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Exclusive pumping, nipples/areolas hurt.

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 
I pump 8x/day, every 3 hours. My left breast produces less than half of what my right breast produces, due to a lumpectomy that severed a bunch of ducts. My right side hurts, but my left side is absolutely in agony.

I have a red ring on my areolas, around my nipples, (especially the left one), and little blisters on my left nipple. I'm using the 24mm flanges, and the larger ones hurt worse. I have Raynaud's Phenomenon of the Nipples, and sometimes one or both of my nipples is white during/after pumping. I take nifedipine for the Raynaud's, and it'd be a lot worse without it.

Speaking of the flanges, my nipples and areolas get sucked WAY into the flanges, like an inch, maybe an inch and a quarter. It hurts. But even if I turn the suction down, they still get sucked way in, and I don't get as much milk.

I'm using lanolin. I don't know what else to do. Help?
post #2 of 4
Do you think maybe the flanges are actually too big? I'm having the same issue myself. Everything online is geared towards people needing bigger flanges, so I ordered bigger ones assuming that was the problem. Nope, that's worse. I ordered one of the areola stimulators which makes the flange way smaller and that is WAY more comfy. Unfortunately I wasn't getting any milk with them in. So now I've ordered just the plain ol' reducing insert for the regular flanges, and am hoping they'll help a lot once they get here.

But yeah... I have the ring around my areola, plus can see lots of it getting sucked into the flange. I don't have the issue of my nipples being white after (though sometimes I do after she nurses)... but rather they're dark purple, almost black, and bruised looking (but it goes away after a minute).
post #3 of 4
What kind of pump are you using? I'm not sure if they go any smaller for Medela, I could be wrong. Can you see a LC? or your OB?
I am EP and have been for 5 months. I was using the wrong size of flanges and it did hurt like you explain. Although even though I went down in size on the flanges, the irritation was still there. I saw a LC who talked to my OB and she prescribed this ointment that was a antifungal/steroid/something else? I would pump, wash my nipples, apply ointment and repeat after each pumping. The irritation finally went away and now everything is fine.
post #4 of 4
Thread Starter 
I got the inserts to make the flanges smaller, and it seems to be helping. I'm going to ask for some of that nipple cream, as my lc recommended it.
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