Unlike what you might think intuitively about pumping, and even unlike the actual name of the breast pump, it’s not your pump’s primary job to suction milk out of your breast. Your body actually pushes out the milk to your baby (or the pump) using your Milk Ejection Reflex, also known as MER. Have you ever seen milk spray out of your nipple? That’s your MER at work. Your breast pump is what helps compel your MER to activate—by stimulating your nipples via that tugging sensation as it cycles.
This is why Rumble Tuff breast pumps have such a wide range of suction settings and our unique waveform. Maximizing the time your nipple is in the “drop zone” can help to more efficiently empty your breast. However, it’s also necessary to choose a comfortable level of suction, tailored to your body during each step of your pumping journey. Hence the wide range of settings available to you with your Rumble Tuff pump.
Remember, the primary job of your breast pump is to stimulate your nipples, which cues your body, indicating it’s time to feed your baby. The suction of the pump tugs at your nipples and, generally, the more you perceive the sensations caused by your pump to be favorable to feeding your baby, and trigger your MER, the easier it is to empty your breasts—which is the primary goal for both breast health and a healthy milk supply. With any flange/breast shield, the key to efficient emptying of your breast is ensuring as little as possible of your areola enters the tunnel of the flange/breast shield.
If you are using Pumpin’ Pals by Rumble Tuff to combat elastic breast tissue, first ensure a good fit and then gradually increase the suction settings until you feel that tugging sensation at your nipple area. The level of suction you find most comfortable and efficient may vary, even significantly, from your old settings. Your new shields are specifically designed to prevent excess tissue from entering the tunnel, so your nipple should stay further back in the tunnel, where it belongs, which can change your perception of the tugging sensation. You may need to adjust settings over a few pumping sessions to find your new optimal levels.
When starting to use Pumpin’ Pals by Rumble Tuff, do not use your hands-free bra for a few sessions. That way you can watch for fit issues and become practiced at how the shields work at different angles and breast positions. Use hand massage and try pump settings to find the new routine which works best for you.