How Often Do I Sterilize My Breast Pump Parts?

Hi Wendy and Toni
Please give me advice on how often I need to sterilize my breast pump parts. My baby is full term and very healthy, but I want to make sure that I am doing this right.
Celia in Phoenix
Answer from Toni & Wendy
Celia, you are clearly a smart mom who wants to do the right thing.  You probably don’t need to work too hard to keep your breast pump clean and healthy for pumping your breast milk.
Following each use, wash all pump parts that come in contact with your milk. I like using the dishwasher, because it is so much easier and does a good job with sterilizing.  You can also use hot, soapy water and rinse the parts thoroughly.
Wendy was smart and kept an extra set of breast shields and tubes.  She would put one set in the refrigerator or freezer after using it to save washing all these parts every time.  The second time she used them, she washed them.  This saved her a lot of time, especially when Gabrielle was an infant and she had less energy to spare.
If you do have a fungal infection or any infection on your breast, you need to thoroughly sterilize your parts every time you use them. The best way to do that is to boil the parts. Also, if you have any type of  fungal infection, put vinegar in the water, it is a natural antifungal agent.
As a new mom, Wendy and I know you have a lot on your plate.  Maintaining a healthy breast pump does not mean you have to work hard.
Lastly, if breast milk does not get into the tubing, you do not need to clean or sterilize them, unless you have an infection or bleeding from cracked are damaged nipples.
Take good care of yourself.

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  1. sara saad says:

    i want to know for how long should i pumping for my baby boy

  2. Well, Sara, that depends on how you mean “for how long”. If you mean months, then up to year is incredible, but if you give your baby breast milk for at least 6 weeks to 3 months that is wonderful too. Any amount of breast milk that you can get your baby is wonderful.

    If you want to know how long you should be pumping, then I always believe that you should pump into you can get no more out of your breasts. I was able to pump at least 8 oz. when I pumped. I would pump for about 20 minutes until my breasts were completely empty. As I established my breast milk, I was able to only have to pump 3 times a day and get about 16 ounces each pumping session. So, you must think about how much you pump instead of the amount of time that you pump.

    Good Luck!

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