Flange 101

By: Amy Peterson, BS, IBCLC of BreastandBottlefeeding.com Friday, 07 May 2021 07:00 AM Breast Pump Flange 101

Everything You Need to Know About Breast Pump Flanges

The flange, or also referred to as a shield, is the part of the breast pump held against your breast while pumping. The center part of the flange where your nipple goes is called the tunnel.

The flange tunnel should “fit” your nipples. A good fit ensures comfort and the most milk for your pumping efforts. A poor fit can lead to sore nipples and less milk.

Signs of a good fit:

  • Your nipple fits in the flange tunnel with a bit of space between your nipple and the sides of the tunnel
  • When the pump is on, your nipple pulls into the flange tunnel freely, never rubbing on the sides
  • Little to none of your areola, the colored skin around your nipple, pulls into the flange tunnel
  • Gentle, comfortable pumping

Signs of a poor fit:

  • Your nipple rubs the sides of the flange tunnel while pumping—this indicates the flange is too small
  • A large portion of your areola is sucked into the flange tunnel during pumping—this indicates the flange is too big
  • Pain during pumping

Your Evenflo breast pump came with at least two flange sizes: the hard, plastic flange, and the silicone insert. The insert makes the hard flange slightly smaller. Try both flange sizes to see which creates a better fit for you. Keep in mind that you might need to use a different flange size for your right and left breasts. It is common for one nipple to be a slightly different size than the other. Look at the flange fit for each side separately.

If you need a different size of flange than what was included with your breast pump, we’ve got you covered. Evenflo makes six (6) different flange sizes. Before purchasing a new size, it’s a good idea to take time measure your nipples. This will help ensure you buy the correct size the first time. Learn how to measure your nipples here.


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