In August 2017, the CDC released their first set of guidelines in regards to how to clean your breast pump properly. The new guidelines came after a premature baby contracted an infection from his mothers pump, which she washed in the kitchen sink. The bacteria was passed from her sink to pump parts and, in turn, to babys milk.
Prior to this, mama’s were just washing their pump parts as they saw fit. Dishwasher, sink, steam bags, pump wipes… there were a ton of difference solutions and strategies.
Here’s a how-to look at the new guidelines. You can also view the official CDC document here.
- Wash your hands before handling your pump.
- Sanitize the outside pumps, dial and switches of your pump with a wipe. Also wipe down the counter around your pump. (this is especially important if you are sharing a pump area with other mothers).
- Once you have completed pumping and have transferred your milk to the storage containers, immediately rinse your pump parts under water, but do not place in the sink.
- Place rinsed pump parts in a basin designated for only pump parts or other baby feeding items.
- Fill the basin with soap and water and scrub the pump parts with a brush designated only for pump parts and feeding items. This brushs hould not go into the sink or be used to clean family food items.
- Once the items have been cleaned with the brush, rinse them under water and place them on a clean, unused dishtowel to air dry. Do not try with towel or pat dry.
7. Once completely dry, move parts to a protected container to prevent any contamination while storing.
These guidelines were put in place to ensure that any milk expressed for baby is done so in a way that makes it is safe and free from germs as possible.
The biggest changes between my old cleaning habits and the new rules: I used to let my parts soak and I also used to towel dry lightly and let them finish drying while laying out. Now, soaking does not seem to be encouraged and towel drying is a no-no.
Also, my favorite hack of leaving pump parts in a Ziplock baggy in the fridge between pumpings seems to be out. This leaves me wondering is all other strategies are out the door as well?
While any mother is happy to take any measures they can to keep their baby safe, these new guidelines could make things much more tedious, especially for a mama pumping at work.