I think I'm pumping wrong - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 7 Old 05-14-2009, 07:47 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I have a lansinoh pump and I've been banking milk so there's enough to feed when I go back to work. I'm not getting a ton extra, but then again, I'm not really pumping consistently either and I don't need a big stockpile. That's not the problem though. The problem is that on days when I pump, the tips of my nipples hurt and it is really uncomfortable when my baby goes to nurse. I'm not sure exacty what is causing the pain. When I saw an LC a few weeks ago I brought the pump and she suggested I get bigger flanges since the nipple was rubbing on the side and cracking. I did that, but the bigger flange doesn't seem to be able to empty the breast as well. Because of that, I use a stronger suction, so maybe that's what's making it hurt afterwards? The nipples feel sensitive and bruised on the tip. I really don't think it's from nursing, but rather from my pumping technique.

Any suggestions for trying to get this to feel a little better? The pump I have is a double electric breast pump. I know that it's supposed to be best if I pump both sides at the same time. But it seems like the suction is a lot better if I do just one side at a time. Maybe I just need to calm down on the suction? I think maybe I'm doing the higher setting and it's rushing things and causing pain. But I can't really complain about how much I'm getting out with the pump at the mid suction setting. I'm just not sure it's being kind to my body.

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#2 of 7 Old 05-14-2009, 08:37 PM
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I have that pump and the suction is stronger with pumping just one breast. However, I usually have poorer output when only pumping one. It sounds like you have the suction turned all the way up--is that right? Everyone's nipples are different but for me that's way too high--I usually turn it no more than a third or halfway up, but keep the speed at the highest setting. If I turn it higher my nipples get sore.

Are you getting let-down? How many?

Kellymom has some pumping tips somewhere--nak and too lazy to look them up!
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#3 of 7 Old 05-14-2009, 08:40 PM
 
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How long are you pumping? I'm wondering if its taking longer than you're expecting it too. A full pumping session (except for the really fast pumpers with big supplies) should t ake 15-20 minutes.

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#4 of 7 Old 05-15-2009, 03:17 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I usually only have the suction about halfway, never more. Same thing with the speed. I only pump for about 5-10 minutes at a time, so I don't think I'm doing it for too long and 2-3 times a day at most.

I'm not sure... yesterday ds was nursing for long periods of time- 1hr 20 min and 45 minutes another time. Maybe it wasn't related to the pump at all, but rather him just being too aggressive. It still seems though that on days I pump my nipples hurt.

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#5 of 7 Old 05-15-2009, 04:23 PM
 
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i know it's totally unique to each pumper, but I never had the suction up that high (i have the lansinoh as well). no wonder your nipples are hurting!! I always had it maybe a third of the way turned up, although I set the speed faster than that.

You can expect a good pumping session to take at least 15 minutes. It especially helps if you do breast compressions while pumping (make your hand into a C and squeeze your breasts). That will help empty your breasts faster. Some people actually get more milk when the suction is lower.

If your nipples are sore, you may be anxious or nervous about nursing (even subconciously) and that could affect how fast the flow is for him.

Are you pumping hands free or do you have to hold the flanges?
If so, look into how to make a hands-free bra with an old bra of yours. (if you search and can't come up with anything, I'll explain it to you, but for now I've got to run.)

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#6 of 7 Old 05-15-2009, 06:36 PM
 
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I am a full time WOHM so have been pumping lots for the last several months. I'm not familiar with the Lansinoh pump but I have used a couple of different brands and they all seem fairly equivalent. I know that when I work/pump a few days in a row my nipples are always a little more tender then when I'm just breast feeding. I think the hard plastic flanges just aren't as comfortable as a LO's mouth! Also, I've found that I get the best output if I turn the suction down very low and the cycle speed up high until I have a let down, and then increase the suction to higher (but not uncomfortable) level and turn the cylcle speed down to about half. When the flow of milk has really slowed down or almost stopped then I turn up the cycles and turn down the suction until I'm able to stimulate another let down reflex. This seem to most closely mimic the way my babe sucks and keeps my nipples from getting too uncomfortable. I also second the advice about the breast compressions! HTH... feel free to PM me if you have any questions.
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#7 of 7 Old 05-16-2009, 01:10 PM
 
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I used the Lansinoh pump. When I pumped I had the suction at about 10 o'clock. Any higher and my nipples hurt, plus I don't think it helped having it higher. I would set the speed at the highest until I got a let down, then turn it down a little bit.

Bigger flanges also helped out.

It's hard to figure out pumping. Just keep playing with the settings until you find something comfortable.
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