Some say nursing is so painful compared to pumping for your little one. For me, it was the opposite. I mean it was a challenge at the beginning with sore cracked nipples as your baby learns how to latch properly. But once he got that down like a pro, I enjoyed nursing him. What I dreaded was pumping. Not only does the machine sound annoying but staying hooked up to the machine for 15 minutes at a time and not be able to do anything else that isn't within reach is meh. I obviously do it because baby needs to eat when I'm not with him. For me, pumping made my nipples protrude like a sore thumb and left behind some broken blood vessels even at half strength. You're supposed to set it to a comfortable level and increase as tolerated but anything less than half strength is just not pumping/sucking out enough milk so I sit through the discomfort.
It finally occurred to me after 6 months of pumping that flange size matters! I've always used the standard size (24mm) that came with the kit and didn't think twice about it. Here I am pumping away several times a day for 6 months and then a light finally went off. 💡 What if I'm experiencing all this pain because the flange size I was using just wasn't the right fit? I've even used the 25mm size with the Freemie cups. So while pumping at work one day, I decided to google to see if other moms were experiencing the same things with pumping as I did. I just didn't realize how important the flange size was and came across this that helped.
Should you try a new size?
- Does your nipple rub sides of tunnel, to the point of causing discomfort?
- Do you see excessive areola being pulled into tunnel? ✔️
- Do you see any redness? ✔️
- Is your nipple or areola turning white? ✔️
- Do you feel unexpressed milk after pumping?
I decided to order the 21mm flange size and I noticed a difference in comfort right away. I wasn't left sore, no more broken blood vessels and it wasn't the dreaded pump session anymore. I'm so glad I found this chart to help me find the right fit to make pumping more tolerable.