The Nipple Ripple, Using the Right Size Flange
My invention of the Nipple Ripple… Curious to know what it is?
Simply, if you start pumping in a flange that is several sizes too big, your areola will start to swell from the suction. What you end up seeing is a very large swollen areola which also swells your nipple causing it to grow to a disproportionate size and ultimately causing nipple pain. The end result is a very subtle “Nipple Ripple” that most often will only be noticed by a Flange Sizing expert. You can go online and see plenty of animated postings of what a “too large” flange looks like. What it fails to show is what it really looks like when the flange is too big. No wonder why moms are struggling to find comfort in pumping. It breaks my heart that the breast pumping companies provide such wrong information to moms.
So here is what to look out for, if your areola is swelling and causing your nipple to grow several sizes then you should close the gap around your nipple and size down. The ultimate question is, what size should you be using? Getting the right size flange for your nipple will allow you to continue expressing breast milk and possibly even increase your supply.
You may be asking yourself why this really matters in the first place?
Well, when it comes to pumping, you want a flange that provides minimal space around your nipple. This will ensure the suction is being placed on your nipple and will draw out the milk. When your flange is too big you are adding suction to your areola which will do nothing to adequately draw the milk out. You may end up pumping for 30 minutes and still feel as if your breasts are full of milk which could lead to decreased supply, clogs or mastitis. You could end up causing additional issues to your areola such as chaffing, even thrush and damage to your nipples like cracking, bleeding, blisters, etc. Needless to say, having the proper fit could provide a decent increase in your supply and stop the pain because “Pumping Doesn’t Have to Hurt!”.
Now having been helping moms with their breast pumping issues for the last 4 years, I developed my own Nipple Queen Ruler that sizes moms nipples to the products they need to buy vs having to add millimeters to the measurement. The size on the ruler is the size to buy. This will likely solve all your issues but don’t worry, if you size down and still have issues, I gathered all my support in Pumping Pretty!
Nipple Ripple – Created in 2019