Why Do My Breasts Hurt After Pumping?

Breastfeeding is a choice many mothers make, but some encounter breast pain when using a breast pump. This pain can be concerning, but it usually has identifiable causes and can be resolved. This article will explore why breasts might hurt after pumping and provide some tips to alleviate this discomfort.

1. Improper Use of Breast Pump

Choosing the right breast pump is crucial. Different pumps are suitable for different mothers and various needs. However, improper use can lead to breast pain.

a. Suction Setting Too High

Many mothers mistakenly believe that higher suction means better milk extraction, but excessive suction can cause nipple and breast pain. Gradually adjust the suction to find a level that effectively expresses milk without causing pain, enhancing your overall feeding experience.

b. Incorrect Flange Size

Using a flange of the wrong size can also cause breast pain. A flange that is too large or too small can negatively affect milk extraction and apply unnecessary pressure on the breast. KISSBOBO’s dual electric breast pump offers various flange sizes, allowing mothers to choose the size that fits best. For guidance on finding the right flange size, you can refer to our detailed article on how to choose the appropriate flange for your breast pump.

2. Pumping for Too Long

Pumping for extended periods can fatigue the breasts, leading to pain. Each pumping session should typically be limited to 15-20 minutes. If longer sessions are needed, it’s advisable to take breaks between sessions to avoid overworking the breasts. With technological advancements, our products continuously improve user comfort. For instance, our GLE10 model features an automatic shut-off after 20 minutes, so mothers don’t need to worry about the duration of their pumping sessions.

The kissbobo breast pump uses a rendering

3. Clogged Milk Ducts

Clogged milk ducts are another common reason for breast pain after pumping. When milk ducts are blocked, milk cannot flow smoothly, causing breast swelling and pain. Mothers can use warm compresses and massage to relieve symptoms, or use a dual electric breast pump with moderate suction to help clear the ducts.

4. Nipple Cracks or Infections

Cracked or infected nipples can naturally cause pain during pumping. Cracks can result from excessive flange friction or high suction levels. Nipple infections may require medical diagnosis and treatment. Regular nipple care is essential, including keeping the nipples dry and clean and using gentle nipple care products. During this period, using nipple shields can help continue breastfeeding.

5. Breast Tissue Adaptation Period

For new mothers, the breasts need time to adjust to using a breast pump. During this period, the breasts might feel pain due to unfamiliarity with mechanical milk extraction. As usage continues, the breasts will gradually adapt to the pump, and the pain should lessen.

How to Alleviate Breast Pain After Pumping?

  • Adjust Suction Strength: Choose a suction strength that suits you, avoiding discomfort caused by excessive suction.
  • Choose the Right Flange Size: Select a breast pump flange size based on your breast size for comfortable use.
  • Control Pumping Time: Avoid prolonged pumping sessions and take breaks as needed.
  • Massage and Warm Compresses: Perform breast massage and use warm compresses before and after pumping to relieve clogged ducts and breast pain.
  • Maintain Nipple Health: Care for your nipples to prevent cracks and infections.


There are various reasons why breasts might hurt after pumping, from improper use of the breast pump to clogged milk ducts and cracked nipples. Choosing a suitable dual electric breast pump, like KISSBOBO’s products, which prioritize mothers’ comfort, can significantly reduce this discomfort. Our latest product, the KISSBOBO Wearable Breast Pump M1, features four modes and 19 adjustable suction levels, making it easier for mothers to find their comfortable suction level. We hope these suggestions help mothers better manage breast pain after pumping and enjoy the wonderful experience of breastfeeding.