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Taking Care of Your Breast Pump and Collection Kit

It's important to take care of your breast pump. With the correct care, it can last for as long as you choose to pump for this child.

  • Read the instruction manual. Follow the recommendations for cleaning the equipment.

  • When cleaning the pieces that collect the milk, take apart any pieces that separate. Clean them one by one.

  • Always wash your hands before handling your breast pump equipment to prevent contamination.

  • If using an electric pump with a collection kit, the pump itself and any tubing should stay dry or they won't work correctly. (These pieces of equipment don't come in contact with breastmilk that is to be stored for your baby.) But these pieces should always be wiped clean after use.

  • After each use, rinse all parts that come in contact with the breast or breast milk in cool water first. (A cool rinse removes any remaining milk without coagulating hard-to-clean protein.) Then thoroughly clean these same parts in hot, soapy water. Use a bowl that is only used for cleaning the parts of the breast pump that come in contact with breast milk. Don't place these parts in the sink. When rinsing the parts, use a different bowl that is only used for rinsing these items. Rinse in hot water, and air dry between each use. Don't use a cloth towel to dry the parts or place them on a cloth towel. Cloth towels can harbor germs and bacteria. Place the parts on a clean paper towel. Wash your hands before handling the clean parts.

  • Allow to air dry: Place all parts on a clean, dry cloth or paper towel and allow them to air dry. Don't use towels or paper towels that may leave lint behind.
  • Boil or sanitize the pump parts that come in contact with breastmilk once daily for premature infants and infants under 2 months old. Boil the parts for 5 minutes. Some manufacturers advise boiling or sanitizing the parts daily. (Check the instruction manual for the care of your pump parts).

  • Store your clean and dry breast pump and accessories in a clean, protected area to prevent dust and dirt from contaminating them.
  • Use a dedicated storage bag or container for your pump and its parts to keep everything organized.
  • Try not to touch the inside of any parts that will come in contact with your breast milk.
  • Check the instruction manual to learn if a dishwasher set to a certain water temperature is considered appropriate for cleaning the collection pieces that come in contact with the breast or the breast milk. Also, make sure that the manufacturer advises dishwasher use for your type of pump.

  • Some people prefer to sterilize their pump parts in microwave bags or bottle sterilizers used for steaming. If you do this, only use approved bags for sanitizing pump parts. Follow the directions closely. Again, make sure that the manufacturer advises microwave sanitizing for your type of pump.