Having the right pump flange size can make all the difference in your pumping journey. Most pumps come standard with a 24mm and possibly a 27/28mm flange(s). Did you know I’ve only recommended the 28mm flange twice in the last 3 years? And the 24mm only maybe a dozen times out of hundreds of moms? The majority of the people I woke with need a 17, 19, or 21mm flange and often need a cushion to make it a half size. Too much areola in the tunnel can cause swelling that doesn’t let your milk empty efficiently, leading to plugged ducts and a drop in milk supply. (Ever pump but still feel like there’s milk in the breast? Most likely your flange is too big) Measuring your nipples can give you an idea of what size flange you’ll need. Use a ruler at the base of your nipple (not the areola!) and find the diameter. Add ~3mm and that’s a good place to start. Pumping should feel comfortable with no pain or rubbing of your nipples in the tunnel. It’s like trying to find the perfect shoe. It may take trying a few sizes to get the right fit, but trust me, it’s worth it!! Have you measured your nipples yet? Did you know there are still too many lactation consultants (especially in the hospital) who don’t know there are other sized flanges? There are lots of products (inserts, cushions, different shapes and sizes) to help make your pumping experience so much better.
So why wasn’t this considered when pump companies were making flanges? I read some where the original reason they made 24 and 28mm was for the size of baby’s mouth, not nipple size!
Do you nipples stretch a lot and swell into the tunnel? We call those elastic nipples. You may do really well with something like the Beaugen Mom Cushions which help hold the areola back. Or the Pumpin Pal flanges which have a different shape to help with the stretch.
What size flange do you use?