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Thread: Flange disaster

  1. #1

    Default Flange disaster

    Could I please get some advice on how to fix or troubleshoot a flange size issue? If I use a small shield, milk splashes back, leaks out the bottom, and breaks the seal. If I use a large or too large a shield, the suction is less, and it takes longer to express the little I already have, and my breast is not emptied as well as the small shield. It is complicated though.

    I am using a Medela Symphony. I have S, M, L, and XL flanges. Based on my nipple size, a S or M is acceptable. When I use the S or M flange, either hard or soft, I can pump for a few minutes, then lose suction. The milk splashes back out of the shield and drips out, and makes the seal greasy and wet, to the suction gets lost. I think this might happen because the milk comes out at the top or bottom of the tunnel, and the milk does not come out of the front of my nipples.

    If I use a L or XL, then I get no splash or leak, but there is a reduction in suction. A very noticeable one. And even with breast complessions and all out squeezing, the larger flanges do not do as good a job as the small. But I can't use the small because I lose suction after a few minutes.

    I have to give medela credit, when I emailed them with my problem, they sent me a set of small ones out right away, which fit well.

    Please, help! I already have low milk, and this is hurting the problem instead of helping!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2010

    Default Re: Flange disaster

    I found this useful regarding what's a good flange fit: http://www.ameda.com/breastpumping/most/fit.aspx

    Some of what you're describing re: milk seeping back upward doesn't sound like a flange fit issue to me. It may be a question of your posture while pumping and the angle at which you're holding the horns.

    If it is a flange issue, I recommend Pumpin Pals shields: http://www.pumpinpal.com/html/super_shieldsPC.htm I got the medium and large sizes, but found I just needed the medium. There's a lot more space for your nipple to "float" inside the flange without rubbing, and the flange takes in more of your breast tissue so there's not a hard ridge against your areola. Much more comfortable.

    The one thing I will say is that I notice a slight decrease in output with the Pumpin Pal flanges, so I have to rotate between using them and not using them.
    First-time mom to Little Manatee (1/7/2010)

    Nursed for 3 1/2 years!

    My little boy is my everything.

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