In one sense, using a breast pump is incredibly convenient. But in another more apparent sense, it can be a total stressor. Between pumping, cleaning, storing your pump, being a pumping-mom adds a few extra steps to your feeding routine that breastfeeding doesn't. Not to mention the warming of the bottle of feeidng of the baby. That being said, pumping doesn't have to be that complicated, especially when you're armed with a few tricks up your sleeve. There are some pump cleaning tips no one will teach you that you'll definitely want to know if you're hoping to streamline your pumping routine and save as much time as possible.
Whether you err on the side of over-cleanliness or tend towards procrastination and messiness, no one wants to spend hours (or even an extra 20 minutes) cleaning their breast pump. Each pump is made up of approximately 2,000 pieces (not really, but it sure feels that way when you're taking it apart to clean,) and the pressure to clean your pump the right way can be a lot to handle. But no one needs one more thing on their to-do list, so streamlining the process as much as possible will make sure that your pumping routine is as enjoyable and stress free as possible, right down to the washing of the pump.
1. You Don't Have To Sanitize It Every Time You Use It
Contrary to popular belief, your pump will be just fine if you don't sanitize it after each use. Although the FDA recommended that mothers clean the parts that come in contact with your skin and milk after each use with water, sanitizing through boiling is definitely not necessary. If you're a frequent pumper, you can clean your pump at the end of each day. That's because, according to Work and Pump, the antibacterial properties of your breast milk make frequent sterilization unnecessary. That being said, if you only pump occasionally, you should clean it each time to avoid bacteria growth.
2. Cool Water Removes Breast Milk Best
The Medical Center at the University of Rochester noted that rinsing your pump flanges with cool water after each use is the easiest way to remove residual milk. After that, use warm soapy water to wash away the harder to clean spots.
3. Breast Pump Soap Will Save Your Life (And Lots Of Time)
Breast milk is notoriously hard to remove, both from skin and from your pump parts. Luckily, there are special soaps developed for the sole purpose of removing the tricky to wash residue from your breast milk, like the Quick Clean Breast Milk Removal Soap ($7) from Medela that you can pick up from Amazon.
4. Just Use The Dishwasher
Handwashing your pump parts isn't necessary, people. This is the 21st century, and dishwashers are a thing (that you should definitely take advantage of.) Medela noted that most of your pump parts are safe to wash on the top rack of your dishwasher.
5. Put Your Pump Part In The Fridge Until You Need It Again
If you pump multiple times per day, Exclusive Pumping suggested that you store your pump parts in the fridge each day in a gallon sized ziplock bag or glass container to keep it sanitary. Cleaning your pump multiple times per day isn't completely necessary. You may want to let it warm up before using it next time though.