If you have just gotten a breast pump and are getting started, you might be wondering things like “Will this hurt?” or “Can I bruise my nipples while pumping?”. No, you are not alone in these thoughts. Almost all moms ask questions like these at the beginning of their pumping journeys.
In this post, we are going to answer the question of whether you can bruise your nipples while pumping. If you think about the mechanics of a bruise, generally you need a lot of pressure, or an impact to a certain part of your body to elicit a bruise. Another way to get a bruise is by continually applying pressure to a certain area. This later situation can be created by pumping, specifically improper pumping technique, and yes, can lead to your nipples or nipple tissue bruising.
Just because your nipple tissue can bruise, does not mean that it will bruise. Equipping yourself with the knowledge in this post can help prevent bruising.
How to Avoid Bruising Your Nipples While Pumping:
When problems arise from pumping, they generally can be traced back to an improper fit with your breast pump flanges. If the flanges you are using are too big or too small, they can pull too much of your tissue into the flange tunnel or painfully compress your nipple tissue. Both situations can lead to bruising as we just discussed. You can learn about how to properly find your breast pump flange size here.
Appropriate Suction Levels
Pumps are simple vacuum devices. So pumping might seem as simple as the higher level of suction, the better the results right? Not so much. Very often too much suction can actually have the opposite of your desired outcome. Ratcheting up your suction level can cause pain, and even nipple trauma. Remember that you are using a pump to mimic a baby’s suckling in order to express your milk. Try different settings on your pump to see what your body best responds.
Working With Your Body
Not all bodies are the same. Understanding your body and its mechanics can help you select the pump, settings, and schedule for your pumping journey. Working with a lactation professional or your healthcare provider can provide insights and advice to help you make these determinations.
Another way you can protect yourself from bruising your nipples while pumping, is by using lubrication like coconut oil. Using lubrication between your skin and your flanges will help your skin glide along the plastic rather than pump up against or be dragged alongside of it.
You can soften the flanges by adding BeauGen’s patent pending Breast Pump Cushions! You can purchase these cushions one time, monthly, or save time and money by subscribing. These cushions safeguard your sensitive skin, and therefore protect your pumping journey.