Ask Judy: How Do I Know If I Am Using The Correct Sized Breast-Flanges For My Breast Pump?

Dear Judy, I was reading your articles and wanted to ask you a question that you might know about: how do I know what size flange came with my breastpump? Also, how do I know what size I need? I’m not having discomfort and I get plenty of milk, but I noticed that some of the tissue at the very beginning of my breast, where the nipple and breast meet, gets pulled into the pump. I think I have small nipples and wasn’t sure how to figure out this stuff about the flange fit. — Amy

Hi Amy,

If you have a Medela pump, it came with 24 mm flanges. If you have an Ameda pump, it came with 25 mm flanges. Most moms need somewhere between 21 and 28 mm. If your nipple is touching the sides at all, you probably want to go up a size. Be sure it is your nipple touching and not your breast tissue. If your breast tissue is touching, then you may want to go down a size (may be too large).

Your nipples will typically swell when you have a let down, so even if they are small to start, they may get larger when expressing milk. Look at how they fit during let down. You want to make sure that your nipple is not hitting the sides of the flanges while you are expressing milk. This can cause discomfort and low milk output. You also want to make sure that your breast tissue (beyond just your nipple) is not getting pulled into the flange as this might mean that your flanges are too large.

For more information on getting the correct fitting flange, please download this article.

3 comments to Ask Judy: How Do I Know If I Am Using The Correct Sized Breast-Flanges For My Breast Pump?

  • it never occurred to me that i have been using the wrong size of flange until now. sure my nipple is barely not touching, but the breast tissue is getting pulled in a touch.
    .-= Slee´s last blog ..Crawltastrophe =-.

  • vicky york

    what are the alternatives in breast pump flanges when a mother is allergic to Medela Pump N Style flanges? Vicky

  • Hi Vicky, Do you know what it is in the Medela flanges that you are allergic to?? Have you tried Pumpin’ Pal? The Pumpin’ Pal super shields work with any type of breastpump – so they would fit into the breast pump that you are currently using. I also know that Medela used to have a silicone shield (can’t remember what it is called), but you might want to try that one too – if it is something in the plastic that you are allergic to. Best of luck — Judy

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