Comfortable and effective pumping is the goal. If you are emptying your breasts fully in a time frame that is satisfactory and you are experiencing little discomfort, then our shields are not going to take you to some euphoric place, pumping is pumping. But if you have room to improve, try our stuff. If for some reason they don’t work for you, you can return the product in accordance with our return policy.
It is difficult for a mom to guess which size will work best for her. Our shields work completely different than standard shields. Super Shields are tapered, so along with size of the breast and nipple, alot also depends on the elasticity of a mom’s tissue, which is hard to measure. We have moms that use different sizes at different times of the day…..we have moms that have changed from one size to the next to the next as their body changes over time after delivery…..and we have moms that can only use one size. We/You won’t know which size is best until you try them and compare.
No, it is a normal part of the manufacturing process, and does not affect the performance of the flange.
For those interested, it is the point at which the liquid silicone rubber is injected into the mold, and then cut off. Due to the thickness necessary to be a stand alone silicone flange, the entry point needs to be larger than other silicone parts in order to flow all the way to the top of the flange before solidifying, so it is impossible to cut it off without being obvious after the cut.
Yes. The Pumpin’ Pal Super Shields are made of BPA-free medical grade polypropylene and High Grade Platinum Silicone. Both can be boiled (do not let them sit on the bottom of the pan!) and steamed using a steam bag but that should only be done prior to first time use. Caution: If microwaved too long to the point the water is steamed away, the parts may melt and become deformed. A couple of minutes of steam is plenty. From then on these products should be hand washed like china or a glass because you can easily clean all surfaces, unlike bottles and tubing.
DO NOT USE UV STERILIZERS ON THE SILICONE FLANGES! The silicone may become hard and crack.
They can be cleaned in a dishwasher on the top rack, but they will last much longer hand washing with warm water and a grease cutting dish soap as most automatic dishwasher detergents can etch the surface causing them to become “foggy”. In other words, you can clean the parts in the dishwasher, but we do not recommend it and we do not replace parts that are damaged in the dishwasher. Do not use any chemicals such as bleach to clean or sanitize the flanges. We suggest our Silicone Wash for daily cleaning.
We get this question occasionally, and it is nearly impossible to answer with any accuracy. It totally depends on the user.
Things that can shorten the life of the silicone flanges are automatic dishwashers, lubricants, frequent sterilization, storing in refrigerator between cleanings, and frequency of actual use. Also, over time, the silicone will become somewhat softer, but will not change the effectiveness of the flange.
The best advice we can give to increase the longevity is to thoroughly clean the flanges between pumps using warm water and a good liquid dish soap, like Dawn. The silicone should be crystal clear when done cleaning and have that “sticky” silicone feel when dry. If it feels slick, there is still oil on the surface. If you still can’t get all of the oily residue off, try our Silicone Wash
The hard plastic is less susceptible to the factors listed above, and generally last a bit longer, but again, it really is up to the individual user. We have moms that need to replace every few months, and others that use the same flanges for multiple babies.
Standard flanges are designed to fit the nipple. They are designed to pull on the nipple and stretch it until milk comes out. Our Super Shields allow considerably more tissue to be involved in the process (much like your baby does, he/she does not just pull on the nipple until milk flows). There is very little correlation between the size of standard shield you use and ours when it comes to fitting. Please read the answer to the previous questions.
The standard flange that came with your pump is most likely about a 25mm flange or very close to it. If you felt that the standard flange is the correct size or even a bit to large…chose the Small Set. If you think you need more room in the tunnel for your nipple than the standard flange gives you…. Chose the Regular (Large) Set. Don’t worry if you chose the wrong set, we will work with you and ship you what you need.
Most moms can use two of the three sizes in a Set, but we don’t know which two those are until you try them, so we give you all three for the price of two. The last thing you want to be dealing with is sending flanges back and forth in the mail. This way you have what you need for your entire pumping journey.
Try the smallest flange in the Set first and if your nipple doesn’t fit inside the tunnel go up a size until it does. Staying as small as possible leaves less room in the tunnel for potential swelling.
If your nipple can’t fit into the tunnel area at the very beginning of a pump session (before any swelling has occurred) then go up to the size where it appears that the nipple can move freely in the tunnel but with very little extra space.
If your flanges are falling out of your connector, the connector may need to be replaced. The plastic used for the connectors is very thin and will become stretched out after use and sterilizing. Another issue can be oil or lubricant where they go together causing slippage. Make sure both the flange and connector are clean and free of oil where the parts come together.
There are multiple things that could be happening. Here is how to address them all: #1 Make sure your pump membranes and valves are in good working order, especially if it has been a while since you replaced them. #2 You might not be getting a strong enough Letdown because your body doesn’t know how to react with this new, more comfortable sensation/feeling that is happening at the nipple area. The brain and subconscious have been programed over time to have a letdown when they feel the pain from the standard flanges. Putting on a more comfortable flange might not be triggering as strong of a letdown. To solve this simply close your eyes and picture your baby being latched on to you while you are using the Pumpin’ Pal flanges. Hold that thought for as long as you can. You are basically re-training your subconscious to trigger a letdown when it feels the Pumpin’ Pals on your breast. This should be done any time a mom tries a new flange with a different feel than she is accustom to. #3 If too much tissue gets pulled down into the tunnel of the flange it could be compressing on the ducts and not allowing them to flow as well. This is known as Lactiferous Duct Dysmorphia. Drop down 1 or 2 sizes and try to limit the amount of tissue that is migrating from the funnel to the tunnel of the flange. Turning down your suction can make a big difference as well.
If you find milk leaking from underneath your flanges, twist the Pumpin’ Pal flanges in your connector so the tunnel now points away from your lap. This will position the bottles away from your body. If the bottles hit your stomach or lap, it breaks the seal and allows milk to leak out. If you are using a hands free bra, you may need to adjust it a little…too tight and it is pulling up on the flanges… too loose and suction isn’t maintained.
It shouldn’t be necessary for you to hand massage while pumping. Ducts should be able to drain without your help. Try all the different sizes and if the flow isn’t getting better and you still have milk in you after you have been pumping for 25 minutes or so, give our product guidance hotline a call at 877-466-8283.