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Thread: Can anyone explain this one to me?

  1. #1
    Join Date
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    Default Can anyone explain this one to me?

    I know this is going to sound like a stupid question, but I have a *weird* situation for me.

    I have been EP'ing since the boys were born. We did have some latching in the beginning, but it didn't work out. No problem. I'm flexible. Everything with pumping has been AWESOME. I don't see it as a burden, even DD will remind me that it's time to pump. Haha.

    BUT . . . . I am suddenly having days where I find myself severely engorged, but am absolutely strugging to get the milk out. I have NEVER had a situation like that. Severe engorgement ended when the boys were like 2-3 months old. I have been playing around with flange sizes and have gone up to the 36mm and have noticed that I am more engorged some days. But the struggle to get the milk out is killing me. I don't feel any clogged ducts. I've had to resort to laying down on my stomach on the heating pad on those days just to get the milk out. It's incredibly painful. I think I was near tears the other day just trying to lay on the heating pad.

    I've spent the last 3 days like this and I'm clueless as to why it's happening and what I can do to relieve it. I already pump 8+ times a day and my nipples are somewhat raw from the pumping. And if the boys would latch (that's a no-go), they might be able to help.

    Why in the heck am I suddenly having performance anxiety with my pump????



    Lori
    Mom to daughter (8/17/07) and mom to fraternal twin sons (1/5/10)


    *Mom with chronic health issues, NICU babies, reflux sufferers, multiple food allergies (mom and kids)
    *DD birthweight 5lb, 14oz, now 26lb, 4oz
    *DS1 birthweight 4lb, 6oz, now 19lb
    *DS2 birthweight 4lb, 2oz, now 18lb, 12oz

    **An EXCELLENT speller, unless I have either a child on my lap or I'm using my cell phone!**


    EP MOM FOR 14.5 MONTHS - NOW USING UP MY FROZEN BM SUPPLY!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Kansas
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    Default Re: Can anyone explain this one to me?

    Are you positive you don't have mastitis?

    I had this problem on and off when I was a EPer, I usually had Mastitis when this happened. I never got Mastitis though till after 18 months of EPing!

    The rawness is the biggest downfall of EPing. Boy was I raw too! Not at first, but around 1 year or so I started getting raw. I can tell you you don't get that rawness with breastfeeding thank goodness! But, I like, you could never get my DD1 to latch. *sigh*

    Any way, between pumping for the rawness try Medela's hydro gels they really helped me!

    Then, once you start feeling full pump, it's very very hard to get milk out with a pump when you are engorged. If you can get in a hot tub/shower and hand express some before pumping if you are engorged, and that will help some times. Also have your partner/husband help you, by bringing hot wash cloths while you pump, lay them on your breast while pumping and doing compressions. Keep changing the washcloths as they cool down (that's where your partner can help you by making sure he keeps bringing the hot wash cloths!).

  3. #3
    Join Date
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    Default Re: Can anyone explain this one to me?

    Have you checked and replaced pump parts? I am sure you already thought of that but just a suggestion.
    Jessica

    Moma to DS1-the monkinroanie (3/09) and DS2-the sweet pumpkin (5/12)
    Strong Women- May we have the delight of knowing them, the courage to be them and the privilege of raising them.
    And yes I know my spelling terrible (is that spelled right? )

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Can anyone explain this one to me?

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*magnoliahoney View Post

    Then, once you start feeling full pump, it's very very hard to get milk out with a pump when you are engorged. If you can get in a hot tub/shower and hand express some before pumping if you are engorged, and that will help some times. Also have your partner/husband help you, by bringing hot wash cloths while you pump, lay them on your breast while pumping and doing compressions. Keep changing the washcloths as they cool down (that's where your partner can help you by making sure he keeps bringing the hot wash cloths!).
    i agree here - if i am really full, i have a hard time getting the milk started coming out... I have to hand express first if it gets to this point.
    Julia and Maxwell (and Dan and Haddie)
    Maxwell, born January 3, 2010
    A year on Mama's milk and still loving it

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
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    Ohio
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    Default Re: Can anyone explain this one to me?

    I too have problems pumping when overly full. And I had no problems pumping until the 7-8 mth mark. Not a EPer but work full time and pump at work. Seemed like when my milk regulated the pump just didn't do it like it used to. I had to hand express some to mix things up a bit.
    Michelle

    Wife to Donnie , my best friend
    Mom to Trenton 1/9/97, Dillan 11/22/01, Ashton 6/19/09

    All boys, weaned at 15 months, at home with Ashton

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Can anyone explain this one to me?

    Let me see if I can provide more info . . . DH has DD in another room and the boys are asleep.


    NOTE: None of my doctors know anything about BF/EP and aren't willing to help. Do not have an LC/IBCLC that is willing to help, nor have the LLL Leaders in my area shown any interest in helping.


    *LC at the hospital fitted me for pump flanges. *Swore* that a 24 mm was the "perfect" size. Never questioned her because I thought she was an "expert"

    *Nipples have had cracks from the beginning

    *Noticed redness and slight burning at tips of nipples in the beginning. Doctors passed it off as "normal" since at that time I was pumping and attempting to get the boys to latch. Stopped trying to get the boys to latch at around 3 months.

    *Have had 1 bout of Thrush, with both boys exhibiting symptoms in their mouths. I showed no signs of it (that I know of), but was treating it with the Nystatin prescribed to the boys. Ped told me to have my PCP prescribe the cream for me, my PCP won't talk to me about anything related to BF. OB/Gyn looked at me, told me I didn't have thrush and sent me home. I have continued to use APNO or GSE since then just to be on the "safe" side.

    *Redness and burning in nipple are more annoying than anything. Not especially painful. Nipples are sensitive to the touch, though. Breasts themselves have no abnormalities. No clogged ducts, no masses, etc.

