Choosing the right breast shield size
To prevent your milk ducts from being compressed and to enable optimal milk output when pumping, you need to know how to choose breast shields according to your size.
Checklist for a correct breast shield fit
Assess whether you are using the correct size breast shield:
Centre the nipple in the tunnel of the breast shield and start pumping. Then answer the following questions. If the answer to any of these questions is "No", your breast shield does not fit properly.
- Is your nipple moving freely in the tunnel?
- No areola tissue or only a very little amount should be pulled into the tunnel of the breast shield. Is this the case for you?
- Do you notice gentle, rhythmic movements in the breast during each pump cycle?
- Do you feel the breast emptying all over?
- Is your nipple free of pain?
Incorrect breast shield fit
Breast shield sizes that do not fit your breast and nipple can reduce milk output because of blocked milk ducts or inhibit milk ejection.
Friction around the nipple and areola can cause discomfort and trauma and may result in less frequent pumping because of the pain. Nipple trauma can lead to tissue breakdown, increasing the risk of infection and mastitis.
You will require a different size breast shield if it is:
...too small, because the nipple cannot move freely in the tunnel.
...too large, because too much areola tissue is pulled into the tunnel of the breast shield.
...too large, because the breast shield cannot create a good seal.
Be sure to use the right breast shield size. It is essential for effective pumping and also for your well-being.