New here with question about soreness

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-28-2003
New here with question about soreness
Mon, 03-31-2003 - 6:12am
Good morning. I am currently pumping exclusively for my 5-week-old baby boy, Carter. I was using a rented Lactina, but decided to buy a Pump In Style since it's so much more portable. Well, the PIS leaves me with EXTREMELY sore nipples. I have tried using larger (27 mm) cups with no better results. I am concerned that I've just spent $250 on this pump that I'll never be able to use, and I'll have to keep renting the Lactina. Does anyone have advice or a similar experience? Thanks!

Melissa and Carter 2-22-03

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
Mon, 03-31-2003 - 7:10am
Welcome Melissa & Carter! Some of the mums here have found they can turn the suction all the way down on their pump to relieve soreness without it affecting their supply at all. In fact, because it hurts less, they can relax more and their supply actually goes up.

Another idea is to apply Lansinoh (or other lanolin-based nipple cream) before and after pumping. Take deep breaths before you start pumping, that can help let-down & make pumping less painful too.

Hope this helps, congrats on your PIS - it's a great pump!

Ailsa & Hannah

Mummy to dd Hannah (5/23/01, EPed 19 months ) and ds Brody (11/29/03)
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
Mon, 03-31-2003 - 9:17am
Welcome Melissa and Carter!

I also had a ton of pain while pumping, and it wasn't until I started pumping blood that I figured out that I really needed to solve the problem, which was having the suction too high. As soon as I turned it down (and I had it down very close to minimum suction), my pain dissipated and the bleeding stopped. I also thought my supply would take a hit turning down the suction, but I actually started getting a little more per pump session w/the lower suction!


Allison (alumni) and Robbie (13.5 months)

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iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
Mon, 03-31-2003 - 9:26am
for awhile my nipples were so sore it hurt to hold Colby, it hurt to have my bra on, it hurt to wear a heavy sweatshirt. I used Lanisoh before and after for a few days (and it did hurt to put it on) and the redness and the pain were gone. Now I only use the Lanisoh when it flares up...which isn't very often.

stephie & colby (3 months Wednesday!!)

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
Mon, 03-31-2003 - 9:36am
1. ALWAYS coat your pink parts with lanolin before you pump. It allows the tissues to slide in and out of the shield with less friction than dry skin.

2. ALWAYS keep the PIS on the lowest suction setting. Like the other posters mentioned, turning up the suction doesn't get you more milk, just more pain.

3. You said you tried the larger shields, but have you tried the small nipple inserts? I don't have small nipples but tried them hoping to get the shields to rub in a different place (LOL). I found that they keep the pump from sucking so much of my aerola into the tube which is MUCH more comfortable.

4. Use an Isis pump periodically to give your boobs a break. This is a handheld pump (about $42) that is very handy when you need to pump and be mobile, tend to baby, etc. With the Isis, you pump till you get letdown, then just hold the pressure and the milk flows out. No continuous pumping and pulling on the breast tissues. It is very comfortable, and many moms (including me) actually get much more milk out with the Isis. It's a great investment if you are going to be pumping exclusively long term.

Happy pumping,


iVillage Member
Registered: 04-01-2003
Wed, 04-02-2003 - 12:26pm
I too just found that turning the suction down to minimum was MUCH more comfortable and my supply didn't dip at all. In fact, I was able to get more out at one pumping than I ever had before. I use the creams also and have the medela breast shields with air holes so my nipples can air dry while in the bra. It's been great! Good luck!

Shanna & Makenna (12 days old)

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-03-2003
Sat, 04-05-2003 - 11:59am
not trying to steal the thread or anything but I too have pain problems as well. do those of you who use the lowest suction notice that it takes any longer? I use highest suction because of the time factor, i've never been able to wrap it up in less than 30 min. Maybe if I turn it down I can finish faster too?


iVillage Member
Registered: 04-01-2003
Thu, 04-10-2003 - 7:02am
I haven't noticed it taking any longer. I still pump for 20 min and I usually get about 2 to 3 letdowns. But everyone and every body is different so 30 min may be what you need. I may actually get more milk if I went longer but I usually have a screaming infant to attend to! :) Are you going 30 min with the suction up higher? I would try turning the suction down to min and just see how it goes. It is much more comfortable! Good luck!!


Shanna & Makenna (almost 3 weeks!)