I am having issues with comfort when pumping. My nipples and skin appear to be incredibly sensitive and constantly crack. My doctor thought I had nipple thrush, but I am being treated for thrush (diflucan -- almost done with a 3 week course), but it's not getting better.
As far as the fit of the flanges, I am having trouble. I have large, flat breasts (44H). But my nipple is only about 21-22mm, which would likely be the "standard" flange fit I would think. When I pump, my nipples swell to a bit larger. My LC recommended getting a really large flange (36 mm, the largest that Ameda sells) when I was using my old pump (a Lansinoh double electric) and that was okay (even though my nipples are a lot smaller than that).
At this point, though, I am exclusively pumping (many issues -- don't want to go there right now). So I rented a Medela Symphony. The actual comfort of the pump is better, but I cannot get a comfortable fit with the flanges. I have the standard (24 mm), 30 mm and 36 mm. All of them are uncomfortable on the tender areola tissue surrounding my nipple. I have a red ring around my nipple from pulling of the pump. I am starting to wonder if I need a smaller flange to keep the areola tissue out. The medela website says that the flange shouldn't pull in much areola tissue. It's like I can't get the right fit with the Medela flanges. I am afraid the small 21mm flange would be too small if my nipples swell when pumping. But the 24mm flange still pulls some areola tissue in.
Has anyone else had this problem? My breast are starting to hurt and I'm not even using half the suction power this pump has.