New Cleaning Guidelines for Breast Pumps

Pumping Mommas, did you see the new guidelines the CDC released recently? This report was put out and, I'll be honest, it looks a little scary and overwhelming. So, I’ll break it down for us.  

The CDC investigated the death of a premature baby from a very rare disease. They determined the baby got this disease from improperly cleaned pump parts, so they put out this information sheet to assist moms in knowing what to do to keep their milk sterile. Phew! It’s a lot of work! I’m done pumping now, and I’m thankful that I don’t have to add any more stress to my pumping/storing/cleaning process.

Be sure to look over the information sheet. Being aware of the guidelines will help you to think more seriously about cleanliness. Making a couple of changes to your routine could be fairly simple and easy to achieve.  

For example, here was my work pumping and washing routine. Note, I had multiple sets of pump parts which enabled me to wash less often. I recommend having 2-3 sets to make your process easier as well.

  • Pump at work mid-morning. I didn’t have access to a sink most of the time, so I’d use pacifier wipes and leave my pump parts in the fridge between pump sessions. Sometimes I’d get to wash them out a little and use a sanitizer bag, which I think helped, but still didn’t clean as well as I would have liked.  
  • Pump at work mid-afternoon. Wipe down the parts and take them home to wash in the evening.
  • At home I washed all my pump parts in my sink with super-hot water, soap and a little vinegar. I would let them soak a little while so the hot water could get into all the nooks and crannies, then I’d scrub them with a dedicated bottle brush and let them air dry.  I also regularly sanitized them in the microwave with a bottle sanitizer, though not every time.  

How necessary is it to completely implement all of these guidelines? That’s a decision you need to make individually based on your situation. You can probably easily make a couple of changes to your home washing routine, like using a separate basin and sanitizing regularly, but at work? That’s probably a very different story. The good news, is that as long as your baby isn’t immunocompromised in some way, you’re probably already doing a fine job.  

Jenny Ditch lives in Illinois with her husband and daughter and is so glad she doesn’t have to remember to take those sanitizing bags out of the work microwave anymore! 

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