    *Progressively switched to larger pump flanges as I was hoping that it would help relieve the redness. Am currently using 36mm. When I switched to the 36mm, I noticed that I was frequently engorged despite continuing to pump every 2-3 hours and making sure that I was 100% "empty". Pumping sessions have always involved manual expression beforehand and making sure that the breasts were fully empty. Also experiencing letdown and leaking again, as though I had just given birth.

    *Today, I have had absolutely no problem in removing milk from my breasts, burning and redness are less bothersome. BUT the past 3 days, I have had issues with serious engorgement and then not being able to get the milk out. I wound up walking around looking like Dolly Parton for 3 days. The only way to get the milk out was to lay on my stomach with moist compresses ON my heating pad (it's a moist heat pad) for about 30 minutes before attempting to pump. Prior to switching flanges, I hadn't dealt with severe engorgement since the boys were born. I have had an occasional pumping session where it's taken a little bit to get milk out, but nothing like this.

    *As I said before, I pump every 2-3 hours daily and DO get up in the middle of the night to make sure that I pump.

    I'm at an absolute loss as to:

    (1) Why I'm suddenly engorged
    (2) Why the milk isn't coming out when I am engorged
    (3) What in the heck else is causing the redness and burning.

    I do know that I am currently slightly raw from attempting to pump so much while I was engorged over the weekend and am hoping that that goes away soon.

    ETA: There are no "signs" of mastitis. No flu-like symptoms, etc. I did feel a bit run down about 2 weeks ago, but DD had her flu mist then and her and I both were feeling under the weather for about a day.
    Last edited by @llli*lleonard5; August 30th, 2010 at 05:41 PM.
    Lori
    Mom to daughter (8/17/07) and mom to fraternal twin sons (1/5/10)


    *Mom with chronic health issues, NICU babies, reflux sufferers, multiple food allergies (mom and kids)
    *DD birthweight 5lb, 14oz, now 26lb, 4oz
    *DS1 birthweight 4lb, 6oz, now 19lb
    *DS2 birthweight 4lb, 2oz, now 18lb, 12oz

    **An EXCELLENT speller, unless I have either a child on my lap or I'm using my cell phone!**


    EP MOM FOR 14.5 MONTHS - NOW USING UP MY FROZEN BM SUPPLY!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    intersection of Mommy Guilt and True Bliss
    Posts
    861

    Default Re: Can anyone explain this one to me?

    Also, i sterilize my pump parts, etc. like CRAZY. After every use. I have DS1 on my lap and he's fidgety so I can't look back to see if I mentioned that.
    Lori
    Mom to daughter (8/17/07) and mom to fraternal twin sons (1/5/10)


    *Mom with chronic health issues, NICU babies, reflux sufferers, multiple food allergies (mom and kids)
    *DD birthweight 5lb, 14oz, now 26lb, 4oz
    *DS1 birthweight 4lb, 6oz, now 19lb
    *DS2 birthweight 4lb, 2oz, now 18lb, 12oz

    **An EXCELLENT speller, unless I have either a child on my lap or I'm using my cell phone!**


    EP MOM FOR 14.5 MONTHS - NOW USING UP MY FROZEN BM SUPPLY!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Posts
    177

    Default Re: Can anyone explain this one to me?

    I'm sorry I don't have much advice. I'm assuming you're doing compressions while you pump? I can usually get the milk moving that way if I'm engorged.

    My guess is that you've got a clog somewhere that you can't feel. My OBGYN prescribed me Nystatin cream when I had thrush the first month. I've been using it after every pump and have never had a problem again.

    Good luck! Sorry I'm not more help.
    Trying to keep up with a busy 3.5 year old Morgan Alexis born 11/5/09 at 6 lbs 5 oz and proud retired 1 year EP'er!

    Nursing our new addition Jordan Catherine born 10/21/12 at 7 lbs 14 oz.

    Total donated milk so far - 1,368 ounces!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Oregon
    Posts
    70

    Default Re: Can anyone explain this one to me?

    This sounds like EXACTLY what I went through for 4 months:

    Nipples have had cracks from the beginning

    Noticed redness and slight burning at tips of nipples in the beginning.

    Redness and burning in nipple are more annoying than anything. Not especially painful. Nipples are sensitive to the touch, though. Breasts themselves have no abnormalities. No clogged ducts, no masses, etc.

    Progressively switched to larger pump flanges as I was hoping that it would help relieve the redness.
    Docs were clueless. Turned out to be FUNGAL (thrush) . Nystatin didn't work for me at all and the antibiotic in my APNO caused it to be ineffective. I finally cleared it up with vineger rinse, grapefruit seed extract, probiotics, topical antifungal (I used clotrimazole, but I think others would work too...zinc oxide dries things out, though....and wipe it off before pumping ) and my favorite diet. I also avoided all antibiotics like the plague and sterilized everything. I had to keep up with the treatments for several weeks after symptoms were gone. HTH.

    The engorgement sounds miserable. I was never able to get a flange that fit me...too goofy I guess. If I pumped on my hands and knees, or bending way over I had better luck emptying my breasts. Also, agree with the moist heat and massage.
    Mama to
    - born at home on 4/27/10

    - born at home 8/30/2012


  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Ohio
    Posts
    783

    Default Re: Can anyone explain this one to me?

    Lori, do you think not working out for a while, then getting back into the swing of things could have anything to do with what's going on? Could your sports bra be the culprit of any reddness or sensitivity?

    Just brainstorming.....
    SAHM to all my boys

    Wyatt 2/23/99
    Isaiah 7/11/00
    Hunter 2/9/10- made it through our dairy allergy!
    and loving from afar, my DSS Kaleb 3/30/97

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