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Please help my wife, URGENT.

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 

Our son is 9 days old and breast feeding has been going really well. Tonight we decided it was time to start pumping off the excess milk in perpetuation for bottle feeding down the road when she goes back to work. 

Amyway, the pump made her nipples so sore she's been in tears for the last hour and it's past time to feed but she can't bring her self to do it. 

What can we do to ease the pain and get through this, we're worried about her milk supply and how to feed our son 

post #2 of 12
Thread Starter 

PLease give some input. 

post #3 of 12

I'm sorry to hear that. Sore nipples are awful!


She could try a few things;


- feed your baby whatever milk she expressed using a cup to give her nipples a rest ( I wouldn't do this for more than one feed)

- apply some ice to her nipples for a few minutes to soothe them before feeding

- take a couple of paracetamol to help with the nipple pain ( this will take about 30 minutes to work so it may not help if your baby is hungry now but it will help if the pain persists)


Because the baby's attachment will be different to the way the pump sucks she may actually find that it doesn't hurt as much to feed as she is anticipating. I can certainly understand her not wanting to test that theory though!



When is she planning to go back to work? Is it essential that she start expressing so soon?


If her nipples are that sore after one session I wonder if either the pump horn is too small or the suction pressure was too high. Either of those things could cause nipple pain. Is there a midwife or lactation consultant you could see to get some advice about expressing? It can be a bit painful while you're getting started but it shouldn't cause enough trauma to be painful an hour later.


All the best. Let us know how things go.

post #4 of 12

Does she have some sort of ointment such as lanolin or nipple butter to put on them? Ibuprofen is okay to take for pain, and chilled cabbage leaves in her bra will soothe as well.

It might be a good idea to not pump anymore for a while, and when she does go back to pumping only a few minutes at a time. What pump is she using?

post #5 of 12
I agree with the previous posters. No more pumping. 9 days postpartum seems way too early to be pumping. I would not give the pumped milk in a cup though. Although if you must, a cup or spoon is the best option. Not a bottle. I'd take Tylenol or Advil to help with the initial pain and use lanolin, allowing the breasts lots of air drying time not bound up in a bra.

I had a really rough time breastfeeding. What worked for me was to turn up some awesome music, dance around and have my dh pass the baby to me and while I was jazzed up, I'd latch him on. Good luck.
post #6 of 12

You are pumping to soon I think- it could potentially decrease the milk supply and if she is having that much discomfort and it is not necessary I would not do it.

I would get the book TODAY- the womanly art of breastfeeding and read it together....

I read it for the first 6 weeks of breastfeeding- every time I nursed.

post #7 of 12

The pump is the issue if the soreness has come from that and so that is where changes need to be made. Choosing to pump more and cup feed the baby will likely result in greater soreness for your wife because the pumping clearly isn't running smoothly yet, and decreased supply because she is not receiving the much needed stimulation from nursing the baby directly. If you start removing the baby, especially at only 9 days old,  from the breast you risk creating totally avoidable breastfeeding issues.  Icing the nipples before feedings can inhibit let down and also makes it easier for a mother to allow a baby to continue a feeding with a poor latch because her sensation is compromised.  If the baby is latching well it should only hurt for a moment or so when she latches and then be comfortable throughout the remainder of the feeding.  Lanolin will help keep moisture in and aid in moist wound healing and can be applied often safely.  Soothies gel pads can be placed in the refrigerator and applied after feedings for additional comfort, warm compresses are helpful as well.


As far as the pumping goes.  Just like nursing the baby, pumping should not be painful.  There is likely a problem with either the fit of the pump, pump parts, or the positioning of the pump.  You can have a "poor latch" with a pump too.  Also, pumping should never be done for more than a few minutes beyond her last let down of milk, this is a very common cause of nipple pain and soreness.  I also agree with a previous reply that stated that she is probably just trying to pump really early and may not be prepared for that yet.  The best and most effective means of establishing and maintaining a plentiful milk supply is through nursing the baby on demand-at least every 2-3 hours around the clock-and lots of skin to skin contact between mother and baby.


edited to add:  I just wanted to emphasize that moist wound healing is the most effective means of healing sore, cracked nipples.  The tissue of the nipples will heal from the inside out.  Without the application of lanolin to retain moisture, healing takes longer and the mother will form scabs that will be broken with each nursing session if she is cracked and bleeding which increases her risk of infection and her pain level.  LLL gives this recommendation in both of the most recent editions of The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding.

