In breastfeeding, a breast pump is an essential tool in producing extra milk for storage. This allows your baby to be well-fed even if you’re not around or if you simply have trouble breastfeeding on your own. Every mother must invest and choose high-quality pumps with a flange that fits properly.Also known as the breast shield, the breast pump flange is used in direct contact with your breasts and nipples, which is connected to the pump. Milk is extracted and stored in bottles in case the baby feels hungry when you’re not around. Breast pumps come in a set with an average-sized breast pump flange. The most commonly used sizes are 24 and 27 millimeters, while the next popular size in the market is the 30-millimeter variant. 21 mm flanges are rarely used because these do not allow a lot of space for nipple expansion.
How to Measure and Choose the Correct Size
- Pump and place the flange directly on your breast. In doing this, make sure that your nipple is completely centered within that tunnel.
- If any part of the nipple rubs up against the sides of the tunnel, it can be very uncomfortable. This is not ideal. If this happens, this means that you would need a bigger size.
- Turning the pump on is also a key. You’ll notice that the nipple starts to swell inside that tunnel. You will know it’s the perfect size when the aerial is pulling a little bit with the nipple not rubbing against any part of the tunnel.
- If it’s the right size, a good amount of milk starts to flow immediately.
- You can have a lactation consultant observe it for you to see if it works properly. You can also watch it with a mirror to make sure your nipples are not rubbing any part of the flange’s tunnel.
- It is important to note that breasts change size from time to time after you’ve given birth and while you’re pumping. Owning multiple flanges for your pump is ideal so that pumping is always comfortable and pain-free.