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Does Size Really Matter?

Well, in some cases, it actually makes all the difference in the world!

Now that we have your attention, let us clarify: FLANGE size is what matters.

(You can form your own opinions on other things.)


Why Does Flange Size Matter?

During the first few weeks of breastfeeding, two things drive supply: hormone and demand. After that period, your supply is almost entirely driven by demand. In other words, when you remove milk from your breasts, that gives the signal to make more. The more you remove=the more you make.

With a good latch, a baby is able to create those signals each time it nurses, which allows your body to know exactly how much milk to create for them! When you're using a breast pump to maintain supply, the same basic principles are at play. You need to mimic the proper latch a baby would have, and work for the same amount of milk removal. If your flange size is too large or too small, it's going to be ineffective at removing milk, taking longer to the work and properly causing damage and pain to your nipples. That's the last thing you need to worry about as a new mom!


Two breastpumps sit on a counter in the foreground. In the background, out of focus, is a woman holding a small infant.

How Do I Get a Properly Sized Flange?

While we will always suggest going to see a local IBCLC for guidance, we understand some moms just do not have that ability. It's easy enough to print off a ruler, measure your nipples, and determine the proper size you need.

Here's a good option: Measuring Tool

Note: You may have two different sizes! Variations of normal, baby!


Next, you can either verify your coverage and order through your insurance plan OR purchase privately. We recommend at least checking to see if and what is covered, because some offer discounts and some pay for it entirely. You can easily check your coverage and order pump parts here: Check Insurance


We suggest that our clients, when possible, order at least two complete sets of pump parts, including flanges. The good news is that unlike certain parts (just set the duckbill valves on autoship) you only need to replace a flange when it's six months old or damaged in some way!


If you're pumping with a properly sized flange and still experiencing discomfort or pain, it may be time to reach out to an IBCLC who is experienced in this area. Our lactation team has 25+ years experience helping moms with their feeding goals and woes. We offer consults to help set up a sustainable pumping schedule, get you outfitted with the best equipment for your situation, and walk you through each step of the process. You weren't meant to do this alone. ❤️

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