how to measure nipple shiele
Nipple shields are used for myriad breastfeeding challenges, according to the University of Michigan (UM). They can be used in helping premature babies who don’t yet have the best sucking power; they can aid in pulling forward and shaping inverted or flat nipples; and for many of us, they can serve as a protection for nipples that feel like they’ve been rubbing up against a cheese grater and then doused in hot sauce. These convenient silicone tools can be a real lifesaver, but in order to achieve the optimum benefit, you must buy the correct shield for your need. Different sizes and shapes of nipple shields are used for different purposes, said UM, and it has nothing to do with the size of your breast.
The University of Michigan noted that smaller shields, like the 16 millimeter shields, are usually used for premature babies. The 20 millimeter shields are for average-sized newborns, and the 24 millimeter shields are usually for older babies or particularly large nipples.
If you’ve already started using your breast pump and you’re feeling like you might not be using the right size, here are some pointers:
You can use a piece of string to measure around the base of your nipple and then divide by 3.14 (takes you back to circle geometry at school, right?). Or you can try measuring across the base of the nipple with a ruler. You want to get end up with the diameter or width of the base of your nipple. Be careful not to include any areola in the measurement. This can be tricky so doing it in front of a mirror or using a smart phone in selfie mode may be helpful.
Pumping is often an integral part of the mother-baby relationship. Whether a mom is exclusively breast pumping or needs some independence from baby for work (or any other outing), it will be significantly more efficient when the pump is set up correctly. A big part of this setup includes flange size. Having a poorly sized flange can lead to breast damage, pain, and poor output, which can lead to premature weaning of baby from breast milk.
Getting an accurate measurement.
When buying a new breast pump it is important to make sure that the breast shield not only works for your expressing needs and lifestyle, but also that it’s comfortable and easy to use, so you can get the maximum milk for your efforts.
If you answer yes to one or more of the following questions, you may be using the incorrect breastshield size.
Understanding Medela Breast Shield Sizes
Your nipples or areola are turning white during and/or after pumping.