Have you ever wondered if you should clean the breast pump tubing after each use? Unsure of the proper washing procedure?
Are you worried about the presence of mold in breast pump tubing?
While breastfeeding is lauded as the best feeding formula for your young one, it is not necessarily an option on some occasions.
You could be busy at work and have no time to breastfeed your little one. Maybe your baby doesn’t want to breastfeed.
Or, perhaps, you have excess production of milk. This is where breast pumps come into play.
Many mothers have used breast pumps for centuries, with some dating back to ancient Greek.
So, why would one not consider using a breast pump when needed?
Probably no reason, but the reason for putting your baby at risk for any reasons whatsoever could be reason enough.
If not, imagine having to throw all the pumped milk because of mold contamination? The pain!
How To Keep Mold In Breast Pump Tubing
Remember the old saying that prevention is better than cure? Yes, it applies to basically everything, including keeping mold from invading your breast pump tubes.
The first option to prevention is paying close attention to the type of breast pump you are buying.
You can do this by comparing the flange on the pump. The flange is the funnel-shaped part of the pump that comes into contact with the breast.
Ensure that it has a protective barrier on the part where it connects to the pump’s tubing.
Breast pumps without the flange have a higher risk of developing mold because extra moisture and milk get into the tubes, creating an excellent breeding ground.
What If There Is Mold In Breast Pump Tube?
If you are already too late into the prevention option, don’t worry.
Part of parenting is learning something new every day, so do not beat yourself up about it. So, here is what to do next:
- Contact your pediatrician or your lactation consultant, especially if you have noticed the mold after pumping. They are in a better position to advise on how to sanitize the milk and save you the horror of throwing it all away, like scalding.
- Buy replacements for the contaminated parts of the pump. Yes, we understand you might not have budgeted for this. However, if it is more challenging to sanitize the parts with molds until you are content that it is safe, you are better off replacing them.
- Ensure you commit to a routine of cleaning the breast pump thoroughly in the future. It will not be easy, especially if you are dealing with a newborn. But to avoid further issues with mold, it must happen.
How To Clean Your Breast Pump Tubing
First, ensure you have removed, turned off the pump, and unplugged it. Then, remove the flanges and the tubing from the pump.
Have some warm soapy water ready and use it to clean the tubing.
Once you are sure you have cleaned the tubing thoroughly, rinse it in clean water. Confirm that all the soap is rinsed before airdrying the tubing.
Air drying alone might not help, or it could take longer for the tubing to dry completely.
In that case, you can fasten the process by connecting the tubing back into the pump after cleaning.
Switch the pump on and let it run for about 5 minutes. If there are water droplets still, remove the tubing from the pump and try twirling it around.
Should Your Boil Breast Pump Tubing
If the mold or other dirt in the tubing is persistent, you might want to boil it as you do with other utensils.
We are here to tell you that you are absolutely better off buying another breast pump tubing.
Experts and most manufacturers only recommend cleaning the tubing in warm soapy water;
Not hot water, and definitely not boiling water, unless you want your tubing to melt away, which is a possibility.
The presence of mold in breast pump tubing is not a new phenomenon, so do not start panicking when you see it.
Nevertheless, it should be a wake-up call about the cleanliness level of the tubing. Regular cleaning with warm soapy water is highly recommended.
If this does not sort your problem, replace the tubing or the whole breast pump if the mold has spread to other parts.
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Iesha is a loving mother of 2 beautiful children. She’s an active parent who enjoys indoor and outdoor adventures with her family. Her mission is to share practical and realistic parenting advice to help the parenting community becoming stronger.