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Save with insurance: Most moms can save $95-159 on a Willow Pump Verify insurance →
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Breastfeeding can be a beautiful experience, but it's not without its challenges. One of the most significant struggles for nursing moms is knowing how to clean their breast pumps.
With so many different kinds of pumps, parts to assemble and cleaning methods, how do you keep it all straight? Are there definite do’s and don'ts when it comes to cleaning breast pumps? Whether you’re using a traditional pump or a portable Willow Pump, we have a full breakdown of how to clean it, so you and your baby can stay healthy and happy.
Every time you pump milk, your breast pump comes into contact with your milk’s bacteria and other pathogens. If your breast pump isn't cleaned on a regular basis, these tiny microorganisms can multiply and grow over time.
The more the bacteria grows, the more likely you and your baby will come into contact with it. This exposure increases the risk of infection and illness for both of you.
An unclean breast pump can also contaminate your milk supply. If you pump and save your breast milk for later use, the bacteria can degrade its nutritional value and cause it to spoil. You’ll end up having to toss out the stored milk that you worked so hard to pump.
Not cleaning your breast pump can also shorten the life of the pump itself. Breast pumps are a godsend for moms everywhere, but they can also be expensive. This means you’ll want to keep yours in tip-top shape, especially when you depend on a breast pump to nourish your baby.
By cleaning your breast pump, you prevent the buildup of milk residue. This allows each component to work properly and efficiently for the long term.
It’s important to note that you don’t actually clean the breast pump itself. Pumps come with several parts, such as flanges and bottles. These accessories are what you’ll clean after each use.
This bundled trio of Dapple Baby products is designed for cleaning your Willow 3.0 and Willow Go pumps, both on-the-go and at home. Dapple Baby products are specifically formulated to remove breast milk residue.
Washing your pump isn’t as simple as rinsing it in the kitchen sink. To keep yourself and your baby healthy, you should always follow the breast pump cleaning guidelines from the CDC:
Before picking up your breast pump for any reason, always wash your hands with soap and water so you don’t transfer any oils or germs to your pump.
As you assemble your breast pump, carefully inspect any flanges, tubes and accessories to make sure there’s no milk buildup, mold or dirty areas. If any part of your pump is dirty, make sure to clean it before assembling the entire kit.
Many wearable pumps are dishwasher safe when placed on the top rack, which means you can skip all the meticulous scrubbing. However, if you don’t have a dishwasher, they’re still easy to clean thanks to having minimal parts.
Like traditional pumps, you’ll separate the flanges and other parts after storing your milk. Then you’ll soak them for a minimum of five minutes in water with mild dishwashing soap before brushing and scrubbing them clean.
Finally, you’ll rinse all of the parts thoroughly and place them on a paper towel to air dry. Be sure to repeat the cleaning process if you see residual milk on any of the parts.
Washing is the best way to ensure your baby’s health and achieve a clean pump and should be done after each use. Sanitizing isn’t necessary after every use, but you can sanitize your pump as often as you wish for extra protection against germs.
Sanitizing should always happen after washing, not before. To sanitize your pump, you can do the following, as long as you follow the manufacturer’s sanitization instructions:
To prevent mixing icky residue, mold growth and bacteria with your fresh milk, you’ll need to wash it after every use. This will keep you and your baby happy and healthy, and it’ll keep your pump working for as long as you need it.
When it comes down to it, cleaning your breast pump is essential for the health of you, your baby, and the life of your favorite breast pump. But we also know it can take a lot of time and energy, especially when you have to pump multiple times in a single place. Our Willow pumps are designed to give you more freedom by being cord-free, hands-free, and easily wearable with the right bra. See if a Willow Pump is right for you by taking our free pump quiz today!
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