Many breast pumps fall under two categories of operation – closed system pumps like Medela Symphony hospital-grade rental pump or personal grade Pump In Style Advanced) while others, like Medela Freestyle, Sonata, or Swing Maxi are open systems. Closed system breast pumps should prevent milk residue from backing up into their tubing systems.
But to prevent mold growth and keep tubing dry, here are a few methods for doing just that.
Table of Contents
Wash the Tubing
Moms who regularly pump may find that their breast pump tubing becomes stained with milk or moisture over time, necessitating periodic inspection and cleaning to ensure it remains free from contamination or mold before reuse. As an additional safeguard, having extra sets on hand could save a great deal of hassle should something go amiss!
After each pumping session, moms should inspect their tubing for any signs of milk or condensation and take measures to clean any parts that came into contact with breast milk, such as valves, flanges and membranes as well as bottle nipple and pump lid parts that came into contact. After washing these components thoroughly with warm water they should rinsed in cool water to be left to dry before being put back together again and left to air-dry before placing back together again for use.
Clean breast pump tubing by immersing it in a basin filled with clean, soapy water after each use and before reassembling the pump. Rinse in cool, clear water then shake or roll between hands to extract as much excess liquid before hanging up to dry.
Most pump brands recommend inspecting and cleaning tubing after each use to prevent infection or mold build-up; however, they don’t always specify whether this should happen immediately or how frequently.
If the tube does require washing, it’s best to do it with an eco-friendly cleaner like baby-safe vinegar. After each use and before reassembling your breast pump, wash the tubing after each use and allow it to air dry before reassembling it. Alternatively, sanitize its parts by boiling in water – please refer to your brand manual to determine whether this method of sanitation is safe – although this isn’t always as effective. This option should only be used as an emergency backup plan when necessary.
Once the tubing has been washed and dried properly, it is crucial that it air dries completely to ensure no soap residue remains and it is ready for use. Unfortunately, new moms often overlook this step but it is absolutely vital for safe pumping!
One of the easiest and simplest methods for air drying tubing is simply hanging it up and letting it air dry, although this will take slightly longer than rinsing. Another effective approach would be placing the tubing inside of a bowl or sink of warm, soapy water for several minutes before rinsing in cold water and leaving to air dry completely.
Alternately, tubing can also be put through the dishwasher for thorough disinfection – this will help to eradicate germs and bacteria while making sure it doesn’t fill to capacity first! Also keep some spare tubing handy should your first set become dirty or moldy.
If the tubing contains mold, it must be immediately discarded and replaced as its mold spores could travel through it and contaminate breast milk, potentially harming baby. Therefore, it’s essential that it be checked after each pumping session and before being reused again for safety checks.
After every pumping session, carefully inspect tubing and flanges for signs of mold or condensation to reduce contamination risk and enhance suction performance. This will also decrease chances for cross contamination between different pumps.
IF THE TUBING HAS MILK DROPLATS, disconnect it from its flanges/pump kit and run it for several minutes without its tube attached in order to dry it out – however this should not be done too frequently as doing so may reduce suction efficiency. Once each pumping session has concluded, all parts should be disassembled, cleaned thoroughly and allowed to air dry before being reassembled before reassembling them; also ensure you have a basin and brush dedicated solely to cleaning pump components before storage of them away in case they need any repairs in future sessions.
If your tubing becomes saturated with breast milk during a pumping session, drying it off may prove challenging. There are a few simple solutions you can try; vinegar is an effective solution that can get condensation out while also helping remove dry milk stains from within. You can soak your pumping tubing in equal parts vinegar and water solution and then rinse off afterwards for best results.
After soaking the tubing, use either a fan or blow dryer to extract excess moisture. Or try the cowgirl technique: rapidly rotating or swinging or twirling it around your head in order to dissipate excess humidity.
Once your tubing is clean and dry, you can begin pumping with it. If any signs of mold appear on the tubing, make sure it is discarded immediately and replaced – online stores such as Baby Depot offer replacement tubing in packs; some moms even keep an additional set in their pumping to-go bag so they can quickly switch out dirty tubes during pumping sessions.
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommends daily sanitization of most breast pump parts, including tubing and flanges. Some moms have discovered that tubing doesn’t necessarily need to be cleaned after every use – it depends on factors like how much milk is being pumped, its length of contact time with it and any signs of condensation or mold growth.
Whenever your tubing doesn’t dry completely after being washed or develops dry milk spots that look like stains, it may be time for replacement tubing to be purchased and changed out. You can purchase replacement tubing online or at most baby-oriented stores, ask your insurance provider if they have any, or check with local hospitals to see if any are available in their maternity ward.
Once your new tubing is installed, take precautions to make sure it’s fully dried before making use of it. A good way to test this is by connecting it to your flanges and running for five minutes; if any water droplets remain, using a syringe filled with vinegar to flush them out can help speed up drying time.
Breast pump parts should be cleaned after every use to stop bacteria from multiplying and spreading. This can be accomplished in several ways: boiling them, using sterilization bags with microwaving capabilities or running them through the dishwasher on its sanitising setting or spraying with sterilising spray – although some moms can get by with simply rinsing in the sink; this does not provide adequate drying of parts such as valves membranes and bottle nipple (flange).
Most manufacturers advise sanitising all parts that come into contact with breast milk, particularly if the baby has a weak immune system. The CDC suggests sterilizing items if they’ve been around more than two weeks as wet breast pump parts pose a threat of Cronobacter infection – particularly dangerous for premature babies.
Cleaning tubing requires using warm soapy water and air drying it afterwards. For added convenience, consider having an extra set of tubes available so they can be used while your first ones dry off.
As soon as your pumping session ends, make sure that you wash the tubing to allow any milk left behind to evaporate and help prevent mold growth and keep it looking new. If you notice water droplets on it, try swinging or twirling it around to dislodge them or put the tubing inside one of Medela Steam Bags before running it through your microwave oven.
To boil your pump parts, fill a pot that can safely boil with water and bring it to a boil. With clean tongs, remove each part from the boiling water and allow them to cool before rinsing them in warm soapy water and drying completely before reassembling your pump – be sure all parts fit securely and lie flat. It may be beneficial to disinfect its faceplate with disinfectant wipes too.