Were you fitted for your breast pump flange when you gave birth? If so, that's great! But that doesn’t mean you are set for the rest of your breastfeeding journey. Your measurement for your proper flange size isn’t a one and done event. Just because you were measured in the hospital, birthing center, or your home birth, doesn’t mean that you have your flange size for life. Our breasts change in size and shape over the course of our breastfeeding journey. This might leave you wondering when should I check my flange size then?
When Should I Check My Flange Size?
In the hospital/after delivery
If you have the opportunity to meet with a trained lactation professional when you deliver your baby, we highly recommend doing so. Even if you don’t plan on pumping, knowing what flange size you need in case you need it can be comforting, and help save your breastfeeding journey.
Pumping can also be used as a way to encourage your breast milk to come in. Once your baby is finished with colostrum, there might be a bit of a gap in your transition to regular breast milk. Pumping can help encourage your body to make breast milk. But pumping with the wrong sized flange, even just a little, can be painful.
Two weeks out
If you received fluids during your delivery, it is very likely that the size and/or shape of your nipples has changed a bit after about two weeks. Even if you didn’t receive fluids during your baby’s delivery, this is still a great time to check in and see if your flange size has changed at all. Other factors like your milk coming in, engorgement, etc. can have an impact on your flange fit.
In Between Babies
If you have already had a child and remember what your flange size was then, there is a good chance that your body has changed over time. Your previous breastfeeding experience and other factors come together to affect the size and shape of your breast tissue, nipples included.
How to Measure
Head over to this flange sizing guide to learn how to measure your breast tissue for the proper fit, and request a free downloadable measuring tool. Our tool is unlike others available on the internet because it does’t require you to cut anything out. We don’t sharp paper near your sensitive bits. So we designed a measuring aid that rolls and makes finding your size clear and simple.
Check Both Nipples
Your breasts are sisters, not identical twins. There is a very good chance that they are a bit different in size and shape. Some moms will even have one nipple that is inverted or flat and one that is everted (what we think of as “normal”). For optimum pumping sessions and comfort, you might need to use two different breast pump flanges.
Stimulate Your Nipples
You want to measure where the base of your nipple meets your areola. This might be a smooth transition when you are not breastfeeding which makes it a bit challenging to find exactly where to measure. By gently stimulating your nipple, you can make your nipple stand up a bit more. This is the shape your nipple tissue takes when your baby nurses or you pump. Try rolling it gently between your thumb and index finger.