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Should Pumping Hurt?

 

The long and short of it is no. Pumping Should Not Hurt.

As the only breast pump cushion available, we’re often asked about pain while pumping. Is just something unavoidable that goes along with this side of breastfeeding.

Doctors, lactation consultants, and other professionals all agree that pumping should not hurt. That being said, many women still experience pain while pumping. So what is going on here? Why do some women find pumping difficult, and others do not? 

Should pumping hurt?

Why Do Some People Experience Pain While Pumping?

If you are experiencing pain, this doesn’t mean that your experience is invalidated or that there is something wrong with you.

It simply means that there is an issue. This issue can be with the hard plastic flange, the fit with the flange, or the level of suction. The good news is that these issues can be solved. So for all of the moms who are in pain due to pumping, there is hope.  And we’re going to talk about it in this post.

You can watch the Express Yourself video on this topic from our Vlogging Mama Liesel in the video at the bottom of this page.

Why does using my breast pump hurt?

Flange Fit: The Most Common Reason for Pain While Pumping

We’ve polled the experts, and their answer for the most common cause of painful breast pumping experiences is the use of an incorrect flange size.  Whether your flange is too big or too small, it can lead to painful friction caused by your skin against the hard plastic of your flange.

Before you run out and invest in new flange sizes, there are two solutions that we recommend.  One is to find the appropriate flange size for your body. You can do this by using our free measuring tool which you can download here.

The second step is to try one of our BeauGen Breast Pump Cushions.  If your flange is too big, our cushions can be an affordable solution for sizing them down, while also adding more comfort. For moms who are between common flange sizes, our cushions are an effective solution to reduce pain. 

More than half of moms who use our cushions use them to specifically reduce or eliminate pain while pumping.  Another forty percent of moms use them to achieve a better fit with their flanges. 

Should Pumping Hurt? Why Does my Breast Pump Hurt?

Friction: Moms Who are New to Breastfeeding or Pumping Might Experience Tenderness or Soreness

Like doing anything for the first time (think of exercising), the first few times a mom breastfeeds or pumps might cause some tenderness or soreness.  Some moms experience dry or cracked nipples. This doesn’t mean you’re doing it wrong, your body is simply adjusting to this new experience. 

Trying a nipple cream or lanolin can be an effective way to reduce the irritation and soothe any pain that it might cause.  

If you’re ready to try BeauGen Cushions to properly size your flange and reduce pain while pumping, click here.

Nipple Shape

Not all nipples are exactly the same. Some moms have flatter nipples. Other moms have inverted nipples. And others still might have elastic nipples. These different shapes and sizes can lead to pain at the pump. But there is hope here too. Schedule a consultation with a lactation professional if you think that you might have an issue with the shape of your nipples. 

For more on elastic nipples check out this blog post.


Pumping should feel like a gentle tugging, not something that causes pain. In this video Liesel takes us through some of the common reason for pain and how to mitigate that experience.

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