What is a breast shield?
A breast shield or flange is the funnel on a breast pump that attaches to your breast and draws the nipple out, creating suction and allowing your milk to flow out of your breasts and into the storage bottle. Some breast shields, their the funnel and the bottle connector are joined seamlessly as a one-piece, known as the flange.
The size of the breast shield is express in terms of millimeters (mm). This usually refer to the measurement of the opening at end of the funnel towards the tunnel.
Finding the Right Fit:
In order to find your optimal breast shield size, you can measure your nipple diameter:
- Using a ruler or measuring tape, measure the diameter of your nipple at the base (across the middle, diameter) in millimetres (mm). Do not include your areola.
- Add 2 to 3mm to your measurement when selecting your breast shield size.
If you have already started pumping, please measure after a pumping session.
You can also download this ruler, print and cut out the ruler to measure your nipple diameter.
- You may need a different size per breast.
- Your breast shield size will depend on your breast tissue and skin elasticity.
- Your breast shield size could change over the duration of your pumping experience.
- When you apply vacuum pressure, your nipple size could change.
- Pressing the breast shield too hard could block milk ducts.
Am I using the correct breast shield size?
If you answer yes to one or more of the following questions, you may be using the incorrect breastshield size.
- Do you feel discomfort when pumping?
- Does your nipple rub against the side of the flange?
- Do you see excess areola pulled into the flange?
- Do you see any redness of whiteness?
- Do you feel unexpressed breast milk after pumping?
A good fitting breast shield should give you a gentle, rhythmic pulling during expressing, and your breast should feel empty and soft once you’re finished. Pumping breast milk should never be a painful experience.