Flange inserts, also known as breast shield inserts or cushion inserts, are used with breast pumps, and they serve several purposes:
Enhanced Comfort: Flange inserts are designed to provide additional cushioning and comfort during breast pumping. They create a softer surface between the rigid plastic flange of the breast pump and the skin of the breast. This can be especially beneficial for mothers who find pumping uncomfortable or experience sensitivity or soreness while pumping.
Improved Fit: Achieving a proper fit with the breast pump flange is crucial for efficient milk expression. Flange inserts can help improve the fit of the flange by creating a more snug and comfortable seal around the breast. This can lead to better milk flow and a more effective pumping session.
Customization: Flange inserts come in various sizes and shapes, allowing for customization to accommodate different breast shapes and sizes. They can be inserted into the standard flange to tailor the fit to your unique anatomy, ensuring a better seal and more efficient pumping.
Reduced Friction: The soft, cushioned surface of flange inserts can reduce friction between the breast and the flange. This can help prevent chafing and discomfort, particularly during longer pumping sessions.
Sensitivity and Pain Relief: Some women have sensitive nipples or experience pain while pumping. Flange inserts can provide a gentle, padded surface that may help alleviate some of this discomfort.
Hygiene: Many flange inserts are designed to be removable and washable. This feature can contribute to better hygiene by preventing the buildup of milk residue and bacteria inside the flange.
Enhanced Milk Flow: A better fit and increased comfort can lead to improved milk flow and potentially higher milk yield during a pumping session.
In summary, flange inserts are accessories used with breast pumps to enhance comfort, improve fit, and customize the pumping experience for individual mothers. They can be particularly helpful for those who find pumping uncomfortable, need a better fit, or experience sensitivity or pain while expressing breast milk. However, the decision to use flange inserts depends on personal preferences and needs, and not all mothers may require or benefit from them.