You may have heard of breast pump cushions. They aren’t necessary for everyone, but they can be really helpful for some women! Here’s how to know if cushions are a good option for you.
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When Should You Try Breast Pump Cushions?
Not every mom needs breast pump cushions when pumping. I would recommend trying them if one of the below applies to you:
- Your nipple stretches far into the flange, coming close to or actually touching the back of the connector. (This is known as elastic nipples.)
- You can’t seem to find a flange size that isn’t painful.
- You are in between flange sizes or need a smaller size than your pump manufacturer offers.
As an example for the in between size issue, BeauGen inserts reduce the size of a breast shield by about 2mm. If you need a 19mm flange but the smallest size offered with your pump is 21mm, BeauGen cushions might help.
How Do You Use Cushions?
Breast pump cushions are really easy to use – you just place them inside the flange before you pump.
Here’s what they look like on their own and inserted into the flange.
Some women find they get a better fit with the “turtleneck” method. This just means that the “tunnel” of the cushion is folded down like a turtleneck to make it shorter and thicker.
This can work well for women with shorter nipples (it can help with getting the best alignment), or for women using flanges with shorter tunnels.
Here’s how it looks:
Washing and Caring for Breast Pump Cushions
BeauGen recommends “training” your breast pump cushions prior to the first use to stretch them out a bit. This just means putting them on the outside of your flange for 45 minutes to an hour like this:
However, this might be impossible to do if you have a combined flange and connector. If so, don’t worry – this isn’t required for them to function, it’s just that some women prefer the way they feel after being broken in.
To clean your cushions, take them out of the flange and wash in warm soapy water. Consult the manufacturer’s instructions regarding sterilizing them – BeauGen does not recommend using boiling water, the dishwasher or steam bags, as it can cause them to stretch out and tear more easily.
Breast pump cushions can be a great solution if you have elastic nipples or other issues with flange sizing as described above.
Here you can see how BeMyBreastFriend on instagram sees results with elastic nipples:
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Another advantage is that you can use BeauGen cushions with most flanges (with the exception of Pumpin Pals; also, they are best with sizes 21-27mm breast shields). They work with standard Medela, Spectra, etc. flanges, as well as Freemie cups, the Elvie, and the Willow.
Have you used breast pump cushions? Tell us your experience in the comments!