Crystal Nelson here! In this blog we will delve into the world of the breast pumping experience and the often-overlooked factors that can make a substantial difference in your breastfeeding journey. We’ll explore flange size impact on milk supply and provide other valuable insights that will optimize your pumping breast milk supply.
Understanding the Basics: What is a Flange?
Flanges and Breast Pumping Essentials
Before we dive into the impact of flange size on milk supply, let’s start with the basics. Firstly, a flange is the funnel-shaped piece that connects your breast to the breast pump. It plays a crucial role in determining how effectively your pump extracts milk. Just like choosing a pair of shoes, the right flange size is essential for comfort and efficiency.
Selecting the Right Flange Size: I understood the assignment!
Selecting the right flange size is not a one-size-fits-all affair. It involves considering factors like nipple size, shape, elasticity, and personal comfort. I know that each mom is unique, and so are her pumping needs. I created the Nipple Queen Ruler to help you choose the perfect flange size, regardless of the pump or brand flange you need. The Nipple Queen Ruler ensures you get the most out of every pumping session.
The Flange-Milk Supply Connection
Decoding the Relationship
Now, let’s tackle the burning question – does changing your flange size impact milk supply? The answer lies in understanding the intricate connection between your body and flange.
Discovering the Goldilocks flange size is akin to finding the perfect fit for a pair of shoes. Picture this scenario: you start pumping with a flange that is several sizes too big, leading to suction-induced swelling of the areola. The result? The suction that is placed in the wrong location will not allow you to empty leaving you with a significantly swollen areola, which causes the nipple to grow disproportionately. This will cause pain and reduce your breast milk supply. Continued use with the large flange can potentially lead to issues as, clogs, mastitis, chaffing, thrush, and just overall nipple damage. The aftermath of this mismatched flange size is what I’ve named the “Nipple Ripple.”
Finding the Goldilocks Flange Size
Optimal suction is achieved with a flange that minimizes space around the nipple, ensuring effective milk extraction. Simply put, if you walk around with shoes that are too big, you won’t be able to walk properly. When you have a good fit, you place the suction where it needs to go to express all the milk your breasts have to offer and do it with comfort. When you continually empty your breasts, that signals your body that it needs to make more milk. With a little time, your body will respond and you can increase your breast milk supply!
Practical Tips and Considerations
Optimize Your Pumping Experience
Now that you know the flange-milk supply connection, let’s explore practical tips to optimize your pumping experience.
Ensuring Comfort and Efficiency
After sizing yourself, invest in quality breast pumping accessories, it will be an investment in your lactation journey. You can find them on Amazon but also consider, Pumpin Pals, Lacteck, and MilkDrop. I offer premium inserts for moms with flat, inverted, and elastic nipples designed to enhance your comfort and pump efficiency. Our products are curated with moms in mind, ensuring a seamless and enjoyable pumping experience.
Personalized Support for Every Mom
I am a Breast Pumping Consultant at Save The Milk Lactation Services, I understand that pumping journeys are unique. I am dedicated to providing personalized assistance, helping you navigate the world of flange sizes, and ensuring you have the support you need.
The relationship between flange size and milk supply is a crucial aspect of successful breast pumping. Armed with the right knowledge and resources, you can optimize your pumping experience and embark on a breastfeeding journey that is comfortable, efficient, and fulfilling. Let’s make your breastfeeding journey a truly exceptional one!