XP: I'm allergic to my pump! — The Bump
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XP: I'm allergic to my pump!

For months I have been dealing with sore, itchy red nipples and trying lots of different things, asking lots of people (LC, midwife, OB/GYN, bumpies) and not getting any improvement. Today, I finally went to my regular doctor and she told me that it looks like contact dermatitis from the plastic in my pump. 

She suggested that I try not pumping on one side to see if that makes a difference. Argh! I already have low supply and have to work soooo hard to make enough for my baby every day. I don't want to stop breastfeeding/pumping until her birthday...

Here are my choices:

(1) pump only on my good side and see if things improve on the other side

(2) pump only on my slow side and see if things improve on the other side

(3) stop pumping, empty out my freezer stash and give her formula for a couple of months 

(4) hang in there and keep doing what I'm doing - it's only another couple of months 

(4b) hang in there for this week, go on vacation next week and see if things change with a week of no pumping (I really am taking a week off work next week)

Any thoughts?

Is there something I can do to help with the dermatitis???? Obviously, I want to avoid steroids and antibiotics (and the doctor agrees with me).  

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Re: XP: I'm allergic to my pump!

  • can you try different pump flanges...maybe a different brand?  I know I've even seen glass ones out there for some brands.
    My two PCOS miracles! Lilypie Kids Birthday tickersLilypie Kids Birthday tickers
  • I would try Option 4. Or try and see if you can use other flanges? Did she recommend hydrocortisone to help with the rash?


    Just as an FYI - every time I went on vacation, if I didn't pump, I had to work hard to get my supply back up to where it was when I came back. I mean, it was worth the not pumping, but just be prepared for that.

  • What about trying those flanges that go at an angle?  So you have a different type of plastic on you.
  • I had sore, itchy red nipples and it turned out that my flanges were too big. Four different LCs told me I had the right size, but when I switched to smaller flanges (bigger than the standard size, but not the 36s I was using) I had much better output and the pain/itching went away. Just wanted to throw that out there in case it isn't dermatitis (though I never did have a doc look at my nips, and I'm sure your doc knows what she is looking for).
    married 03/08/08 -- ttc with PCOS (dx 2005) & DS
    IUI #3 gave us the best 2nd anniv. gift ever: 2 babies! (born 03/09/10)
    Peanut and Little Man are getting so big! 2 years old already!
    finally blogging again at This Will Be: An Adventure
  • How much do you have frozen?  How much does she drink per day?  If I read your ticker correctly your daughter is 10 months so you have 2 months left until your goal.  When will you transition her to whole milk (if that is what you intend to do)?  I began to transition DS when he was about 11 1/2 months - I would mix about 6 ounces BM with 2 ounces whole milk, then after a few days it was 4 and 4 then 2 and 6 then all whole milk.  It took about 2 weeks to do so.  If you are vacationing with your daughter then I would just BF and not pump (BF as much as possible) and then you only have about 6 weeks left to get through after your vacay.  GL and hope it clears up for you!
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