What Size Breast Pump Flang...

Choosing the right breast pump flange size not only improves your comfortable and efficient pumping experience with electric breast pumps but also prevents nipple damage. This article will guide you on how to measure the nipple diameter and select the appropriate size mark to help you determine the right flange size, improve your pumping efficiency, and maintain breast health using the best breast pump accessories.

What Is a Breast Pump Flange?

A breast pump flange, also known as a breast shield, is an essential part of an electric breast pump that fits directly over the nipple and areola. It creates a seal around the breast to facilitate milk extraction. Flanges come in various sizes to accommodate nipples of different diameters, ensuring that mothers can express milk comfortably and efficiently. Using the correct flange size can avoid discomfort and increase milk flow, improving the overall breastfeeding and expressing experience.

What Is the Function of a Breast Pump Flange?

The main function of a breast pump flange or breast shield during expression is to provide a secure seal between the nipple and the Silicone Diaphragm, allowing the breast pump to generate effective suction. This suction mimics a baby's natural sucking, helping to extract milk from the breast. Additionally, the flange's design allows the nipple to move freely within the canal, reducing discomfort and preventing damage to breast tissue. When properly fitted, the flange optimizes milk flow, making the expression process more effective and comfortable for the mother.

Breast Pump Flange

Different Size Flanges for Breast Pump

Before choosing a breast pump flange, you need to understand the different sizes of breast pump flanges available and which nipple diameters they can accommodate, so that you can ensure effective and comfortable breastfeeding. Here is an overview of the appropriate size options:

1. Importance of the Correct Size

Choosing the correct flange size can improve a comfortable pumping experience. The right flange also avoids pain and discomfort, allowing the nipple to move freely within the canal without rubbing against the sides. This not only makes pumping more comfortable but also promotes efficient pumping, helping mothers to express more milk in less time.

2. Common Sizes

Breast pump flanges come in a variety of sizes, typically ranging from 20mm to 36mm in diameter. The most common sizes are 24mm and 27mm, which fit many women. However, since every woman's body is different, offering a variety of sizes can help every mother find the size that works best for her.

3. Measuring the Right Size

To determine the correct flange size, measure the diameter of the base of the nipple (excluding the areola) and add a few millimeters for comfort. This measurement can help mothers choose a flange that allows the nipple to move freely without causing pain or reducing milk flow. It is important to check the results of the measurement regularly, as nipple size can change during breastfeeding.

4. Custom and Adjustable Flanges

Some brands offer adjustable flanges or inserts that are custom-fitted to a variety of nipple sizes. These customizable options can provide extra comfort and ensure the flange fits correctly, which can improve the pumping experience by enhancing comfort and milk flow.

5. Consult a Professional

Consulting a lactation consultant can help you find the right flange size faster. These professionals can also provide personalized advice and fitting tips to ensure the flange fits correctly, which is especially helpful for first-time mothers or those who have difficulty expressing themselves.

From the above, you can see that choosing the right size flange can make for a comfortable and effective breastfeeding experience. Therefore, it is worth taking the time to find the most suitable size to ensure the best breastfeeding effect and breast health.

Different Size Flanges

How to Determine if You Have the Right Flange Size?

Determining the right breast pump flange size ensures comfort and efficiency while expressing. Here's how to check if you're using the right flange size:

1. Comfort

The most important indicator of the correct flange size is comfort. You should not feel pain or discomfort in your nipple or breast during expression. If you feel pinching, rubbing, or soreness, the flange may be too small or too large.

2. Nipple Movement

Watch how the nipple moves within the flange channel during expression. The nipple should move freely without excessive rubbing against the sides. If the nipple rubs against the sides or is squeezed tightly, the flange is the incorrect size.

3. Milk Flow Efficiency

Effective milk extraction is a key sign that you have the correct flange size. If you notice a significant decrease in milk production or if you are taking longer than usual to express, the flange size may need to be adjusted. This is because effective milk flow should be steady and strong.

4. Nipple Condition

After expressing, you can check the condition of your nipples. If they do not appear white, pinched, or damaged in any way. If they appear red, blistered, or otherwise damaged, it may be a sign that the flange is too small or too large, which is causing excessive pressure on the nipple tissue.

5. Emptying the Breast

Make sure your breasts feel fully empty after expression. If your breasts still feel full or swollen, it may be that the flange size is not draining your milk properly. Effective draining can maintain your milk supply and prevent problems like mastitis.

6. Lactation Consultant Advice

A lactation consultant can provide expert guidance on choosing the right flange size. They can provide personalized fitting sessions and adjustments to help you find the most comfortable and effective size for your unique needs.

In summary, choosing the right flange size will not only make pumping more comfortable but will also ensure that you can express milk efficiently and improve your milk supply.

Practical Tips for Using Flanges

Here are some practical tips for new mothers to use the breast pump flange effectively:

  1. Ensure the Right Fit: Before use, check that the flange fits your nipple correctly. An incorrect size can cause pain and reduce milk flow. Try different flange sizes to find the best fit if necessary.

  2. Lubricate the Flange: Applying a small amount of breast milk or nipple cream around the flange can reduce friction and make pumping more comfortable. Avoid using oils or lotions that are not recommended for breastfeeding.

  3. Correct Positioning: Make sure the flange is positioned over the nipple to prevent friction and allow for effective pumping. Adjust the flange and breast as needed to get a comfortable and effective seal.

  4. Check the Suction Level: Start with a low suction level and gradually increase to a comfortable setting. High suction levels can cause pain and nipple damage, so find a comfortable level that increases milk flow without discomfort.

  5. Keep It Clean: Clean the flange after each use to prevent bacterial growth and ensure hygiene. It is recommended to clean and sterilize the parts according to the manufacturer's instructions.

  6. Monitor Wear: Check the flange regularly for cracks, discoloration, or any signs of wear. Damaged flanges can affect suction and comfort, so replace them as needed to maintain effective pumping.

  7. Take Breaks When Necessary: If pumping is uncomfortable, take short breaks to rest your nipple. Over-pumping can cause pain and irritation, so give it time to recover.

By following these practical tips, you can enhance your pumping experience, ensure comfort, and maintain the health of your breast tissue.


The correct breast pump flange size requires measuring the diameter of the base of your nipple and then selecting a flange that fits comfortably. Therefore, the right size can prevent pain, increase milk flow, and avoid nipple damage. Finally, by regularly checking the flange size or consulting a lactation specialist, you can improve your overall breastfeeding experience and maintain healthy breast tissue.

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