Updated: Apr 1, 2022
Can we normalize empowering the pumping community to learn their nipple size so they can get the correct flange size? The pumping community should also know that nipple size can change before and after birth, during postpartum, throughout each postpartum journey, and with each child. It is important to be empowered to understand how to appropriately size your nipple to get the correct flange size.
I am so tired of seeing people tell people that it is OK to use the wrong flange size or just telling them to go bigger or smaller without an actual flange fitting. If someone does this, please seek another opinion immediately as the person is not setting you up for success. Please take the time to tell tell the pumping community that a flange fitting is one of the most important things for the pumping journey and to refer them to a lactation professional that is equipped and caring enough to assist with sizing to get the correct nipple size then understand how to assist the client to get the right flange size. Also, please understand that a size may need to be adjusted if the person has elastic nipples where their nipples still stretch to the back of the flange once the correct flange size has been determined.
We would not tell ll a nursing family that it is acceptable to continue to nurse with a bad latch. This is a part of the reason the pumping community is dismissed and told to do whatever and can be detrimental to their journey if they don’t get the support and education needed. Be honest if you do not know and refer out. If someone is telling you to go bigger or smaller without a flange fitting or dismissing your concerns, please seek a second opinion or ask for a referral.
Why is flange size so important? Getting your right flange size can help to:
optimize milk supply
empty breasts better
potentially increase milk supply
be more comfortable while pumping
have less tissue damage
If you have been using the wrong flange size for a long time then it may take your body time to get use to the correct flange size. You may need to give it some time time to get your body use to the change. It is important to protect supply so it is important to seek help if the correct flange size is not giving you the normal output from each session. Then if you ultimately decide to still use another flange size then you will be empowered enough to know your right flange size then make an informed decision for yourself and not just use the size that comes with the pump. Pumps come with 1-3 different flange sizes. It is does not mean that any of those sizes are your correct flange size. This is why it is so important to get the correct flange size as soon as possible in your journey and not just use the size that comes with the pump. You may need a silicone insert or silicone cushion to get additional comfort when pumping than using a hard plastic flange.
Do you know your flange size? If your answer is no, then please do yourself a huge favor for your journey and get a flange fitting. We have to start taking control of our pumping journey and get quality care and support that we deserve.
Are you interested in learning how to appropriately measure your nipple size to get the correct flange size? There are two options that Pump with Purpose offers:
Virtual flange fittings that can be done in a 15-minute premier pumping consult by booking online on my website at www.pumpwithpurpose.com.
Enroll in the Flange Sizing 101 Course at https://pump-with-purpose.teachable.com. In this 26-minute video, you will learn how to measure your nipple size to get the correct flange size on 10 different lactation aides.
Both options are located on my Linktree at https://linktr.ee/pumpwithpurpose.
If you know your flange size, did it help on your journey? Please leave a comment to let the community know the importance of using the right flange size. If you don’t usually comment, please be sure to leave a comment. I am hoping that this blog post will help inspire the next generation of pumpers to get the assistance that they deserve sooner rather than later or not at all.