Do breast pumps come with different flange sizes?

Do breast pumps come with different flange sizes featured

Understanding Flange Sizes in Breast Pumps

Breast pumping is an essential process for mothers who choose to feed their babies with breast milk solely. The success of this process, however, largely depends on the right breast pump and appropriate accessories, with flanges being a crucial one. Flanges, also known as breast shields, come in different sizes to fit the breast perfectly, enhancing comfort and milk expression. In this article, we delve into flange sizes and their significance in the breast pumping journey.

Why Flange Size is Important

Flange size is important because it promotes comfort and efficient milk production. Using flanges that do not fit correctly may lead to painful breast pumping sessions as they cause breast tissue compression, affecting milk flow. It’s vital to measure the nipple’s size before purchasing a breast pump flange, as nipples come in different sizes and shapes that determine the flange size. Nipple size also determines how much breast tissue is pulled into the flange tunnel, and a poorly fitting flange may cause abrasions or diminished milk production.

How to Measure the Right Flange Size

To measure the right flange size, take a soft measuring tape and measure the width of the nipple at the base. Afterward, measure the distance from one side of the nipple to the other, adding about 2mm to 4mm for wiggle room. Typically, breast pump manufacturers provide flange size charts that guide mothers in selecting the correct size. Mothers should note that flange size is not constant and may change, depending on different factors such as pumping frequency, breast engorgement or milk supply. Therefore, it’s essential to check regularly for the right flange size.

Flange Size Availability

Breast pumps come with flange sizes varying from 15mm to 36mm, with more manufacturers providing flanges beyond this size range to ensure that every mother finds the perfect fit. Some manufacturers such as Medela even offer flange size customization, where mothers can provide impressions of their nipples to custom-make their flanges. This ensures a comfortable and efficient pumping session as it provides a fitting flange that ensures the nipple’s right amount of stretch during milk production.

Flanges are a crucial accessory in breast pumping as they contribute to comfort and efficient milk production. Every mother should take time to measure their nipple size correctly and buy the right size flange to avoid painful pumping sessions and low milk production. With the availability of various flange sizes, every mother has the freedom to choose the right size for their breast size and shape, enhancing ease and convenience in pumping sessions.

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