Measuring your Nipple for the Correct Flange Size

Using the correct flange size with your Spectra breast pump is something you can’t compromise on. Using the wrong flange size can hinder milkflow and even lead to injury. Here’s how you can measure your nipple to help select the breastshield size that’s right for you.

How to measure your nipple

Begin by pumping as you normally would. If you’re brand new to pumping, we recommend pumping at a gentle setting and low speed to start. At the end of your pumping session, you’ll notice your nipple has swollen.

Then, it’s time to measure your nipple. You can measure with a standard ruler as long as it has millimeters on it, or you can use a nipple ruler specifically designed for measuring flange size, which many moms find easier to use.

Measure the diameter of the nipple at the base of the nipple. Remember that it’s important to measure after you’ve pumped because younipple expands with pumping. You want to ensure you measure for a snug fit.

Tip: Try measuring in front of a mirror or using a camera phone to get a better angle for seeing the measurements.

Be sure to repeat the process several times to ensure you’re getting consistent measurements.

Signs of a good breastshield fit

A properly sized breastshield should be very comfortable. In fact, you should barely be able to feel it while pumping. Just a gentle tugging sensation on the nipple and nowhere else. You should not see any excess areola being drawn into the flange, and you should not feel a pulling sensation or pain while using your Spectra breast pump. After your pumping session, your nipple should be free of any redness or whiteness. Pumping should be pain-free, and if you’re experiencing discomfort while pumping it’s likely you’re not using the correct sized breastshield.

We understand that we don’t carry every flange size (click here to see a list of breastshields that are compatible with Spectra pumps) so if you measure and think you need another size, please contact Spectra customer support and we can help you find a stockist who does! 🙂

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11 thoughts on “Measuring your Nipple for the Correct Flange Size

    • Spectra Team Australia says:

      Hi Janet, actually this means your shield is too big for you.

      Too much of your breast and/or areola is entering the shield and it should only be your nipple tips. 🙂

      If you send us a message to we can help you determine a better shield fit. 🙂

  1. Neos says:

    Hi , should I not buy the pump first before started breastfeeding because i read that the nipple size will change after breastfeeding? If I don’t buy the pump in the first place , how to know the right size of nipple to buy the right flange size or breast shield?

    • Spectra Team Australia says:

      Hi Neos, about 95% of mums find the 24mm shield works well for them.

      Best fit is based more on output and comfort, but measuring for size is a good starting point if there is discomfort or output less than expected. You are right, your nipples will change after giving birth, and you will need to measure after your pumping session to get an idea about your best shield fit.

      But as mentioned, the 24mm shields that come with the pump tend to work for most. 🙂

    • Spectra Team says:

      Hi Kon, thanks for your question. 🙂

      Shield sizes start at 15mm, however the shields we sell start at 20mm.

      There are smaller shields that are compatible with Spectra pumps, so if you send us a message to we can guide you about your best shield fit, and where to find the size you want to start with. 🙂

      I will keep an eye out for your message.

    • Spectra Baby Australia says:

      Hi Dorothy, thanks for your question.

      If you check out they have Spectra compatible shields in the Maymom brand that start at 15mm.

      Have a good day.

    • Spectra Baby Australia says:

      Hi Nurul 🙂 Unfortunately we don’t stock a 19mm size, we do have a 20mm or I can recommend who stock a Spectra compatible 19mm shield 🙂

  2. Jaclyn Mann says:

    Based off of measurements, I need a massager insert for my flanges because my nipples are smaller than the 24mm. Do the massagers come in sizes or just one size? Where can I purchase them for my pump?

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