Many moms are unaware nipples can shrink after recently sizing down. This is especially true if this is their first pumping journey. The reason behind nipples shrinking is fascinating and something I discovered years ago.
Why do Nipples Shrink?
Pump companies often provide flange sizes that are too large for the average pumping mom, which can lead to discomfort and ineffective pumping sessions. However, it is important to note that the ideal flange size for most moms is 17/19mm.
When using larger flanges, it can cause what is known as the Nipple Ripple effect. This occurs because, with each suction of the pump, the areola is sucked into the flange, causing it to swell and increase the size of the nipple. This continuous suction and swelling can result in the nipples becoming 3x larger than their normal size.
However, by sizing down to an appropriate flange size, moms can give their nipples a much-needed break and allow them to relax. This can lead to shrinkage, a more comfortable pumping experience, and enhanced milk output.
It is important to pay attention to any signs of the Nipple Ripple returning after recently sizing down. If you start to notice the swelling and discomfort again, it may be an indication that it’s time to size down again. By finding the right flange size for your unique nipples, you can ensure a more effective and comfortable pumping experience. Don’t let the surprise of shrinking nipples catch you off guard.
*I’m a Lactation Consultant specializing in pumping support you deserve.