Breast pumps are medical devices, though some might not have thought them to be so. Not only are breast pumps used for medical purposes they are also FDA regulated. Their primary use is to either express or extract the breast milk from breastfeeding women. Other than that they are also used for the relief of a woman’s engorged breasts. They are also used to pull out inverted or flat nipples. They are also used to increase a woman’s milk supply.
For some women, the use of breast pumps is a necessity while others find it as a convenience. But there are concerns regarding breast pump sizes. Of course, it is quite obvious that not all breast sizes are the same thus the said inquiry or concern. In order for one to understand what people are really concerned about, one must first understand the parts of a breast pump.
Parts of a Breast Pump
In order to determine what people really refer to as breast pump sizes, we should first understand the simple parts of a breast pump. The most obvious part of this medical device is the breast shield. It is the cup that fits over the nipple and the surrounding areola. When people talk about breast pump sizes, they are usually referring to the size of the breast shield.
Other than the breast shield, a breast pump also has a pump, obviously, that works like a vacuum to gently extract milk. Some models have the pump directly attached to the breast shield while others have the pump detached and is connected via a plastic tube. The recommended type of pump to be used will just depend on the user’s preference.
The last part of a breast pump is a milk collection flask or container. This part usually fits below the breast shield and can either be detachable or permanently fixed onto the breast pump.
Breast Pump Sizes
You basically determine the breast pump size using the width or size of the nipple tunnel inside the shield. When the breast shield is correctly placed, a woman’s nipple is pulled into the tunnel when suction is applied using the pump. The shield the nipple tunnel should fit snugly for it to be both effective and comfortable to use. The main concern here, as you might have guessed, is the size of the nipple tunnel.
Your standard breast pump size will have a nipple tunnel that has a diameter of 25mm. A small size will be about 22.5mm. A medium size nipple tunnel will have a diameter of 28.5mm. Large breast pumps will have nipple tunnels that have a diameter of around 30.5mm. Extra large pumps will have nipple tunnel diameters at 32.5 while the double X size will have a nipple tunnel diameter at 36mm. A XXXL size pump will have the diameter at 40mm.
Breast shield sizes will usually be the same for each manufacturer. What you should be concerned about regarding breast pump sizes is the size of the nipple tunnel. Both the breast shield and the nipple tunnel should fit snugly in order for the whole process to be effective and comfortable.