Elastic nipples (or stretched nipples) are an issue that many exclusive pumpers struggle with. Here’s four things you can try to make pumping less painful and more efficient when you have elastic nipples.
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What are elastic nipples?
Some women have nipples that stretch while pumping so that they extend to the end of flange tunnel.
When this happens, too much areola is pulled into the tunnel, which compresses the milk ducts and reduces milk flow.
Sometimes, this can be solved with a different sized breast shield, but other women struggle with this even after trying many different sizes.
What problems do elastic nipples cause?
The main issue is that this can be very painful.
Additionally, elastic nipples can cause inefficient pumping. Draining milk can become difficult because the breast shield is putting pressure on areola tissue that shouldn’t be pulled in, constricting the flow.
What Can You Do If You Have Elastic Nipples?
There are a few things that you can try to make pumping less painful and more efficient when you have elastic nipples.
Silicone Pumpin Pals
The shape, along with the silicone material, seems to help hold the areola from getting pulled into the tunnel. Trying Pumpin Pals is the #1 recommendation from moms in our Facebook group that have elastic nipples.
(Note: If you have a Spectra, you have to buy directly from Pumpin Pal, not from amazon.)
Beaugen Breast Pump Cushions
Beaugen breast pump cushions are inserts that go inside breast shields. They are intended to provide a more comfortable pumping experience, and can also help if your optimal flange size falls between two sizes. (It reduces the flange size by about 2mm.)
Lots of moms have found that Beaugen cushions helped with elastic nipples, both as a result of the smaller size and the material.
This video shows how they work:
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Some women have found that lubricating breast shields with coconut oil helps with the nipple stretching and makes pumping more efficient.
Try a Different Flange Size
As noted above, you may have some success with a different breast shield size. (It’s possible that you need different sizes for each breast.)
Have you struggled with elastic nipples? What has worked for you?References