It is very important that you have correctly-fitted breast shields. The breastshield is the part of the pump collection kit that fits directly over your nipple and forms a seal around the areola.
Customized breastsheilds meet the needs of mothers because one size breast shield does not fit all.
- Small 21 mm
- Standard 24 mm This is the standard size that comes with the original pump
- Large 27 mm
- XL 30 mm
- XXL -36 mm
The breastpump works by creating a vacuum which gently draws your nipple into the tunnel of the breastshield, just like your baby would draw it into the mouth with sucking.
A correctly-fitted breastshield will help make your pumping comfortable, and allow the pump to remove as much of your milk as possible.
It is almost impossible to tell which size breastshield is the best fit without watching the nipple movement during pumping. The following tips will help you determine whether a different size breastshield would be right for you.
To check the size:
- is your nipple moving freely in the tunnel?
- is minimal or no areola tissue being pulled into the tunnel of the breastshield?
- do you see a gentle, rhythmical motion in the breast which each cycle of the pump?
- do you feel the breast emptying all over?
- is your nipple pain free?
If you answered YES to the above questions, then the breastshield is the correct size for you.
If your nipple does not move freely in the tunnel, then try a larger breast shield.
If too much of the areola is pulled into the tunnel, or the breast shield does not make a good seal around breast then try a smaller breast shield.
Larger Size Required?
To determine whether you might need a larger breastshield, look at your nipple as it is drawn into the tunnel during pumping. It should move freely and easily, and should not rub against the sides of the tunnel. If the breastshield fits tightly, your nipple will rub against the sides of the tunnel.
After several pumpings, you may notice that the outside of the nipple (rather than the nipple tip) is tender or sore. You may also see a little ring of skin flecks in the tunnel of the breastshield after you pump. While a little circle of milk in the tunnel is normal, a ring of skin flecks probably indicates that the tunnel is too small, and that you would be more comfortable with a larger breastshield.
When your nipple moves freely in the tunnel of the breastshield, you will also note a gentle pulling movement in the areola each time the pump cycles. If you do not see any movement in the areola with the pump vacuum, the breastshield is probably too small. A tightly-fitting breastshield does not allow good milk removal and can eventually lead to plugged ducts, mastitis, and problems with low milk volume.
If you have either nipple tenderness around the outside surface of the nipple or problems with breast emptying, your pumping will probably be improved with a larger size breastshield.
You can shop for breastshield sizes here: Personal Fit Breast Shields