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Thread: Pumping with flat nipples?

  1. #1

    Default Pumping with flat nipples?

    So I'm pretty much ready to quit pumping because I'm an extremely low volume pumper AND I feel like all the time I'm spending with the pump is taking away from the time I could/should be spending with my family. I am unable to breast feed because of my flat nipples, so I'm exclusively pumping. But.....I'm wondering if my flat nipples are part of the reason why I'm such a low volume pumper. I went to a link that showed how the nipples should fit into the horn for a correct fit and it said if your nipples were wider than a nickle, you should try a larger size. My nipples (the tiny bit that does stick out) are closer to the diameter of a dime, but I have large areolae. So because I have flat nipples with LOTS of adhesions (apparently if your areolae have wrinkles in them when your nipple extends, you have adhesions that keep the nipple from extending as far as it should) no matter what size horn I use, a lot of areola goes into it. Could this be affecting my output? Has anyone here with flat nipples become a high volume producer? I'm sure I'd want to stick it out longer if I actually expressed much milk - at 10 ounces a day right now and my daughter is 2.5 months old. The most I've ever expressed in a day was 16 ounces, and she was a month old then. My supply has slowly dwindled since then - I haven't pumped as often as I should so I know it's partly my fault, but am I just destined to be a low volume pumper because of my flat nipples? Any help, advice, responses are greatly appreciated. Thanks!

  2. #2

    Default Re: Pumping with flat nipples?

    I have flat nipples and I exclusively pumped for my first son and now for my second and they didn't cause me to have low supply. I pump out about 60 ounces a day right now and did the same with my first son. It is so important in the beginning to establish your supply. I did this by pumping every 2-3 hours, even in the middle of the nights to get my supply going. I pump for at least 20 minutes for each breast or until I see no more milk coming out. I also use things to help me get my milk out.. massaging your breasts helps so much and also a heating pad can help get your milk flowing. I am back at work and only pump every 5 hours now, so I know my supply will go down but if I need it to go back up, i can always do a pumpathon. Where you take a couple of days and pump every 2 hours. I'm sure you know that the more you pump the more milk you make.. I hope this info helps and good luck. It is a big sacrifice to make to do this, so please applaud yourself for at least trying! Great job so far! Have a GREAT day!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Posts
    61

    Default Re: Pumping with flat nipples?

    to all the PP suggestions. I have flat nipples and have been EPing over 9 months. Flat nipples hindered latching, but not milk production. To EP, you have to be very disciplined to establish a good supply. Basically, pump often and long enough to totally empty your breasts - ususally 15 min at the min, but probably more like 20-30 min. I pumped 8-10x/day for the first month, then 7-8x/day for the next 2 months. The most I ever produced was about 35oz/day. Eventually you can drop sessions, but only after your supply is well established. Hang in there - it does get easier! You can drop sessions eventually....
    Cynthia
    Mom to Jaxon born 5/1/09. He would not so we and !

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    20,629

    Default Re: Pumping with flat nipples?

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*cynn View Post
    Flat nipples hindered latching, but not milk production.
    The pump should be able to "latch" and remove milk regardless of what your nipples are like- it shouldn't make any difference whether they're flat or everted or inverted or whatever. But the shield could be making a difference- if you're not seeing good results with the shields you're using, you might want to try a different size. The type of pump you're using can make a big difference, too- what make/model to you have?

    I'm also that to EP you need to be super-disciplined- and for some moms, that means pumping much more frequently than they want to, and much more than is convenient. Here are some links which may help you increase what you're making:
    I'm not pumping enough milk. What can I do?
    Establishing and maintaining milk supply when baby is not nursing
    Coolest thing my big girl said recently: "How can you tell the world is moving when you are standing on it?"
    Coolest thing my little girl sang recently: "I love dat one-two pupples!"

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Posts
    2,616

    Default Re: Pumping with flat nipples?

    I have flat nipples and I think you just have to find the right size of shields. I'm not an EP'er but pump 8x day for my baby who has always been poor at milk removal. Anyway, you can do it. One of mine are flatter than the other and it needs a larger shield. If you can have a LC watch you pump to make suggestions that would be helpful.
    Nursed my sweet daughter 3 years, 3 mos.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Posts
    37

    Default Re: Pumping with flat nipples?

    Ditto to all the above. I have one flat and one inverted nipple and its my flat side that was always the mega producer. I'm Epumping for over a year and I do use a size 27 flange as per my LC's advice. But I did pump every two to three hours in the beginning to establish my milk supply. If your pump is a good one, you might try a pumpathon to boost your production. You need to be disciplined though. I used my cell phone's alarm clocks to keep me on track...best of luck to you. Go EPers!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Posts
    35

    Default Re: Pumping with flat nipples?

    I also have flat nipples and produced a LOT of milk when I Epumped with my first. Everything the PP said is true. You need to pump more! I know it seems to be taking away time from your family but once your supply is established it'll get better. Good luck!

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