Breast pumps are great units and when you have a baby and you are facing some challenges breastfeeding the natural way, then you will need help. This help will come in the form of a manual or electric breast pump. Before we proceed to looking at how to keep your breast pump clean, it is important that you know that you can get a breast pump covered by insurance. You will have to call your insurance company about your cover to know the type of breast pump you can get through your insurance policy.
Back to the cleaning - a breast pump has different parts that will come into contact with the milk and these are the most important parts when it comes to cleaning. All parts that can be cleaned should be cleaned but special attention should be given to the parts that the milk will pass by or be contained. Cleaning should be done after every use to ensure that the milk does not get contaminated the next time you use the breast pump. It is true that completely sterilizing the parts of a breast pump at home might be impossible, but a thorough cleaning will do just fine as long as you use liquid soap and warm water to eliminate the bacteria and the germs that might affect the baby.
You can use your dishwasher to clean the breast pump parts but you will have to refer to the instruction manual to find out if these pieces are dishwasher safe prior to putting the in the machine. The breast pump tubing does not need to be cleaned all the time unless of course it comes into contact with the breast milk. The tubing should be hanged to dry when washed and should only be attached to the breast pump when it is completely dry. If there are tiny droplets of water or what is referred as condensation appear, turn on the machine for a few minutes until the droplets disappear.
There are microwave sterilizers which are available though they do not meet the FDA sterilization standards they are enough to keep the breast pump parts free of germs and bacteria in between pumping sessions.
Cleaning Electric Breast Pumps
An electric breast pump which holds batteries and a motor should be wiped clean using a clean paper towel. The electrical unit should never be put in water or any other liquids for cleaning. This unit should also never be sterilized using microwave sterilizers.
Some breast pump manufacturers have special wipes which are effective in cleaning the breast pump parts that cannot be cleaned using water. This means that the wipes should be used to clean the mechanical and electric parts but the parts that come into contact with the breast milk should still be cleaned using soap and warm water.
Washing Breast Pump Parts At Home
At home, you will need to wash the flanges, collection bottle and the valves thoroughly. Breast milk has an antibacterial property and this means that sterilization is not necessary. With water of a temperature of 140 F, you can wash the breasts pump parts using the dishwasher. If you are not using a dish washer, then hot soapy water will do just fine. A good rinse should then follow to get rid of all traces of the soap including the smell. Sterilizing all the washable parts once a week in hot water is important just to make sure that that the kit is clean.
Washing Breast Pumps At Work
Finding a good place to clean your breast pump parts at work might be a little bit tricky and sometimes the washing might take long. Well if you have a good place then you can wash the parts but since breast milk has that special antibacterial property, you do not have to clean the parts especially if you have to place to. There will be no bacterial growth after almost a full day at room temperature. This does not mean that you leave the parts just sitting out; wipe the parts with tissue or paper towel and then put the pack in a cooler box or fridge and clean the parts when you get home.