Using the correct breast shield (flange) size is crucial for optimal milk output and comfort during pumping. A breast shield that is too big will stretch and pull some of the areola into the tunnel of the breast shield, this can be very uncomfortable and lead to ineffective milk removal. A breast shield that is too small, will cause rubbing of the nipple against the tunnel, this can be very painful and can even cut off blood circulation to the nipple.
To find your recommended breast shield size can be quite tricky, but this is made easier with the Melkii Nipple Ruler.
Using your Melkii Nipple Ruler:
In order to measure your nipple's diameter, you first have to stimulate it so that it stands up. Do not include the areola in the measurement.
Stand in front of a mirror and place your nipple into the smallest circleit can comfortably fit into without forcing it.
Your entire nipple should fit into the circle, allowing you to measure the nipple base without any areola showing.
The number of millimeters indicate your nipple diameter.
To find your recommended breast shield size, add3-4 mm to your nipple diameter.
If you measure during pregnancy, it is important to measure again prior to beginning pumping as nipple size can change slightly following childbirth. Your nipple size may also change over time and it may be necessary to measure your nipples again a few months into using your breast pump and feeding your baby.
If you have concerns or are unsure, it is important to seek advice from a professional such as a Lactation Consultant