post #8 of 12

i just want to say that it is fine to pump early, thousands of women on these boards alone do it, my babies for one would have not gotten breast milk had i not!  this is probably an issue with the pump, the fit of the flanges or something in her timing or set up. she needs help beyond just "dont to it yet"


i totally agree that nursing directly should be the top priority and anything that interrupts that should be avoided if it can be

that if she can get to a lactation consultant, she should bring her pump and have her help her with the fitting and selection of the flanges and the suction level and speed.


the nipples should not drag or rub too much on the sides of the flanges, that hurts! if that is happening, try a larger flange


lanolin can be put on before a pumping session to lube things up


different pumps feel different, i know my hospital grade one i rented seems more gradual with its pull than my consumer one of the same brand with the same flanges. they both got milk at the same rate but the hospital one never made me too sore and the home one did at times. never too bad, never "injured" but also not happy


there is a pump called a PJ's Comfort pump that has completely soft flanges and compresses the breast more than pulls at it, i have talked to women that love it more that anything ever. i have used one and can say that yes it feels a ton better, way more like nursing to use. sadly in my case i think my body had gotten very used to the other type so when at 6 month i used it , i did not get that much milk. i have a friend that got 2x the milk from it than the pump i used, so it really goes to show how each woman is different.



bottom line, a la leache league leader or a lactation consultant should be just as happy to help you work thru pumping issues as they are to help with other breast-feeding issues. if they aren't the are really not doing all of their job.

post #9 of 12
Thread Starter 

Wow, thank you all for your suggestions. I did give her Advil and we used ice and lanolin. Fortunately the pain lessened after a couple hours and she was able to breast feed which in turn actually helped sooth her nipples. It was just scary and we panicked, she really felt that she was not going to be able to breast feed anymore. 

We will definayely delay the pump for a month or so. Like I said, we were just hoping to get acquainted with it and drain the last bit of milk our baby didn't get. 

Btw, the pump was turned up too high, lesion learned. 

Being a new parent is exilirating but last night a little scary. :(

thank you all again for all your advice. 

post #10 of 12

I, too, say that there is no need to worry about pumping too early, as long as the child is feeding well.  I know this from first-hand experience.


There is plenty of milk to do both, and as long as you feed the child first, whenever the child wants, then the child will not suffer. There is still plenty of milk to pump between feedings.


All these dire warnings about about potentially decreasing the milk supply by pumping at an early age are inaccurate and unnecessarily alarmist.  Yes, you risk decreasing the milk supply  if you drop nursing sessions and you don't add as many pumping sessions to replace the missed nursing sessions. (As a matter of fact, I found that if I dropped X nursing sessions, I had to add X+Y or MORE pumping sessions to keep my milk supply up.)  But that is NOT what the OP is describing.  The OP is describing nursing the baby all that it wants, and then adding some pumping sessions in between.  That's not going to risk the milk supply. You can ask any of the many mothers who have successfully pumped for their babies.


I started pumping on the day my child was born.  My child was a very strong nurser.  She nursed for three years before weaning herself, and in addition I pumped all throughout those three years.


The issue is the pump or the flanges or something mechanical, and not the fact that the pumping is going on at a young age.


IrishFather, it's not necessary to wait for one or two months before pumping again.  


If you wish, wait a few days to heal before you start pumping again.  (The nipples heal surprisingly fast.)


While your wife is waiting for her nipples to heal, she could use her hands to squeeze the milk out into a dish and save.  I have heard of some women that get more milk out using this method than with a pump.  (After all, cows used to be milked by hand.) Try googling "manual expression breastmilk" and looking at kellymom.com for some tips.

















Congratulations on your new baby!



Edited by emilysmama - 2/9/12 at 2:21pm
post #11 of 12

I think that people were only saying that it may be too early to start pumping in her personal situation.  The baby is only 9 days old and if she is overwhelmed or uncomfortable pumping then maybe a little more time to figure out what pump she likes, what her routine will be like, etc.  would be beneficial.  The only thing I think people, at least speaking for myself, were trying to actually caution against was eliminating nursing sessions right now.

post #12 of 12
Originally Posted by eternamariposa View Post

I think that people were only saying that it may be too early to start pumping in her personal situation.  The baby is only 9 days old and if she is overwhelmed or uncomfortable pumping then maybe a little more time to figure out what pump she likes, what her routine will be like, etc.  would be beneficial.  The only thing I think people, at least speaking for myself, were trying to actually caution against was eliminating nursing sessions right now.

Yep, that was my though. Why add another task so early if you don't need to.

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