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Thread: Pumping hurts - nipples turning white on ends

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2008

    Question Pumping hurts - nipples turning white on ends

    Hello all - I have a new Medela Pump In Style and a 5 week newborn. Lately when I pump, my nipples start to hurt after a few minutes. Not only do they become really sore with pumping, they also turn white on the ends!!!!!!!!!!! What is happening?

    A friend was over and said that I have larger nipples and suggested the softfit shields. I ordered them this week, it was a disaster, they pinched my breasts really bad and caused lots of pain that I had to take some ibprofen. Now I have the XL shields on order. Will these help with the problem?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2006

    Default Re: Pumping hurts - nipples turning white on ends

    Sounds like you're experiencing nipple blanching/vasospasms. Properly fitted shields should help! Until they arrive, you might want to try warm compresses on your nipples after nursing/pumping.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2007

    Default Re: Pumping hurts - nipples turning white on ends

    What suction level do you have it on? I always had my PISA set really low. Anything high would hurt.

    Loving my Beautiful High Needs Baby Girl born 12/28/06

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2008

    Default Re: Pumping hurts - nipples turning white on ends

    Sounds like your shields are too small. I think that the XL might help, and if those don't, maybe try the next size up after that. If you are anywhere near a Babies R Us they have them there usually too, if it's easier than ordering them.

    Exclusively pumped for Lance Oct 07
    Nursed until just before he turned 3 Levi Oct 09

    Do you have extra milk? Consider donating!

    "So I was welcomed by the consolations of human milk; but it was not my mother or my nurses who made any decision to fill their breasts, but you who through them gave me infant food, in accordance with your ordinance and the riches which are distributed deep in the natural order." -St Augustine

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2007

    Default Re: Pumping hurts - nipples turning white on ends

    I know what you are going through. Same thing happened to me. I went to a lactation consultant, who told me that she really didn't think I needed a bigger shield, but that I could try it. I tried and it didn't make much difference. I also tried going to a lower suction. At a suction level that was comfortable for me, I wasn't getting any milk out. I finally just stopped pumping. It ended up not mattering cause my little mama's boy started refusing bottles at about 6 weeks - he's now a year and still doesn't want anything to do with them. When he was still taking bottles, he just got formula when I wasn't with him because I didn't know what else to do. It was causing me so much discomfort - my skin was actually tearing. Do you have to pump? Are you going back to work? If it's just for the occassional times that you're not with your baby, maybe you can just use some formula and save yourself the pain. I would try a properly fitting shield, though, first. Good luck!
    Mommy to ...
    Ella (11/03/04)
    Owen (03/29/07)
    Cate (11/17/08)

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2006

    Default Re: Pumping hurts - nipples turning white on ends

    Is the pain/blanching something new?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2007

    Default Re: Pumping hurts - nipples turning white on ends

    i hate to say it but it might be still too early too..i think it took about 2+ months before my nipples got used to it! It hurts in the beginning, but doesnt hurt anymore!

    -Wife to Joe 5-15-04
    -First time mom to Courtney Ann 8-12-07
    -Became a mom of 2: Brendan Joseph was born 01-08-09
    -Breastfed both of them for one whole year
    -Now a new mom of 3: Emily Theresa born 12-14-11
    -Breastfeeding again and hope to go the full year!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2008

    Default Re: Pumping hurts - nipples turning white on ends

    Hi, you can find lots of good ideas for treating Raynaud's of the nipple on this website:
    It has lots of ideas for how to keep warm, and supplements and prescriptions that can help.
    There is a facebook page for support too :

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