medela breastshields

What is a Breast Shield and How Does it Work?

Naturally, women prepare for the arrival of their little by way of extensive research. Many mothers opt for breastfeeding over formula. Because of this, they research the effectiveness and functionality of products available on the market to make sure they get the best breast pump.

A common question in reference to breast pumps is, “What is a breast shield, and how does it work?” A breast shield is the breast pump component positioned directly over the nipple to form a vacuum seal over the areola. The vacuum draws the nipple into the breast shield tunnel, mimicking an infant’s rhythmic nursing pattern. The breast shield is the apparatus that secures over the breast for consistent suction and release. Think of the breast shield as the part of a breast pump that connects to the breast.

Breast Shield Sizes

Breast shields are also referred to as flanges. Breast shields/flanges are available in a variety of sizes. For example, Medela’s PersonalFit breast shields are available in 24mm-36mm. A proper fitting breast shield is crucial for successful expression, but difficult to discern without pumping. A breast pump will usually include at least two sizes when the pump is purchased. A proper fit has the nipple freely positioned in the breast shield and does not rub the tunnel when the vacuum is engaged or released. Little or no part of the areola should pull into the tunnel when the vacuum engages. Expressing breast milk via pumping should not be painful, and discomfort could indicate an ill-fitting breast shield/flange. You can consult a lactation consultant or medical provider if you have concerns about pumping discomfort.

Breastpumping Accessories

Aeroflow Healthcare has a range of products to support your nursing and breast pumping needs including the popular hands-free accessory kit by Medela. This product is essentially a bustier that secures the breast shields/flanges in their proper position for hands-free capability. The hands-free bustier by Medela comes standard with the Freestyle breast pump option, but can also be purchased separately with any other Medela product to offer the same pumping experience.

Aeroflow Healthcare also offers the Medela PersonalFit breast shields for purchase, and continually holds special promotions on breast pump accessories. Visit today to purchase these items directly!

To see if your insurance covers the cost of a breast pump, please fill out our Qualify through Insurance form. Aeroflow Healthcare will do the rest!

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