Choosing the Correct Breastshield Size

Choosing the Correct Breastshield Size Choosing the Correct Breastshield Size

It is important to use the correct breastshield size for your nipple. A correctly fitting breastshield allows for optimal emptying of the breast and maximum milk output when pumping.

An incorrectly fitted breastshield can cause pain and trauma to the nipple and aereola, affect milk supply if breasts are not being emptied, lower the amount of milk expressed, and lead to problems such as blocked milk ducts and mastitis.This helps mothers to maintain their milk production and supports lactation.

If you are experiencing discomfort, pain or inadequate milk expression when pumping, your nipple may be too large or small for the breasthshield size. The easiest way to determine if your current breastshield is the right size, or if a smaller or larger size is required, is when you're actually pumping. Make sure your nipple is positioned in the centre of the breastshield funnel before starting to pump. Note that the nipple becomes engorged when pumping, so pump for a few minutes first. Compare your fit with the images below, and check the following:

  • Is your nipple moving freely in the funnel? It should move freely and easily, and should not rub against the sides of the tunnel.
  • Is none or only very little tissue of the areola being pulled into the tunnel of the breastshield?
  • Do you recognise gentle, rhythmic movements in the breast at each pump cycle?
  • Do you feel the breast emptying all over?
  • Is your nipple free of pain?

If you answered no to any of these questions, you may benefit from a smaller or larger breastshield size.

Custom sized breashields & inserts - Ameda pumps:
(Ameda breast pumps are sold with standard-sized 25mm breastshields)
Ameda Reducing Insert - 22.5mm, inserts into existing standard breastshield
Ameda Flexishield (2pk) - 21mm, inserts into existing standard breastshield
Ameda Custom Breast Flange Kit - M/L - 28.5mm & 30.5mm
Ameda Custom Breast Flange Kit - XL/XXL - 32.5mm & 36mm

Custom sized breashields & inserts - Medela pumps:
(Medela breast pumps are sold with standard-sized 24mm breastshields)
Medela PersonalFit Breastshield Kit - 5 sizes from 21mm to 36mm
 
Correct fit

Correct fit:

  • Nipple moves freely
  • Nipple doesn't rub against sides

 

Too large

Too large:

  • Too much aereola is being pulled into the tunnel
  • Discomfort or pain when pumping--> Try a smaller size

 

Too large

Too large:

  • Breastshield doesn't make a good seal
  • Milk may run or drip down the front of the breast.

Try a smaller size

 

Too small

Too small:

  • Nipple rubs against sides
  • Discomfort or pain when pumping
  • A ring of flecks may appear in the tunnel after pumping

Try a larger sizee