For a few months I have been acquiring used pumps so that I can disinfect and evaluate their performance. I am (obsessively) testing the suction for each pump I service and am recording my findings as my own little research project (stay tuned for a post on this in the near future). For now, I want to focus on pump care and cleanliness. Everyone knows personal use pumps should not be shared between mothers, but why? Because they can transmit diseases such as Hepatitis C and HIV? Perhaps. But what most people don't realize is that the pump motors can harbor bacteria, dirt, grime, insects, mold, and mildew! This photo shows a pump that I was not comfortable handling due to the apparent presence of mold and mildew spores, and it had to be discarded.
Don't let this happen to your pump! If you have a used pump from a previous child or one that you've been using for a while, contact me and I will check it for you! In the case of mold and mildew as with this pump, there could be health implications with continued use. For a small $25 fee, I will disassemble your pump, clean and sanitize, test the suction, and give you a report of my findings. Visit my Support Services page to request a Pump Evaluation and Cleaning today!
Here are some tips for keeping your pump in good working order:
Don't leave the tubes plugged into the pump - Tubes tend to build up condensation which can get in the motor and lead to the mold and mildew you see above. If you notice condensation in your tubes, wash them with hot, soapy water and whip through the air to dry. If you see buildup that does not resolve by washing, discard and replace the tubing.
Clean up spills and residue as they happen - I've encountered milk residue, band-aids, open lanolin, and spilled food and drinks inside and out of the pump bags. Be sure to thoroughly clean the pump and bag when it becomes dirty to prevent buildup.
Don't store the pump on the floor, in the garage, in the garden shed ... You get the idea. Bugs, animal hair, and bacteria have easy access to your pump when it is stored in less than ideal places. Be mindful of where you store your pump to keep the creepy crawlies out!
Pay attention to the suction - If your pump seems to be losing suction, evaluate the parts for fit and change the membranes. If you have a rechargeable pump, test it with the power adapter plugged into an outlet to compare to the battery pack. Batteries can lose their charge more quickly over time, so it is worth testing to see if that is your issue. If you are still experiencing loss of suction, Contact Me and I can help you troubleshoot!
How old is your pump? - Unfortunately, single user pumps are not built to last longer than a year or so these days. If your pump sucks (because it doesn't), it may be time to upgrade. See my Shop and check out one of the newest, and cheapest, pumps on the market: the Spectra S1 or S2. I am not affiliated with Spectra, nor do I receive any compensation from the manufacturer for promoting this pump. I am an Amazon affiliate, so I do get a percentage for any purchases made through my website. But all of the products I recommend, including the Spectra, I do so because the mothers I work with tell me they are fabulous!