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.
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.
If using an electric pump with 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 breastmilk 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 breastmilk. 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 you hands before handling the clean parts.
Some manufacturers advise boiling or sanitizing the parts that come in contact with the breast or breastmilk once a day. (Check the instruction manual for the care of your pump parts.)
Check the instruction manual to find out 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 breastmilk. Also make sure that the manufacturer advises dishwasher use for your type of pump.
Some women 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.