In order to have a successful and comfortable breast pumping experience, it's important to make sure the flange fits correctly.
A breast pump is an essential product for a nursing mom. Breast pumping should always be comfortable unless you are using the wrong pump size. When choosing a breast pump, you need to know that size matters. Getting the right fit will make a huge difference when it comes to your pumping experience. You need to make sure that your breast pump flange fits correctly. The flange or breast shield is the part of the pump that is in contact with the breast during pumping.
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The funnel-shaped shield is placed over the nipple, creating a vacuum seal on the areola. The flange is a vital part of the pump as it directs the nipple into the pump tunnel in order to extract the milk. It forms a seal that helps to produce suction that is necessary for milk extraction. Breast pump flanges come in different sizes and materials. There are some signs to indicate that your pump flange is too small, but you can easily learn how to correct the issue.
If you use a breast pump that is the wrong size, you will have great difficulty expressing milk. The flange or breast shield is the most vital part of the breast pump. Using a breast pump flange that is too small will impact milk production. It can also cause clogged ducts or sore nipples.
Most nursing mothers who experience issues with pump suction do so because they use the wrong size flange. Having the right connection with the breast tissue and nipple is very important for creating adequate suction. The right size will ensure comfort during pumping as the nipple moves freely in the tunnel without pain or irritation.
There are some signs that indicate that your flange is the wrong size. Try out the flange and see if the nipple rubs against the sides of the pump tunnel. If the fitting feels uncomfortable and causes excessive friction or if the nipple feels irritated or looks red, you may have a flange that is too small.
A poor fit can lead to nipple damage, including cuts and rub marks on the nipple. Small flange size is painful and it can cut off blood flow. If your flange is the wrong size, your breasts will feel full even after you have expressed milk. You will find it difficult to express enough milk and this can cause blocked milk ducts.
Finding the right size breast pump flange can actually take a while. The truth is that you will need to test several sizes before you find the best fit. Before testing the flanges, check your breast pump to see if it offers a measuring guideline for flanges. Different manufacturers have specific guidelines for their products.
If you don’t find a size guide that is designed for your pump type, you can take the measurements across your nipple to find your perfect size. Note that the measurement of the flange takes into account the diameter of the nipple base and not the areola itself.
During the pumping process, your nipple should be able to move freely in the tunnel. This helps to ensure that the sensitive tissues do not rub against the sides. If after some time you notice that the shield feels too small, you may need to change it. It is important to realize that your breasts can change through the pumping process. This means that you may need to change your flange at some point. It is important to check your flange size regularly to maintain the right fit. Using the correct shield size is essential for expressing milk effectively.
Pumping or expressing milk is something that takes a while to master. If you are doing it for the first time, be patient, practice, and don’t hesitate to get help. Pumping should be a comfortable process. A lactation consultant can help you with any issues that you may have. You can get help putting the pump together as well as finding the correct fit. Make sure that you follow the recommended guidelines when using the pumping kit. Consider other factors such as the quality of the breast pump and the suction level.
Find out the best pumping frequency and note that both failing to remove enough milk and pumping too frequently, can be difficult on the breasts. If something does not seem right with your milk production, do not hesitate to contact a lactation specialist or doctor.
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Sources: healthline.com, verywellfamily.com, spectrababyusa.com, aeroflowbreastpumps.com.
I have been a writer since 2012, and have enjoyed the journey thus far. When I am not busy writing like there's no tomorrow, I enjoy spending time with my three daughters and watching Netflix.