Breastfeeding is optimal for nourishing a baby in its first years and creating a special relationship with your little one. The first week of breastfeeding may be particularly challenging for some mothers because of painful or cracked nipples and the accompanying discomfort. At the beginning of breastfeeding, it is usual for moms to suffer breast discomfort and tightness.
Many competitive pumpers have difficulty with elastic or stretched nipples. When you have elastic nipples, pumping might be uncomfortable and ineffective.
What Are Elastic Nipples?
There is a certain amount of giving in every nip because stretching triggers the hormone oxytocin, which causes a letdown of milk. However, some mothers discover that pumping causes difficulty since their nips stretch more than usual.
Since the nursing mother cannot see into the baby’s mouth, she may not know whether she has elastic nipples. To further facilitate milk transmission, the nipple expands and fills the space between the baby’s palate and tongue. Pumping can be a good time to spot elastic nipples because the woman’s breasts are stretched to their limit.
How Can I Tell If I Have Elastic Nipples?
When pumping, many women experience what is known as “elastic nipples,” a condition in which the nipple expands to cover the full flange tunnel and extends to the end of the flange tunnel despite utilizing the correct flange size.
Why Are Elastic Nipples a Problem?
Although having elastic nipple tissue isn’t always negative, there are certain drawbacks to consider.
It’s not always pleasant. Over time, it may have an impact on productivity.
Pumping may be painful for some because the repeated rubbing of the nipple’s face on the tunnel’s end can cause bruising, discomfort, and even permanent damage.
It “appears” that you need to raise your flange size if the provider assisting you isn’t knowledgeable about elastic tissue.
How To Make Pumping With Elastic NipplesLess Painful
When you have elastic nipples, you can do a few things to make pumping easier and more comfortable.
1. Use Silicone Pumpin Pals
Pumpin’ Pals Silicone Silicone The Pumpin Pals breast shield has a unique form compared to comparable flanges on the market. The cone narrows into the tube rather than widening to form a ring at the funnel’s base.
Its form and silicone construction prevent the areola from being sucked into the tube.
In the same way that Pumpin Pals may be more comfortable for those with elastic nipples than rigid plastic flanges, silicone material can do the same.
2.Adjust the Vacuum Speed
Don’t worry yourself into thinking you need a level 12 vacuum tolerance to use a nipple. Ensure that the vacuum strength is at a safe level. Many mothers are taken aback to learn that they may get the same quantity of milk production with either a high or low suction setting. The role of motherhood varies for each woman. Nipple flexibility may be reduced by maintaining a constant cycle and decreasing suction intensity. Try pumping for 15-20 minutes to lessen pain while keeping your S1/S2 stable on the expression cycle 54 vacuum between 5 and 6.
3.Beaugen Breast Pump Cushions
These are inserts for breast protectors. They’re designed to make pumping easier on the hands and feet and come in handy when deciding between two different flange sizes. (It cuts down the flange size by around 2mm.)
For elastic nipples, many have found relief with Beaugen pillows due to their compact size and special construction.
If your pump’s breast shield and connection are designed to work together, this may be the most convenient choice (like Spectra flanges).
Remember that the flange size will be reduced by around 2mm when utilizing pump cushions (variation between brands). If you’ve been measured and found that a 19mm flange is the most comfortable, you may reduce its thickness by inserting a Beaugen cushion. Consequently, a 21mm flange is required to accommodate your Beaugen cushion.
4. Ensure You Have the Right-Size Flanges
This may be challenging. A tight flange will force the nipple to brush against the tunnel’s interior, stretching it, while a loose flange will drag the areola farther into the tube. That’s why it’s best to consult a professional lactation counselor face-to-face. Changes in nipple size are quite typical. Determine your nipple size by measuring it. However, this just gives us partial information. Some nursing mothers find that they feel more comfortable in larger sizes, while others find that they feel more comfortable switching between sizes.
5. Soft Silicone Inserts/Massagers
In certain cases, a massager or silicone insert may be helpful. It’s annoying to shell out a ton of money for extras that don’t serve their intended purpose or don’t fit. Unfortunately, many mothers report that these items reduce suction and are difficult to maintain in position. One of them is yours to test if you’d like! Finding the right insert may be tricky, so it’s important to shop for one that either comes with a money-back guarantee or promises to give you other sizes. Moistening the insert with water or breastmilk may help it stay in place better if you’re having trouble doing so. A more secure seal may be made with the aid of moisture.
Fixing elastic nipples is sometimes as simple as adjusting the size of the flanges or decreasing the suction. Well, let’s say you’ve exhausted every option. You’re the right size, the suction is low, and your nipple extends far over the halfway point, yet it doesn’t hurt? If so, you’re a good mother. Go for it! Your body is functioning as it should.
Coconut oil has been reported to aid nipple stretching and improve pumping efficiency for certain exclusive pumpers.
How to Make Pumping With Elastic Nipples Less Painful?
It’s crucial to keep your cool if you’re having difficulties with breastfeeding or are experiencing discomfort throughout the process. Asking your midwife for advice and assistance is not just acceptable, but encouraged. It’s natural that you and your baby would require some time to become accustomed to nursing and acclimatize to one other since the experience is new for both of you. Eventually, you’ll become a well-rehearsed dream team no matter what you decide to do to solve the problem.