Anyone else unable to find right breast shield size?

Discussion in 'Breastfeeding' started by spunky84, Oct 6, 2013.

  1. spunky84

    spunky84 TTC #4

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    I'm really struggling with the breast shield sizes. I've looked on the Medela website as far as what's a good fit, and honestly it just doesn't make sense.

    I've wasted so much money on breast shields and everything just hurts - but then again, I feel like my nipples are so damaged that maybe that's the problem?

    I started off with Medela 24mm. Read how incorrect shield size could prevent good milk output. So I tried the 27mm. Still hurt. So I shelled out $30 to get the 30mm and 36mm. Same thing. Though the 30mm still doesn't feel that great.

    Pumping is sometimes agony. I've already had a couple of blisters.

    So I was reading about Pumping Pals and how great they were - how much less the pain was, and just overall better for milk production.

    So I shelled out another $30 for those. I've tried each of the 3 sizes and they don't feel any better than the Medela! The only thing is I'm able to save myself a little bit of back pain from having to lean forward with the Medela (last night back hurt loads).

    I feel like I've wasted $60 which I cannot afford to just waste on stuff that's useless to me. (Different story if they are helpful with this).

    As I'm exclusively pumping, I know shield size is very important for my nipple health! But I just cannot seem to find anything that doesn't put me into agony. I know my nipples are damaged. Maybe that's the whole problem, I don't know. I just don't know how to fix this without having to stop pumping. I've put a couple of sessions with 4 hours breaks just to give my nipples a little longer before they have to be yanked and rubbed.

    Anyone else have this issue? Has anyone been able to find a solution or things that have made it feel better?

    I did start using some olive oil which did help a lot, but the olive oil doesn't seem to do so well with the pumping pals (my kept sliding and would put my nipples in an awkward position & couldn't adjust properly & would get next to no milk out).
     
  2. seaweed eater

    seaweed eater Well-Known Member

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    I'm sorry you're having this problem :hugs: I can't find the right size shields for one side but it sounds like a different issue from yours.

    What exactly is going on for you? It sounds like you've done plenty of reading about how the shields are supposed to look. Is your nipple moving freely or is it rubbing against the sides? With all the sizes?

    Also, the customer service for the pumpin pals is supposed to be amazing -- they supposedly refund your money no questions asked if you aren't satisfied. So I would get in touch with them. At least you can get your $30 back.
     
  3. minties

    minties Complete

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    I've never had a shield fit. Not matter what brand. I have really large breasts with (apparently!) TINY nipples. The smallest medela shield was still like sticking a coke can over a pencil! Pain pain pain. Sucking half my areola in with it, then air getting in, losing the suction and no milk.
     
  4. spunky84

    spunky84 TTC #4

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    I've just been having a lot of pain. Based on research it's been so hard to tell what's actually proper and exactly what and how much is supposed to be sucked into the tunnel.

    I was also getting a lot of pinching, but mostly with the smaller sizes - so I definitely ruled them out.

    I decided not to give up on the pumpin pals. I mean, really, something HAS to work, right? I went to their website to look at their sizing chart and based on that, I found the one that I "should" be using.

    I decided that was the most comfortable of all the breast shields. Though it was still uncomfortable. I decided to try positioning/angling it a little differently and that has made a HUGE difference. I finally feel like it's where it should be. I've been using it at the same angle/position since and I feel like it's been doing well.

    My nipples still hurt a lot, but I think that's just from the fact that they've been through the mill just trying to figure out right breast shield and right speed/suction on the pump.
     
  5. Rachel89

    Rachel89 Well-Known Member

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    So sorry about the pain you are experiencing, I really hope that they heal up qucikly! May I ask which position that was? And does the position work for any of the medela ones?
     
  6. Katteh

    Katteh Well-Known Member

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    Which pump do you have? I have a medela symphony and worked out that if I turn the power down I actually get better results as it isn't anywhere near as painful.

    Have you read the medela site on how to tell if you have the right fit?
     
  7. seaweed eater

    seaweed eater Well-Known Member

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    Glad to hear things are working better now :hugs: I actually just had a conversation with the Pumpin Pals guy about shield fit and his first suggestion was to angle them differently. He said that makes a big difference for many women. I'm glad you are one of them! :thumbup:
     
  8. Amygdala

    Amygdala Well-Known Member

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    Have you tried lanolin to help heal them? It's brilliant stuff and doesn't need to be washed off for pumping/nursing. That plus air whenever possible should hopefully help you feel better really soon.
     
  9. spunky84

    spunky84 TTC #4

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    The Medela breast shields, I don't think you can really change the position. Other than making sure it's on right w/ nipple in center. I had some issues where I thought I had it on correctly only to have my nipple in a wonky position after the pump started. So it would take a lot of re-adjusting.

    For the Pumpin Pals, when I angled them downwards (like how I'd imagine them normally), I got a lot of pinching. I actually ended up with a scab where I was getting pinched. The part that connects to the pump piece w/ tubing, I started angling it to the right on both sides and since then, it's so much better! Sometimes I can barely feel the tugging.

    I use Medela Symphony and Freestyle (mostly the Symphony, but sometimes need to use the Freestyle still). I've definitely been turning the power down. I turn it up occasionally, but during let down phase only. My right side is often slow to start & sometimes have to crank up the let down phase a little to get things going. Then I turn it.

    Actually, the Symphony is much more gentle! I'm using the Freestyle right now until I get my new parts in the mail tomorrow (the ones I had are ruined since I couldn't clean/sterilize them while in the hopsital & I feel that there's just too much bacteria stuck in the center part of the piece even though I soaked in warm, soapy water & boiled). The Freestyle is so much more rough. Even having it turned down almost to the lowest setting, the nipple is getting sucked very far in.

    I've read a lot on breast shield sizing, especially on the Medela website. That was actually the first source. It was too hard to tell based on the pictures, so that's when I started trying out the different sizes. Thankfully the Pumpin Pals sizing chart made it a little easier to figure out & from there re-position.

    So am I! I was really excited about using them and was so sad when nothing was working out. I'm just glad that the repositioning worked. It really has changed pumping for me.

    Now that I've been using them in a good position for me, my nipple pain has decreased significantly. Which makes a huge difference especially with the eping.

    I've tried boob ease nipple balm.

    I think part of my problem too was not letting them air out enough. I always thought to just slap on a nursing pad (though that's what they were for... :blush:). Lately I've started making sure everything is dry before I apply a nursing pad & that has helped tremendously.
     

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