To tell if you have the correct breast pump flanges:
- Your nipple should move freely in the tunnel of the breast pump.
- Your areola should have little or no tissue inside the tunnel of the breast pump.
- You should not be able to feel areas of the breast that still have milk inside. (Uneven removal of milk.)
- You should not experience pain in your nipple.
- You should not see a white circle at the base of the nipple, nor should your nipple blanche.
Not having the right size breast pump flange can result in problems. One problem is that you will not be getting the most amount of breast milk possible. The other potential problem is actually causing nipple damage like rub marks and cuts on the nipple.
Brown, SL. Breast Pump Adverse Events: Reports to the Food and Drug Administration. J Hum Lact May 2005 vol. 21 no. 2 169-174.
Mohrbacher, N, Stock, J. The Breastfeeding Answer Book. 2003.