When you’re a breastfeeding mom, your breast pump may as well be your best friend. A pump is a crucial part of your nursing journey, as it helps you and your baby reap all the benefits of breastfeeding more efficiently. Since a pump is so important, it’s vital to take good care of it and recognize when it’s time to show it some TLC. Sometimes, proper care means replacing breast pump parts that show signs of deterioration or have served their purpose long enough.
Keeping your breast pump parts in tip-top shape ensures a safe pumping experience for you and your baby. However, with so many pump parts, it may be hard to keep track of when they need replacing. Luckily, Pumps For Mom has done all the hard work for you. Below, we’ve compiled a guide to help you know when to replace breast pump parts!
Keep in mind that these are general recommendations, and manufacturers may have a different shelf life for their pumps and accessories. Refer to any included user manual for more specific advice about replacing breast pump parts if you are unsure.
Replacing Breast Pump Parts: Signs That It’s Time To Say Goodbye Immediately
Although pump parts typically have a reliable shelf life, it’s essential to dispose of parts that show significant wear or damage—regardless of the expected lifespan. Broken, ripped, or otherwise compromised parts are dangerous, unreliable, and may affect your milk supply and the effectiveness of your pump. If you notice a pump part is damaged while cleaning, it’s best to play it safe and say goodbye immediately.
Breast Shields And Connectors
Sometimes called flanges, breast shields attach to your breast and transport milk to tubing through connectors. Since breast shields transport breast milk, milk residue and buildup can affect the connector’s effectiveness and overall pump performance. As a rule of thumb, you should replace intact breast shields and connectors every six months.
Valve Membranes And Duck Valves
You may receive valve membranes or duck valves, depending on your chosen pump. They essentially serve the same purpose and help create the suction necessary to expel breast milk. When a pump’s suction becomes weak, the valve membranes or duck valves are typically the culprits. You should replace duck valves every month if you pump three or more times a day; otherwise, every two to three months should be fine. Meanwhile, replace valve membranes every two to four weeks if you pump three or more times per day; otherwise, replace them every two months.
Breast pump tubing is crucial because it connects the pump motor to bottles and other parts. Knowing when to replace tubing can be tricky since it mostly depends on the manufacturer’s recommendations. If moisture gets into the tubing, check the user manual to see if you can clean it, or must discard it.
A backflow protector is the tubing’s greatest ally, since it prevents breast milk and moisture from affecting tubing performance. If your pump has a backflow protector, replacing it depends on how often you pump. If you pump at least three times per day, you should replace the backflow protector every three months. If you pump less than three times daily, replace it every six months.
As a mom, you already have a lot on your hands, let alone knowing when to replace breast pump parts. Pumps For Mom makes it easy to enjoy motherhood by giving moms the tools they need for a smooth breastfeeding journey. That’s why we provide free breast pumps through insurance so moms can have peace of mind. We also offer a wide range of compression garments through insurance and breast pump accessories. Head over to our form or contact us today to get started!