Confused About Breast Funnel Sizes?

Dr. Stella Dao - Wednesday, February 19, 2014

I see so much confusion about the sizing of breast funnels (shields) for pumping. One of the best instructional articles I have seen about breast funnels comes from Dr. Elizabeth Jones. Dr. Jones published a wonderful summary of how to fit breast funnels in the Journal of Neonatal Nursing in their February 2009 issue, Vol 15, Issue 1, pages 14 - 17.

First, I would like to explain that the Freemie’s breast funnel, is basically the same as traditional breast shields. 

Freemie funnels vs. traditional shields 

Not only is the Freemie funnel similarly shaped to traditional shields, but the additional flat surface of the Freemie funnel lends to a comfortalble fit, plus more surface area for a better seal.

Different funnel sizes for different times

 In her article, Dr. Jones provides the following information:

“The selection of the correct size shield requires observation and experimentation. Many women experience swelling of the nipples during pumping so it is important to observe at least 5 minutes of continual pumping. ”

“Many mothers find that they need different size shields for each breast. Occasionally the need for a larger funnel decreases once lactation becomes well established.”

To correctly fit breast funnels:

 Turn on the pump and check the following points:
• Is the nipple rubbing or sticking against the side?
• Does the base of the nipple blanche during the expression session?
• Does it feel painful?
• Can you see a ring of skin flakes on the inside of the funnel when the funnel is removed?

If the answer is ‘yes’ to all of the above, a different size funnel may be needed. With properly fitted breast funnels, the nipple moves in and out of the funnel freely. The areolar tissue should move only a little and there should be no pain.

 You need a different size if the funnel is too big or too small.

If the tip of the nipple hurts while expressing, mothers should check that the nipple is in the center of the funnel.

Freemie’s funnel sizes:

Freemie funnels currently come in 25mm, 28mm, and 32mm internal diameter--measured across the internal opening of the funnel. The cups come in one size and are interchangeable with all funnel sizes.

If you have questions about how to find the right breast funnel size for you, please consult with your lactation professional.

About the Author: Dr. Dao, inventor of the Freemie system, is a board-certified practicing physician in northern California, where she lives with her husband and children.

Anonymous commented on 19-Feb-2014 05:24 PM
Please make a smaller funnel size! I love your freemie cups, but not having a smaller size makes them unusable for me.
Sita commented on 27-Feb-2014 06:45 PM
Thank you for sharing! I had a feeling that the flange sizes I am using for my rented Madela and now my new Freemie may not be the correct size but I was not sure. By reading the pointers above, I know I need another flange size. I am using the Freemie 28 mm and Madela 27 mm but now will get the smaller size and see how that fits. I am so happy to hear that all flange sizes work with the cups so it very affordable for me to trial the sizes to find a perfect match.
Charlee commented on 03-Mar-2014 08:11 AM
on the pump i use now the 24 is to small and the 27 is to big. I see on the Freemie pump there is a size in between. I would love to try this pump!!!
Anonymous commented on 06-Mar-2014 03:19 PM
I second the comment above - please make a smaller funnel size! I see that you have the standard, L and XL sizes. I love the Freemie cups, but since it doesn't come in a smaller size, I can't use them.
Kate McKinney commented on 23-Mar-2014 07:25 AM
I learned so much about how to pick the correct size for your breasts!
lakeville condo commented on 23-Mar-2014 10:45 PM
Great article.
Anonymous commented on 26-Sep-2014 02:47 PM
Please make a smaller funnel size!
Anonymous commented on 18-Dec-2014 03:55 AM
Hi, do you have a bigger size, as in 36mm? Where could i find it?
Tina commented on 25-Jan-2015 11:43 AM
PLEASE PLEASE make a smaller size I have this kit and won't be able to use it now i am SOOOOO disappointed and sad and its not returnable
cheryl commented on 28-Feb-2015 08:12 AM
Please make a smaller size! I want to buy the freemie cups but have to have the smaller 21mm flanges.
Anonymous commented on 02-May-2015 05:56 PM
Agree with the other posters. We need a 21mm flange please!!
Anonymous commented on 11-May-2015 05:21 AM
Please make a 36mm size. I bought this thinking my existing flanges would be compatible but they aren't.
Anonymous commented on 28-Jul-2015 08:28 AM
Please make 21 mm flanges!!!! The freemie cup is a amazing design for the working mom but they flanges do not fit all mommies!!
Elizabeth Price commented on 17-Sep-2015 09:46 AM
Please make a smaller flanges! I love the freebie but the 25mm is to big! Please make a 23mm!
Anonymous commented on 05-Oct-2015 07:18 AM
Please make a smaller funnel size! I can use these, but I lose a lot of milk while pumping because they're too big. Please, please, please! I love the idea of your product!
Anonymous commented on 21-Oct-2015 07:57 AM
Please make a smaller size I need a 21mm!!!
Anonymous commented on 26-Nov-2015 07:20 PM
Smaller size please! After 2 babies & 21 months of pumping, I still need a 19mm. I EPed with my first through pain on a 21mm. Would love to use freemie because I pump in public several times a week. Little nipples make milk too!
Allie D commented on 09-Dec-2015 10:21 AM
Agree! Please make a smaller size I need a 21 :-(
Jane commented on 23-Dec-2015 09:19 AM
We really need a smaller size!!
Anonymous commented on 03-Jan-2016 03:31 PM
I would love to use this product as it would allow me to work while I pump (instead of taking time out of my work schedule to pump) but I need a much smaller flange. I've been using the 21mm Ameda Flexishield insert (it's made of silicone so it was not painful) but after reading articles like this about how to find the correct fit I think even that is too big for me. I now have to switch to a Medela pump to use a 19mm insert (from Maymom) as I can't find any other brand that makes small enough flanges.
Erica S commented on 04-Jan-2016 11:00 AM
Please make a smaller size!! I would purchase this product if it came in my size.
Liz H commented on 11-Jan-2016 10:59 AM
No 21mm?! I need the smaller size, can't believe I didn't realize this until after I bought the pump! Is there a smaller size on the horizon? I hope so!!!
Amber commented on 18-Jan-2016 06:31 AM
I purchased this pump and am unable to use as I need a smaller funnel size. Please make a smaller size.
Anonymous commented on 21-Jan-2016 09:27 AM
Dear Freemie - Please make a 21 mm flange.
Anonymous commented on 26-Jan-2016 06:24 AM
I second the 36mm!!! Would love to use, but need bigger size!

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