The terms "flange insert" and "cushion" are sometimes used interchangeably in the context of breast pumping, but they can refer to slightly different products. Here's a breakdown of the difference between flange inserts and cushions:
Flange Insert: A flange insert, also known as a reducer or sizing insert, is a small accessory that is inserted into the breast pump flange. It is typically made of silicone or another soft material. The purpose of a flange insert is to modify the size of the flange to better fit the nipple. It can help create a better seal around the nipple and improve comfort and pumping efficiency. Flange inserts come in different sizes and can be used to customize the fit of the flange to accommodate different nipple sizes.
Cushion: A cushion, sometimes referred to as a breast pump cushion or breast shield cushion, is a soft pad or barrier that is placed between the breast and the flange during pumping. It is usually made of silicone or foam material. The cushion provides a layer of padding and creates a more comfortable and gentle contact surface between the breast and the flange. It can help reduce friction, alleviate discomfort, and provide a cushioning effect while pumping. Some cushions also claim to help with improving milk flow and reducing the risk of nipple trauma.
While both flange inserts and cushions aim to improve comfort during breast pumping, they have different functions. Flange inserts modify the size of the flange to better fit the nipple, while cushions provide a cushioned barrier between the breast and the flange to enhance comfort and reduce friction.
It's important to note that these terms can be used differently by different manufacturers or individuals, and there may be variations in the design and functionality of flange inserts and cushions. It's always recommended to read the product descriptions and instructions provided by the specific brand or manufacturer to understand how their particular accessory is intended to be used and what benefits it offers.
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