Breastfeeding can be overwhelming at first, especially if you’re a first-time parent. It’s easy to feel alone and unsure during the process, especially when it comes to after-care of the breastfeeding products.
However, it’s important to keep your breast pump clean, both for the sake of your baby’s health and your own.
What is the best way to clean a breast pump?
Cleaning a breast pump can be a bit daunting, especially because of all the different parts that come with it. In order to ensure that you are properly caring for your breast pump kit, it’s best to follow the CDC’s suggested guidelines for keeping it clean.
This process starts prior to even using your breast pump. First, it’s important to make sure that your own hands are sanitary. Be sure to wash your hands thoroughly before using the pump. You can also wipe down the outer parts of the breast pump with a disinfectant wipe before putting the equipment together.
You have two options when cleaning your breast pump kit: you can either wash the parts individually by hand or you can take it apart and place the items in the dishwasher. For best cleaning practices, it is recommended to rinse the items prior to loading them in the dishwasher.
Additionally, do not place the items in the dishwasher if they are not dishwasher safe. You can look at your specific kit’s instructions to see if they are good to go in the dishwasher or if they must be washed by hand.
Cleaning your breast pump kit by hand
If you decide to wash your breast pumping equipment by hand, there are a few tools you will need:
- A clean tub to place in the sink to wash the items in
- A cleaning brush
- Hot water
- Soap (or a breast pump cleaner spray)
- An additional clean bin to place the washed items in to air-dry
When cleaning your breast pump, make sure to scrub each individual part thoroughly. It’s important to let the items air dry and to refrain from putting the kit away until all the parts are dry. It is also a necessity to wash the items in a clean bin or tub in the sink and not to set the kit in the sink itself, as the sink is filled with many germs that could get on the breast pump.
Sanitizing your breast pump
Similar to cleaning baby bottles for babies younger than 3 months, the CDC advises parents to give the breast pump kit a little extra sanitization. This includes running it through an additional dishwashing cycle or scrubbing it twice before putting it back together.
How do I clean breast pumps at work?
Many mothers continue to breastfeed their infant after returning to work and need to pump during working hours. When it comes to cleaning your breast pump kit at work, the same guidelines apply.
While it can be a hassle to have to clean your breast pump kit at work, it is a great way to ensure that your breastfeeding products are sanitary and ready for their next use. Bringing your own cleaning supplies to your job will alleviate some of the hassle of finding a brush, bin and soap under a time crunch.
After you have finished pumping, store your breast milk in a secured bag or container and place in it a fridge or freezer. The CDC says that you should label the milk with a time and date, so that you do not risk your milk going bad or getting old.