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Pumping for NICU baby

I need suggestions on pumping for my NICU baby. My milk is coming in (he was born 5/27), but pumping exclusively is starting to hurt like h-e-l-l!!!! I am using Lansinoh for the blisters and chafing. Hot compress and massage for the clogged duct...

Suggestions? Ideas? Advice? Support?

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Asked by mistical_me at 9:21 PM on May. 30, 2011 in Babies (0-12 months)

Level 16 (2,341 Credits)
Answers (9)
  • Does your pump have an adjustable pressure? If so, turn it down. It shouldn't suck your nipple off to get the milk out. Also, you might want to try to hand express once in awhile to give them a break.

    Answer by Jademom07 at 9:27 PM on May. 30, 2011

  • The hot compresses and massage for the clogged ducts work great if you get an abscess too- keep that in mind. When I had to pump pretty much exclusively for my son, I got one and it was NOT fun. Is the suction on your pump adjustable? Are you on WIC? If your pump is not adjustable like that, WIC has some very nice pumps available sometimes, so you could check with them. Also make sure your nipple does not touch the inside of the cups- if it does, then the cup is too small. Target used to have these really great gel breast pads you could put in the fridge and THEY WERE AWESOME- seemed like it was almost an instant fix for soreness! HTH!

    Answer by lovingmy4babies at 9:28 PM on May. 30, 2011

  • If your milk is already in, it's likely that the tissue of your breasts are growing, too. The nurses at NICU gave me ice packs to help with the quick growth. AND it really helped deaden my breasts, so I could pump for awhile and NOT feel the pain...

    Answer by GoodyBrook at 9:31 PM on May. 30, 2011

  • Lube your pump if you're not already doing so. Just a little bit of KY around your nipples, or even a couple drops of breast milk rubbed around your nipples will help them slide in the pump and make it so much more comfortable to pump.

    Answer by Mom-2-3-Girlz at 9:41 PM on May. 30, 2011

  • I am currently using the pumps the hospital has. I have a really nice medela that I had gotten with my last son. Both have adjustable suction and speed. My nipples have gotten ENORMOUS and are starting to get flush with th rest of my breast. I was given nipple shields to help with this.

    Comment by mistical_me (original poster) at 9:46 PM on May. 30, 2011

  • I had a NICU baby and pumped like a dairy cow every 2 hours, it wasn't fun at all and my nipples also felt like they were going to fall off. I would suggest to keep putting the cream on them and try talking to the lactation consultant while your in there. The one i talked to really helped me out. Why is your little one in the NICU?? I had a Gastroschisis baby ( 2 1/2 years ago). Good luck with pumping. It will hurt but just think about the baby.

    Answer by Amberlovesher3 at 10:29 PM on May. 30, 2011

  • My NICU baby is there for breathing issues and heart arrhythmia. I was induced at 37 weeks because I was diagnosed with Cholestasis of pregnancy.

    Comment by mistical_me (original poster) at 11:03 PM on May. 30, 2011

  • Try to see an IBCLC, the pump flanges might be the wrong size for you. Also, the cream I LOVED was Motherlove Nipple Cream, you might want to look into ordering that. Rub a little of your milk on your nipples, and let them air dry. Avoid soap ON your nipples. Nipple shields are not used for pumping (as far as I've ever heard)...but sometimes breast SHELLS can help. They're typically used for flat/inverted nipples before nursing, but they keep the nipples from touching your clothing and rubbing, which can irritate already sore nipples, so you might look into those, if that's not what you're already using...they kind of look like flying saucers. If you're using a hospital pump, you're already using a great pump, but that doesn't change the fact that the flanges (horns) might be too small. Motrin is safe for the discomfort as well, some moms find it helps a lot. Hope I helped! Let me know if there's anything else.

    Answer by Krysta622 at 11:40 PM on May. 30, 2011

  • Thank you all for the wonderful advice!!! I am going to talk with the lactation consultant today about my problems. Maybe she can help me get that duct to release. I have tried everything in the book, and this left breast will NOT give it up!!!

    I was using a nipple shield when he was nursing because my breasts were soo swollen that my nipples were flush with my breast. He is not nursing now, because it was making him exhausted. He has a naso-gastric tube now for feedings.

    Comment by mistical_me (original poster) at 9:55 AM on May. 31, 2011

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