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Thread: Pumping with VERY large breasts - help!

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    29

    Default Pumping with VERY large breasts - help!

    I have recently begun pumping exclusively in order to relactate. I have been getting some milk but the amount seems to vary drastically. I am a 38 H cup with nipples the size of the tip of a pinky finger. I am using a medela symphony and pump very frequently. I was wondering if anyone else has large breasts and pumps and what size of shield they use. All that I have read says that I am to adjust the size of the flange to my nipple, but am finding that the flange doesn't even cover my areola. Should I be using a large or extra large flange regardless of my nipple size in order to accomodate my breast? It is very uncomfortable to pump and I really need this to work. I also want to make the time I spend pumping to be as efficient as possible. I was thinking of ordering the pumpin pals tilted flanges but I live in Canada and in order to buy them and get them sent to me they charge $50 US. Outrageous!
    Any ideas would be great.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    20,782

    Default Re: Pumping with VERY large breasts - help!

    Pumping with large breasts can be a challenge. Are you sort of "falling out" of the shields as you pump? I found that I needed to lean forward a lot, and hold the shield on the breast to keep my breasts from slipping down and out.

    My understanding is that what really matters is the size of the shield- you want it to fit your nipple properly, and what it does with the rest of the breast doesn't matter so much. It doesn't need to cover the entire areola, for example, especially if you have larger areolas. To determine if your shields fit properly, you can either a) use a sizing device b) try bigger or smaller shields and see if you get better results, or c) observe. If you see your nipples rubbing against the sides of the collection tube as you pump, there's a good chance the shields are too small and you should try going up a size. You can also try lubing them with some olive oil- if the shields are just marginally too small this may allow the nipples to slide back and forth without chaffing or pain. If your see your nipples are shooting in and out of the shield, and you're frequently feeling a loss of suction, then your shields may be too large.
    Coolest thing my big girl said recently: "How can you tell the world is moving when you are standing on it?"
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  3. #3

    Default Re: Pumping with VERY large breasts - help!

    I have large breasts (38 or 40 H+) and have been pumping exclusively for 8 months now. The smallest shield I use with the Medela Symphony is 30mm. I have the 36mm as well, but I do not get enough milk out when I pump. I use Lansinoh ointment on my nipples often, not daily, but as needed to help. Now a days I have nipples that are almost always tender and firm, so its been interesting.

    I sit in a smaller chair when I pump, that has a larger seat and my breasts are very large to where I can lean forward with the taller Medela bottles and prop them up between my legs. Once I get through the letdown cycle, I can pump the rest of the time without holding on to the shields, if I stay steady enough.

    Its a matter of finding what you are comfy with. My breasts are always sore, but I'm hanging in there. Good luck!!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    29

    Default Re: Pumping with VERY large breasts - help!

    thank you both.

    I did go out today and got the 30mm shields and there was significantly less pinching and pain. I also doubled my output from yesterday. Don't know if this is due to the size change or just that I have more milk.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Posts
    2,538

    Default Re: Pumping with VERY large breasts - help!

    you can also search the forums for some old thread about breast shield size or proper fit and there are several links and stories, unfortunately breast shield size does not directly relate to breast size, it varies greatly, I myself used two different sizes one size for each breast.
    Autumn
    Moma to *Silas* 10-30-07

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