The size of the flange you're using can have a significant impact on the success of your pumping session. Not only does ensuring you're using the proper flange size help maximize output but it helps prevent pain, blocked ducts and nipple damage. Typically, your pump will come with 1-2 flange options, which have their size faintly marked along the side.
While 24 mm may be a common flange size, like bras, they are not a one size fits all! You'll want to make sure the following criteria applies for the PROPER FIT:
Signs the flange is TOO SMALL:
Signs the flange is TOO LARGE:
If you've identifed an improper fit here's a quick way to measure yourself for proper size at home! You'll need a dime, penny, nickel, quarter and dollar coin (if you have one).
Dime- 17.9 mm
Penny- 19 mm
Nickel- 21.2 mm
Quarter- 24.3 mm
Dollar coin- 26.5 mm
For measurements above 26.5 mm simply use a tape measure.
If your nipple is the size of a penny or nickel then the standard flange size may work best for you. If it is larger than a nickel you will want to purchase a larger flange. If you find your nipple size to be smaller than a penny then a smaller flange or purchasing inserts such as this is an option. It's also important to measure both nipples incase there is a difference in size.
When in doubt, ordering two size options may be a good choice. Many companies sell additional flange options on their website. The size of your nipple may also change throughout your breastfeeding journey so checking your flange size regularly is recommended.
Some final tips to avoid nipple damage while pumping are to: