Friday, July 22, 2011

Friday Night Leftovers: TMI Edition

You have been warned.  I'm just sayin'.

I am posting this pic as my first one so as not to terrify you right away.  And also to give you the opportunity to realize work is not where you should read this post. 

I determined long ago that my issue is NOT the actual BF - it is the pumping.  And I wouldn't have to pump if I wasn't working and if maternity leave in this country wasn't so damn lousy. 

I am more thankful than you shall know that my dear friend and cycle buddy Nicole is sending me her smaller flanges from PumpinPal.  I am PRAYING they help.  I have had to stop pumping at home at all, and the right side I don't do every session at work.  I just CAN'T.  This is NOT helping my supply.  Booo.

I completely understand why people give this up.  Seriously.  Not that I EVER knock anyone for their choice, but let's just say my understanding has reached new levels.  
Alright, I spent a lot of time on Dr. Google attempting to find photos of others with DESTROYED nipples from pumping.  I couldn't find ANY.  None. Nada. Zilch.  I know I am not
alone in these struggles, but apparently no one wants to share their misery. I did find a few of cracked nipples from actual BF.  It is sooooo not the same. 
However, I need to know that I am not being a big baby.  And so...I am posting nip pics.  Because if I can get other BF women to see this and tell me that yes, it's terrible, I will feel better.  My mom cringed.  And she breastfed 3 of us.  My neighbor cringed.  They are ball-shrinking bad (if you are a man).  Women, your nips may invert in fear...
                                                                                        This is the good side.  Pumping with Medela is                                                                          not horrid...just scarring, some skin peeling.  I had to give up on the Avent for now.  It made it worse.   I can now nurse on this side without wanting to die or nearly break Hubby's hand squeezing from the pain.

This is Righty.  She is ANGRY as you can see by the color.  There is no part of my body that has EVER been this color unless operated upon and
scarred. Peanut can barely latch the tissue is so thick.  You can see some of the cracking, but not all, and not the scabs. This is looking damn good, actually.  A week ago I was bleeding so badly I was in tears.  Every time I pump I get ugly looking bruises.  This is what ill-fitting pumps do.  Take note.  Get fitted.  In the hospital.  No lie.

Do scabs and skin bits count as solid food?  Because if so, P is now on solids and has been for weeks. 

Also, I am embarrassed to say that I have injured my left thumb.  And I refuse to go to the doctor.  Because then I have to tell him that I injured myself from repeated boob squeezing in the attempt to get as much milk out as possible.  I can't do it.  I am just going to go pick up a thumb brace.  I keep hoping it will get's not.  Oh, well.  What's one more injury?

Sorry for the TMI.  I just need support on this.  You all have given me soooo many tips, resources, etc, and I am ever so thankful.  I just need some validation of my misery.  Thanks for reading (and looking).


  1. Those look like classic "your flanges are too small injuries". The part that is red and raw is it rubbing against the inside of the flange? Also are how high are you turning your medela up? Perhaps try it at a lower suction?

    Fell better momma! I am going to send your pictures to my lactation lady tonight and see if she can help.

  2. Oh, honey, that is BRUTAL. Have you tried lanolin ointment, or even just rubbing some of the breast milk on the nips and letting them air dry after pumping? I remember those were two things that seemed to help.

    There is nothing fun about pumping. I remember those days well--Humana didn't have a pumping room when Riley was a baby, so I had to try to grab the "sick room" or go to the one bathroom/locker room in the 3 buildings that had an outlet because Medela pumps at that time did not have battery packs (sounds healthy, huh?). A few times, I had to pump under my coat in my CAR. I did this 3 times a day at work for about 18 months--ridiculous. Once, this co-worker named Kent accused me of being antisocial and running off with my "laptop" during every one of our scheduled breaks; I was happy to embarrass the hell out of him by informing him that it was a breast pump. @$$hole.

  3. Yowsa! You poor thing. I agree, maternity leave in the us SUCKS! Maybe you should move to Sweden...

  4. Nipple shield, my hospital hands them out to every mom. Cheap, easy fix.

  5. We're you able to resolve this problem? If so, how? I'm experiencing the exact same problem right now


Whip me, beat me, take away my charge card. Or just leave a comment. Whichever works best for you :)