Breastfeeding has been a struggle from the start because my son has a recessed jaw, which makes it really hard for him to latch properly. I have been working with a lactation consultant and she says that this may be the best latch I can get until his mouth gets bigger and he gets more coordinated. The result is that my nipples remain tender and sore but only in between feedings and only when they brush up against something - wearing a bra is uncomfortable. I am now pumping to store milk in prep for my return to work. Pumping is uncomfortable and makes me much more sore - to the point that breastfeeding is uncomfortable now. I just want to cry because I finally got to the point where I could breastfeed without pain and now it is all coming back. I have moved up 2 sizes in breast shells (now using a 30mm) and it is better but still painful, especially my areola. Has this happened to anyone else? Will pumping become less painful overtime? Is there anything I can do to help?
Also, I have tried breast shells to increase my comfort when wearing a bra but the back of the shell presses into my areola and leaves a ring. I am worried that it is cutting off circulation and will lead to blocked ducts. Should the opening in the back of the shell be on my areola or on the breast past the areola?
It just needs to be past the nipple, and it sounds like you are not going to do good with the pump. Not all woman can pump and have sucess. You might try another horn that is a duffernent size. The problem with [umps is that it will make your nipple larger and in yoru case it will make it ahrder for yoru little one to latch on! My little guy latched on but it was shallow and it was painful till he was a month old and got more in his mouth. I just sucked it up. He is my 4th and I have never had any trouble before.
Pumping will not become less painful that I hve ever heard of. It can with baby but not a pump. I commend you in nursing through the pain but you really need to try other pumps or might have to stop pumping or live with the pain. I hope you find something and it does nto have to come to that. OH and you need to find one with differnent settings on the suction. If you start slow then after the let down turn it up higher, if it is too high at first it will not allow a good let down and will just casue to much pain.
Pumping actually should not be painful. it's not a picnic, and one may get sore nipples, but it shouldn't hurt. That is a sign that something is wrong.
I honestly recommend the Pumpin Pals angled shields, as they are more comfortable and seem to be a little more forgiving in the size. They are not expensive and can be found online.
To reduce chaffing, you can apply a little olive oil around the base of your nipple. This lubricates it and can help aggravate problems and promote healing. It is safe for baby.
To help heal your nipples- you can try nipple shells (funny looking shells that keep all fabric off your nipple and allows air to circulate). I also found apply a little expressed milk and letting it dry helped tremendously- often more so than lanolin. Lanolin does help a lot too.
Check for signs of thrush. Painful nipples can be caused by it.
Turn down the pump. Stronger suction doesn't necessarily mean better. My LC told me to never turn it up more than 1/3, and I generally kept it about 1/4 of the way up.
It will get better. Try some olive oil around the nipple, that will help with any pain you might get and it won't hurt the baby (at least what I was told and have done with both my kids).
Start slow, if it doesn't hurt then SLOWLY turn it up. my nipples have been REALLY sore this time around and I've found that I've had to put the pump on a lower setting and I'm just starting to increase it 3 weeks later.
To help prevent clogged ducts just make sure you massage the boobs before feedings and pumpings, and when pumping try also massage, I've never had one and was told a long time ago that that should help prevent it.
Thanks for all of the tips everyone. You are right cocacolapanda, it is getting a little better. I have always been using olive oil (my LC told me to do this) and it really helps. I have also begun using the largest breast shield (the 36 mm) and that also helps, and I never ever turn up the suction - it stays on the lowest setting. I think my areolas needed to toughen up to the pump. I am only pumping once a day (to store some breast milk in advance of my return to work and to try to get my little one used to a bottle.) We'll see how I manage when I am pumping more at work. I use the medela pump in style but I am thinking about renting a hospital grad pump. Has anyone had experience that they are more comfortable?
tired: pumping was not painful per se but it was making my areolas really sore, but this is now slowly improving. I have been using the breast shells but the back of the shell presses into my areola and leaves a ring and I worry that it will cause a blocked duct. Are the shells supposed to fit over your entire areola? My MD and LC do not think I have thrush, thank goodness!
I used the hospital grade pump while in the hospital and I bought the Pump in Style on my way home from the hospital. I personally like the PIS way better and thought it was less painful.
I pumped every 3-4 hours for the first 5 weeks. My nipples were so soar and I used lanolin which helped alot. I also used gel soothers refridgerated. It did get better the longer I pumped and my nipples toughened.
At 9 weeks she is finally nursing and I'm only pumping once a day now.
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