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Problems and solutions


Pain while pumping
  • Care for any breast issues (blebs, cracks, sores, infections, thrush, etc.)
  • Check that your flanges are a good fit for your breasts.
  • Try reducing the pressure.
  • Some moms find that applying a little lanolin, olive oil, or coconut oil to their nipple before pumping helps prevent pain from rubbing while pumping. However, if you are having pain due to rubbing, you may need larger flanges.
  • If all else fails, hand express while you contact a trained lactation supporter for help. Visit our Resource Guide to find someone to help you.

Decrease in volume when pumping
  • Give all the parts that touch milk a thorough cleaning in hot, soapy water.
  • Inspect all parts for mold or damage. Rips, holes, crimps, and mold can all affect pump function.
  • Make sure that all the parts are fitting together properly and creating a good seal from breast to motor.
  • Check that your flanges are a good fit for your breasts.
  • If you have an electric pump, check the battery or power supply. a battery with a very low charge won't pump as well. If you think the battery isn't charging properly, contact the manufacturer.
  • Listen to the motor. If it doesn't sound right, it's probably in need of repair or replacement. Contact the manufacturer.
  • If all else fails, hand express while you contact a trained lactation supporter for help. Visit our Resource Guide to find someone to help you.
Troubleshooting instructions for specific pumps
This section was written by an experienced mom, La Leche League leader, CLC, and Breastfeeding Champion who pumped while working full time and now pumps at home for tube feeding. It is NOT meant to replace advice from a medical professional. Questions about the evidence-based research behind what you see? Email lehighvalleybreastfeeding@gmail.com for a full list of references.