Do I need to replace parts of a breast pump after long disuse?
August 29, 2008 1:25 PM   Subscribe

What, if anything, do I need to replace on my Ameda Purely Yours breast pump, after 2 years' hiatus?

I haven't used the Ameda Purely Yours breast pump in a couple of years. It seems like I might need to replace some of the tubing or silicone thingies or the other parts of the "HygeniKit"---maybe they got grotty (or didn't get adequately cleaned when I stopped using the pump). On the other hand, some part of the company's website seems to indicate that maybe I could just get away with boiling the parts that come in contact with milk.

Does anyone know either way? (Boiling would be easier, as there doesn't appear to be any place super-local that carries the Ameda parts, but I can always order online.)
posted by leahwrenn to Food & Drink (3 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
IANALC (but I am doing my clinical hours towards my lactation consultant board exam): the general rule of thumb is to boil all rigid parts and replace silicone parts (as the soft material gets tiny holes, rips, and sticky bits which will compromise your suction quality and action) and service the pump.

That said, if you used the pump in a light to medium use sort of way, you could clean all parts (though unless you have steam or boil safe silicone parts, they may melt), hook everything up, and make sure you have strong and regular suction by testing the connected flange against your arm or face (no it will not give you a hickey--just like it doesn't on your ladies).

Pay attention to your yields and comfort when you start using it again, and if you are remotely uncomfortable or aren't getting good yields, try a brand-new Hygenikit (about 60 dollars), and if that doesn't work, the motor is done and you'll need a new pump.

Breast pumps, even hospital grade, aren't the sort of equipment you can limp along, at their best good yield depends on perfect, regularized suction (since it is replacing the baby's suction/compression/hormone release cycle with suction only). It's not worth it to risk mastitis, plugged ducts, or poor yields when even less expensive pumps can do a better job than a failing pump.
posted by rumposinc at 2:03 PM on August 29, 2008

I always used these microwave sterilization bags to clean the parts on my Medela. Speed being of the essence, and all. They were great. I replaced the silicone tubes on mine once (Mr. Cocoa melted the first set!) and you might check for any small parts insides the valves or flanges, just to have backups beforehand. I don't know how likely it is that the same size flange will fit you the second time around, so again, I might have another size on hand in case the ones you have don't fit you.
posted by cocoagirl at 4:41 PM on August 29, 2008

Our docs said not to boil the tubing since it doesn't come into contact with milk, but to boil the other parts that do come in contact with milk for 20 - 40 minutes depending on who you believe.

I melted the first set since we were so sleepy after the baby came which seems to be very common. Set a timer once the water starts boiling if you are distracted at all.

It is nice to have 2 full sets (which you probably know already) so if you only have one its worth getting a second new one.
posted by bottlebrushtree at 8:39 PM on August 29, 2008

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