When I was pregnant with Luke I purchased the Medela Swing Single breast pump and while it worked great…I hated pumping, mostly because it took FOREVER doing one at a time. I vowed the next time around I would absolutely be purchasing a double pump, no matter the cost it was worth it.
There’s a pretty huge market for people to re-sell their breast pump and I’ve heard people getting them from yard sales or even just borrowing a breast pump from a friend. I didn’t think twice about doing this myself as long as you purchased new tubes, etc. And then…I talked to Ashley at Blue Cocoon. I had NO idea the dangers behind sharing breast pumps and purchased used breast pumps. What I’ve learned is that only the hospital grade breast pumps are considered safe for re-use because they are “closed system” breast pumps. What’s the difference between open and closed breast pumps?
Since an open system does not contain a barrier between the milk collection kit and the pump mechanism, your milk is exposed to the outside air, which is drawn through the pump system. This allows any impurities that may be found in the air such as dust, smoke, pet dander, pollution, airborne bacteria, and viruses to contaminate your breast milk. There is also a possibility that milk particles can be sucked into the pump’s tubing, as well as parts of the pump that cannot be cleaned.
When using a closed system to express milk, the barrier in between the collection kit and the pump tubing prevents outside air from being exposed to your breastmilk. By keeping outside air out of the collection bottle, you are able to preserve the purity your breastmilk for your baby.
The barrier also ensures that milk particles will not enter the pump tubing or motor. This eliminates the need to wash the pump tubing, as well as the possibility of mold growing in the tubing.
So here’s what I’ve learned…a used breast pump has some serious dangers associated with it! You should absolutely have your pump cleaned every few months while you’re using it, definitely in between babies have it cleaned! Ashley also checks the suction to make sure it’s working properly for you to avoid milk supply problems too!
Ashley does clean breast pumps at Blue Cocoon for a small fee of $20 and before you think this is a waste of time I wanted to include a few pictures of pumps she’s cleaned that had considerable mold inside the pump from old breast milk! She said she even had one that when she opened it a maggot crawled out!! Do you really want to feed your baby contaminated breast milk?! NO of course not! So get your breast pump cleaned today! If you can see the mold below, think about what you can’t see!
Check out that MOLD!!
All the black stuff….MOLD!
More mold in the tubing.
If you’re looking for further info about getting your breast pump cleaned, contact Ashley today! She also has additional information on her website. Hopefully you will think twice about used breast pumps! Fortunately, there is a new law that allows you to purchase a breast pump through your insurance company that started this past August. It is my understanding that your insurance company HAS to cover the cost of a breast pump or rental for you. Ashley will work directly with you and your insurance company to get you a new, CLEAN, breast pump! Give her a call to discuss all the details with her if you’re looking to purchase a breast pump through your insurance company!