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Choosing the correct breast pump flange size is essential for a successful and comfortable breastfeeding experience. At Baby’s On Broadway, we ensure mothers have access to the information and tools they need to find the right flange size, optimizing milk supply, minimizing discomfort, and enhancing overall pumping effectiveness. In this guide, we explain the fundamental principles of selecting the appropriate flange size, the process of measuring, the importance of continuous assessment, and considerations for changes in flange size.

How to Determine the Perfect Flange Size

  • Avoid Pumping Before Measuring: Stimulate your nipple gently.
  • Measure Your Nipple Diameter: Use a ruler or a specialized tool that some manufacturers provide to measure the diameter of your nipple at the base, in millimeters.
  • Consult the Brand’s Sizing Guide: Brands may have slightly varying sizes, so refer to the specific sizing guide of the brand you’re using.
  • Comfort is Key: The right flange size shouldn’t cause discomfort. If it pinches or leaves excessive space, consider trying a different size. Sometimes adding 1-3mm can increase comfort.
  • Consider Professional Guidance: A lactation consultant can provide personalized advice tailored to your body and needs.
nipple sizing guide that shows where to measure before choosing a breast pump shield size
breast pumps medical by baby's on broadway at baby’s on broadway, we understand the importance of reliable and durable medical equipment in your healthcare journey; whether it’s for you or someone you care about.

Understanding Available Sizes

Standard Sizes

Most breast pumps come with a “standard” flange size, typically around 24-27mm in diameter. This size fits many women but might not be suitable for everyone.

Additional Sizes

Here’s a look at additional common sizes:

  • Small: Ranging from 21-23mm, suitable for those with smaller nipples.
  • Medium: Often the standard size, ranging from 24-27mm.
  • Large: Ranging from 28-30mm, for those with larger nipples.
  • Extra Large: Sizes above 30mm, for those needing an even more generous fit.

Using Two Different Flange Sizes

Why You Might Need Two Different Sizes

  • Differences in Breast Size: Many women have slightly different-sized breasts, so a flange that fits one side might not fit the other.
  • Changes During Pumping: Sometimes, the size and shape of the breast change during a pumping session, requiring a different size for optimal comfort and milk expression.

How to Determine the Right Sizes

  • Consult a Lactation Expert: A certified lactation consultant can assist you in determining the perfect flange sizes for both breasts.
  • Use a Sizing Guide: Many manufacturers provide guides and tools that can help you measure and find the best fit for each breast.
  • Trial and Error: Sometimes, trying different sizes is the best way to find the perfect fit. Most brands offer flange sizes in various dimensions, allowing you to experiment and find what feels most comfortable.
beast pump shield guide showing what it looks like when a breast shield or flange is too small, too large, or the correct fit

The COMFY Test: Five Major Guidelines

  • C – Centering the Nipple: Ensure painless movement.
  • O – Observing Areola Movement: Assess the amount of areola pulling.
  • M – Monitoring Gentle Breast Motion: Check for gentle rhythmic motion.
  • F – Feeling Comfort During Pumping: No discomfort should be present.
  • Y – Yielding Soft, Well-Drained Breasts: Evaluate after each session.

Why Flange Size Matters

Impact on Health and Comfort

  • Prevention of Complications: Wrong flange size can cause nipple pain, clogged milk ducts, or mastitis.
  • Promotion of Well-being: The right size ensures comfort and contributes to the overall well-being of the mother.

Influence on Pumping Effectiveness

  • Optimization of Milk Supply: Correct flange size is key to efficient milk removal, affecting the overall milk supply.
  • Improvement of Suction: It enables adequate pump suction for effective milk extraction.

Will Your Flange Size Change?

Flange size is not static and may change at various stages of your breastfeeding journey. Here are key factors to consider:

  • During Pregnancy and Postpartum: Expect alterations between the third trimester and after giving birth.
  • Throughout Breast Pumping Journey: Regular monitoring is necessary as changes in size can affect pumping effectiveness and comfort.
  • Continuous Assessment: Should discomfort or pain occur with pumping, consult a Certified Lactation Consultant. Regular checks with the manufacturer about available sizes are recommended.
60% of pumping parents are using the wrong size flange or breast shield
4 images of moms using 4 different pumps. woman using the willow wearable, woman using spectra gold, woman using motif, woman using spectra s2

Changes in Flange Size: Adaptation and Consultation

Adaptation to Changes in the Body

  • Evaluate During Different Phases: Frequent checking helps adapt to changes in the body.
  • Consider Possible Size Changes: Pregnancy and breastfeeding may require size adjustments.

Consultation and Insurance Considerations

  • Expert Consultations: Seek professional assistance if needed.
  • Insurance Provisions: Updating flange size may be covered by insurance.

Our Commitment to You

At Baby’s On Broadway, we prioritize your comfort and success in breastfeeding. Our team of experts, extensive range of products, and commitment to personalized support are here to assist you every step of the way. Contact us for a personalized consultation to ensure a joyful connection with your baby.

Breast Pumps That We Offer