Is it a double electric like the pump and style, or a one sider?

    The rumor is that in some cases, pumps that have been sold in discount bulk specifically for insurance companies to pass onto moms for 'free" to be in compliance with the ACA are lower quality than those meant for out of pocket purchase. Good idea to get a hospital grade and see if that is any better. Remember flange fit is key and do not pump at higher setting than is comfortable!

    If you come to the conclusion the issue was or partly was your pump, can you PLEASE report the issues you have had to your employer, to medela, and cc someone...maybe your local breastfeeding coalition or a consumer advocacy group? It can take many, many complaints to get a recall going and I think most moms just give up and stuff the thing in the closet and it is never known there was a problem.

    Breast surgery specialist? That is odd for mastitis. Did you have a large lump that was not resolving? That sometimes happens. Well anyway, very good you checked out.

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