How to Clean Your Breast Pump and Why It’s Important

Mom start pumping milk to bottles by Automatic breast pump machine. breastmilk is the best healthy nutrition food for newborn baby. Motherhood and baby healthcare concept.

How to Clean Your Breast Pump and Why It’s Important

New moms are well aware of the risks that harmful bacteria can pose to a newborn. We often discuss the importance of having guests wash their hands before holding your baby, or avoiding public spaces where germs may proliferate, but perhaps even more essential to your infant’s safety is the practice of maintaining a clean breast pump! Learning to properly clean your breast pump and store breast milk in ways that prevent the growth of bacteria is essential to protecting your little one’s good health.

The Best Ways to Clean Your Breast Pump (and Why You Should!)

Every single part of your breast pump that comes into contact with your breast or breast milk needs to be cleaned, including the valves, membranes, breast shields, and connectors, and more. This is because the moisture in breast milk quickly creates the perfect environment for mold, mildew, and germs to quickly grow and flourish.

Before Each Pumping Session:

Thoroughly wash your hands with soap and warm water.

  • Inspect your breast pump kit and accessories as you assemble the pump. Tubing that’s moldy or that has water droplets inside needs to be thrown away.
  • Use disinfectant wipes to clean your breast pump dials, switches, and the surface that you’ll place it on.

After Each Pumping Session:

  • Clean your breast pump area, surface, dials, and switches with disinfectant wipes.
  • Disassemble your breast pump and separate each of the parts that came into contact with your breast or milk.
  • Rinse each part under running water to wash away any remaining milk. Do not place these items directly into the sink.
  • Refer to your breast pump manual as some pump accessories can be placed in the dishwasher. Otherwise, wash the parts by hand in a washbasin that’s only used for when you clean your breast pump kit and infant feeding items.
  • Place the basin and breast pump parts and bottle brush on a clean dish or paper towel to dry.
  • Allow each part to air dry.* Do not pat them or rub them with a towel to dry.
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*Note: do not store your breast pump until each part is 100% dry to prevent the growth of mold and bacteria.

After Cleaning:

For extra germ removal, sanitize pump parts, wash basin, and bottle brush at least once daily after they have been cleaned. Items can be sanitized using steam, boiling water, or a dishwasher with a sanitize setting. Sanitizing is especially important if your baby is less than 3 months old, was born prematurely, or has a weakened immune system due to illness or medical treatment. For detailed instructions on sanitizing your pump parts, visit www.cdc.gov/healthywater/hygiene/healthychildcare/infantfeeding.html.

Store Parts Safely:

Store dry items safely until needed. Ensure the clean pump parts, bottle brushes, and wash basins have air-dried thoroughly before storing. Items must be completely dry to help prevent germs and mold from growing. Store dry items in a clean, protected area.

Properly Storing Your Breast Milk

Breast milk has a certain timeframe in which it needs to be used to provide the most nourishment possible. Whether stored at room temperature, refrigerated, or frozen, breast milk can sometimes go bad before you’re able to use it. The lifespan of your pumped milk will vary between storage methods due to temperature conditions and exposure.

Freshly expressed breast milk can be stored at room temperature for four to six hours.

  • Breast milk can be stored in the refrigerator for up to five days between 32 to 39F.
  • Breast milk can be stored in the freezer for up to six months and for 12 months in a deep freezer.

Click the resource below for a printable breast pump cleaning guide!

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Breast Pump Cleaning Guide

About the Author /

Jessica Madden, MD, is a board-certified pediatrician and neonatologist who has been taking care of newborn babies for over 15 years. She is currently on staff in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) at Rainbow Babies and Children’s Hospital in Cleveland, Ohio, is the Medical Director for Aeroflow Breastpump, and has experience working in NICUs in the Boston Children’s Hospital and Cleveland Clinic Children’s Hospital networks. Dr. Madden provides in-home newborn medicine and lactation support through Primrose Newborn Care, a small business that she opened in 2018. In her free time she enjoys traveling, yoga, reading, and spending time with her four school-aged children.

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Becoming a new mother, whether it be your first baby or your sixth, is filled with so many emotions. 🎢 Figuring out your new normal can take a minute as you recover from giving birth and get to know your new baby. People will be at your doorstep in no time wanting to congratulate you and meet your baby, but sometimes people aren't necessarily thinking about what they can do for YOU to be helpful. If you know someone who has recently had a baby or if you are currently expecting, today’s podcast episode is for you! ❤️ {Link in bio!}⁠
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Going to keep it real here, your fitness game is going to change after having kids. If you were crushing it before having babies, you're going to find that the free time for working out isn't what is used to be.⁠
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Regardless of where you were at, there are things you can do to make your heath a priority and be a good example to your little ones.⁠
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When you meet your baby(ies) and your whole world changes. 💕
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Speak your partner's love language in postpartum. Send this resource to your loved one so that they can make you feel loved and supported in a meaningful way.⁠
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We substituted sour cream in these recipes with @stonyfield YoBaby yogurt because it provides not only the calcium they need, but also probiotics, protein and vitamin D! 👍 (Our pediatrician says our little guy needs 2-4 servings of dairy per day!) The yogurt still has that tangy flavor that you’re looking for but with even more benefits! Cheers to full tummies and happy families! 🙌 #ad #stonyfield
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