For Moms who pump at work, one of the essential things to know, is how to keep your breastpump parts clean. Each breastpump manufacturer includes, in the set of instructions, recommendations on cleaning their particular pieces – but if you’re like I was – you skipped that part, and were more concerned with figuring out how to USE it.
It’s best to wash your parts after each use. Before returning to work, I purchased an inexpensive plastic basket with handles, and a soft brush, to clean the parts without scratching the plastic.
In between pump sessions – I would wash my parts inside of the basket, being careful that my parts didn’t touch the actual sink – and to dry my parts, I laid a paper towel on the bottom of the basket and let the parts air dry.
For whatever reason, if you simply CANNOT wash the pump parts in-between sessions, then rinse your parts ASAP, in the warmest/hottest water available.
Here are some basic facts on cleaning your pump parts:
Washing Your Pump Parts
- Do NOT use standard bottlebrushes or scratchy/scour like cloths. These items may cause scratches, which can breed bacteria.
- Make sure you rinse your parts well – leaving NO soap residue behind.
- Dry pieces completely.
Sterilizing Your Pump Parts
I sterilized my pump parts every other day, though most recommend sterilizing after every use of your pump. After speaking with my son’s pediatrician, going over my pumping routines – it was determined that every other day was just as good.
There are many sterilizing methods available:
- Boiling your pieces.
- Using your microwave, which is the method that worked for me.
- Using your dishwasher.
It’s important to keep the manufacturers instructions in mind when cleaning your pump parts, AS WELL AS any other specific instructions received, if any, from your health care provider.
Cleaning Your Tubing
Unless breastmilk has accidentally gotten into your tubing, most manufacturers see no need for washing or sterilization. However, if breastmilk DOES get inside, follow the directions for the specific pump you are using.
Remember that keeping your pump parts clean is extremely important in helping to ensure that the milk you’ve expressed for your baby is free from bacteria. This INCLUDES keeping your bottles and nipples clean and sterilized.
Unfortunately, many women have no choice but to pump in less than ideal environments, such as public restrooms – so hygiene is essential for yourself (make sure your hands are clean before handling your pump parts), as well as making sure your area around you is as germ free as you can make it.
This includes keeping your pump parts as clean as possible on a regular basis.