Breastfeeding

Cleaning Your Pump Parts

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When it comes to cleaning and care for your pump, parts and storage bottles, always follow your manufacturer’s instructions. 

If your parts came in a kit marked sterile, then there is no need to clean or boil them prior to using them for the first time. If they are not, then you will need to boil your parts prior to using them. Boiling times will differ depending on the manufacturer’s instructions. It is always best to follow those times depending on which brand of pump you have chosen.

After you have boiled them for the first time there is no need to do this again under normal circumstances, and more boiling can actually damage your parts and break down the plastic that they are made of.

For most pump parts, you will only need to hand wash them after each use. Rinse them first in cool water to remove any milk residue that may be on them and then wash them in warm, soapy water with a chemical free dish soap. Rinse them well and put them on a drying rack to air dry. Most pump parts can also be washed in the dishwasher on the top rack. Again, check your manufacturer’s instructions for how to clean your pump parts.

Depending on whether you have purchased a pump with an open or closed system, will determine whether you will need to clean the tubing. Open system pumps can have milk back up in the tubing and it will be very important to watch for this and clean your tubing regularly. This process may include boiling your tubes, running water through them and then drying them thoroughly to ensure that no moisture gets trapped which can lead to mold growth.

If you have purchased a closed system pump, you will never be washing your tubing and it is not advised that you do so. There is no way for milk to enter and washing them will only create a moisture build up.

If you are going to be pumping several times a day it may be beneficial to invest in an extra set of pump parts so you can have a clean set each time you pump and wash them all at the end of the day.

The other thing that you can do in between feedings while you are at work if you do not want to keep washing your parts is to stick the pieces that come in contact with your milk into your cooler with your pumped milk until the next pumping session. This is okay since whatever milk residue dries on the parts from the previous session is being kept cool and will not pose any risk to your milk or to your baby. At the end of the day when your cooler is filled with your milk and you are done pumping, now you can simply rinse your parts and take them home to wash them for the next day’s use.

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