Pumping and breastfeeding is a challenge for many mothers. But what about pumping with elastic nipples? It can be difficult to pump and breastfeed with this type of nipple because it can be painful! In this blog post, we will discuss how you can still produce enough milk without having to worry about discomfort.
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What are elastic nipples?
Elastic nipples are when a nipple stretches further than typical when pumping. This will cause the nipple to be stretched to the end of the flange tunnel and can be painful to pump.
When this happens, too much areola is drawn into the tunnel, compressing the milk ducts and restricting milk flow.
Elastic Nipple Solutions
Here’s a quick list of elastic nipple treatments.
- Change to a Pumpin Pals Breast Shield
- Lubricate before pumping
- Use a BeauGen breast cushion
- Lower the suction strength
- Try a different size flange
How to pump with elastic nipples:
If you are struggling to pump with elastic nipples, there are a few things that you can do.
- Make sure that the flange size is correct for your breast. You may need a larger or smaller flange if your nipple is stretching too far.
- Use a lubricant on your nipples to help them slide through the flange tunnel.
- If you are still having trouble, try pumping in short bursts instead of longer sessions. This will allow your nipple time to recover and will decrease your discomfort.
- Try using a breast pump cushion. This will help to protect the tissue and increase milk flow.
Don’t forget! Elastic nipples can be difficult when trying to get enough milk while breastfeeding or pumping. Here are some tips to help make the process a little less painful.
What problems are associated with elastic nipples?
The major problem is it puts pressure on the areola tissue, which constricts the flow of milk and causes insufficient pumping. Not to mention that it can be very painful.
How do you know if you have elastic nipples?
Elastic nipples travel along the end of the flange and ultimately push toward it. If it happens during the pumping, it could show that you have elastic nipples.
You have elastic nipples if your nipples stretch more than three times in length when pumping with a flange no more than 2-4 mm from your pre-pumping nipple measurement.
What should I do if I have elastic nipples?
Nipples can become elastic when the areola is drawn into the tunnel of a breast pump flange. This usually occurs when the nipple is too large for the flange or if the fit isn’t snug enough. To prevent this from happening, make sure that you have the correct size flange and use good quality pump and pump parts that fit well.
You can also try pumping for shorter intervals or alternating between both breasts, allowing your nipples time to recover in-between sessions. If you’re still having trouble after trying these tips, consider talking with a lactation consultant who may be able to offer more advice on how to solve the problem of elasticity during pumping.
Silicone Pumpin Pals
Pumpin Pals is a breast shield that is made of a silicone material that helps hold the areola from getting pulled into the tunnel.
These silicone flanges have a cone that tapers into the tunnel rather than the ring at the bottom of the funnel.
Coconut oil may help in ensuring the proper operation of pumps. This lubricating product decreases friction and a lot of painful friction is seen in people with this.
Coconut oil is hydrating and helps to heal cracked nipples and irritated skin affected by the friction. Lots of moms have said it has helped.
Breast Pump Cushions
BeauGen breast pump cushions are silicone inserts that help keep the tissue in place when you are pumping breast milk and it allows for an even tighter connection to the pump. They are useful in maintaining the correct position of my nipple on an extended breast while pumping.
BeauGen cushions have received great reviews from many moms. This helps protect the areola by slowing down or preventing the excess flow of blood into the inner tunnel of the flange of the pumps.
If you are exclusively pumping, be sure to replace the cushion about once a month as the effectiveness of the silicone insert wears off after so much use.
Try turning down the suction
Initially, it seems counterintuitive. We have an urgent goal to pump more milk, and that would be an effective means to increase pressure.
Lowering the vacuum strength can help decrease the amount that the elastic breast tissue gets pulled. This helps ease the pain for a breastfeeding mama.
Try a different size flange
Finding the correct flange size can help prevent nipple pain and pump more efficiently. Breast pumps come with the standard size of 24mm.
Having the wrong size breast shield can not only have you experience pain but also have you pump less milk which can affect your breast milk production.
Tips For Successful Pumping
If you are a new mom in your pumping journey here are some tips for success.
– Make sure to use a quality breast pump that fits you well.
– Use lubrication (coconut oil or a few drops of olive oil).
– Try a silicone insert like BeauGen breast pump cushions.
– If you are exclusively pumping, be sure to replace the cushion about once a month as the effectiveness of the silicone insert wears off after so much use.
– Lowering the suction strength can help decrease the amount that the elastic breast tissue gets pulled.
– Finding the correct flange size can help prevent nipple pain and pump more efficiently.
What about traditional plastic flanges?
Two factors make traditional hard plastic flanges difficult for elastic nipple tissue:
1. The tunnel may be too short.
2. The internal hard plastic ring where the funnel joins the flange’s tunnel can pinch elastic tissue.
If you want to use a traditional plastic flange, the goal is to get yourself into a flange that is the correct size and shape for your particular anatomy.
Elastic Nipples with the Elvie Pump
The Elvie pump is problematic in that its base length is only 30 m from the top. Maymom / Theo & Freemie inserts were used to create the needed diameter for the tunnel, but must be shorted in length by roughly 20mm to give optimum suction in the vacuum holes.
Can mothers with elastic nipples breastfeed?
Yes. Breastfeeding with elastic nipples will not affect you at all in your breastfeeding journey. If you are having problems, be sure to see a lactation consultant to find a solution.
How do I measure my nipple size?
Measure the diameter of your nipple. For this trick, you’ll need a measuring tape or a ruler. Measure the diameter (or distance straight across the middle) of your nipple at the base in millimeters. Add 3-4 mm to the measurement taken after measuring.
If you are having problems with your elastic nipples, there are many things that you can try to make pumping easier. Whether it is a change in pump output or breast shield size, this article has provided some solutions for those struggling with nipple elasticity. Remember to speak with a lactation consultant if the problems persist. Thanks for reading!