Using a breast pump, just like breastfeeding should not be painful

If you are having pain while pumping, pause and identify the possible reason for it. The main causes of pain associated with pumping are poor flange fit, too high suction or incorrect pumping technique.

Use the correct flange size for you

The part of the breast pump that goes over your breast and nipple is called the flange, or breast shield. Most mothers pump comfortably with the standard flange that comes with the pump. It is 24mm for Diya breast pump as well as for most other pumps in the market.

If pumping hurts even on low suction, you most likely need another flange size. (You may even need different sizes for each breast.) If the standard nipple tunnel size is too small or too large, a better-fitting one will feel more comfortable and also likely to pump more milk.

To check your nipple-tunnel fit, watch your nipple during pumping. If you see a little space all around your nipple as it’s drawn into the pump’s nipple tunnel, you have a good fit. However it your nipple rubs against the tunnel walls, the nipple tunnel is too small and it can cause sore nipples. You will need a bigger flange in this case.  While if too much of the dark area around the nipple is pulled in or the nipple bounces in and out of the tunnel, it is too large for you and you will need to get a smaller flange size. 

Understanding your Breast Shield Size

Before you go ahead and use that standard size flange, be sure that it’s the right one for you.

Diya breast pump offers option to buy extra shields/flanges in different size. Please go to BUY now section if you would like to buy a different flange size.

The recommended breast shield size for you

You should measure your nipple diameter. Just the nipple diameter as shown in the diagram. Do not measure the areola.

Based on the nipple diameter measurement, the below sizes of Diya breast shield are recommended.

  • up to 17mm then you should use 21mm
  • up to 20mm then you should use 24mm
  • up to 23mm then you should use 27mm
  • up to 26mm then you should use 30mm


If your nipple measures 19 mm in diameter, you should have breast shield size of 24 mm. If your nipple diameter measures 24 mm, your recommended size would be 30 mm.

Position your Breast in the center of the flange

Once you have the correct size flange, be sure that you’re placing your breast inside of it correctly. Your nipple should be perfectly centered in the middle of the flange. If it’s off-center, even just a little bit, your nipple could feel bruised after your session is done.

Ensure that the suction is comfortable for you

If you pump on high suction, it doesn’t mean you’ll get more breast milk or finish pumping more quickly. A higher suction maybe painful to your breasts and may actually cause you to remove less breast milk. First start with the stimulation mode (purple mode) and then after a minute or so when milk starts to flow, shift to expression mode (red/blue) to extract the milk. Start with a low suction and gradually increase the suction levels in expression mode. Find a setting that’s comfortable during and after pumping.

Don’t Pump for Excessive Periods of Time

Pump for about 10 minutes. If you’re still getting breast milk after that time, you can pump for a little longer (a maximum of 15-20 minutes if you pump both breasts simultaneously). Continuing to pump for longer than the recommended maximum times can lead to sore nipples and breasts.

If you still have breast pain, sore nipples, or bruising on your breasts while pumping, pause. Make an appointment with your doctor/lactation specialist.

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