If there is anything mothers should know, it is maintaining good hygiene for themselves and the baby, and this includes knowing how to clean breast pump tubing. After going through the stress of carrying a child for nine months and the pain of pushing him out, don’t you think it’s very necessary and important that you keep the baby’s feeding wares and other stuff away from microbial contamination?
If you are a first-time mom, you’re probably new to how to do these things but not to worry, you will get an idea from this article but before that, I want to be sure you know what breast pump tubing is used for.
Don’t be too surprised by the last statement above. A lot of new moms fall victim to over-purchasing. They buy whatever salesmen cajole them to buy even when they know close to nothing about it. If you fall into that category, don’t feel bad. It’s normal. The joy of having your first child can make you do just that.
What Is Breast Pump Tubing?
Breast pump tubing is a part of this device called breast pump, and it plays a vital role in ensuring that the best suction is produced. It is a plastic-like object and it works alongside the breast pump shield called the flange. This flange is what makes expressing breast milk into the baby’s bottle very easy.
Breast pump tubing is a delicate part that requires total attention when handling it. This is because any little hole sustained in the tube will affect the ability of the pump to produce the best kind of suction needed by breastfeeding mothers. It is therefore advised that it should be cleaned gently and changed whenever the need arises.
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How to Clean Breast Pump Tubing
Keeping the tubing clean and dry is of great importance to avoid the growth of bacteria and germs thereby protecting the health of the baby.
The process isn’t difficult at all, all you need do is follow the guidelines as discussed here carefully. The procedures for washing the breast pump tubing are:
1. Firstly, detach the tubing from the breast pump. Turn off and unplug the pump from the electric source. Then separate the tube and the flange (shield).
2. Put the tubing in a basin of water to remove the milk residue inside or use running water to remove the milk.
3. Soak in warm soapy water and allow to sit for 3 – 5 minutes before washing properly.
4. Rinse with clean water to ensure that there is no more soap residue remaining in the tubing.
5. Ensure that you get rid of all the soap in the tubing then hang it to air dry.
How to Dry Breast Pump Tubing
After washing the tubing, it is important to dry it to remove all drops of water in the tubing.
Follow these steps to do just that:
1. After washing the tube, hang it to let the tubing air dry with the ends of the tubing open to let air enter the tubing.
2. Allow the tubing to dry overnight by placing it on a clean towel since it will take a long time to dry completely.
3. Fix back the tubing to the pump and run for about 5 minutes for quicker drying of the tubing.
4. After drying the tubing, ensure to sterilize it to get rid of all germs that might be in it for the safety of the baby.
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How Often Should I Clean My Breast Pump Tubes?
Cleaning the breast pump tubes may seem to be a tiring chore but it’s necessary to maintain a good and healthy life for your little one. It is of utmost importance to take care of all the things that are being used for a baby, including breast pump tubes.
Breast pump tubes should be cleaned as often as it is used. To break it down, it should be cleaned after every usage. This is because any remnant on the tube will be a den for microbial activities.
If you notice a growth of mold in the tubing, ensure to dispose it immediately because the tubing is no longer hygienic enough for the baby. It is advisable to have two or more sets of the tube as extra because the need to use another one may arise at any time and it may be when you did not plan for it. Do not sterilize by boiling. Tubes are plastics and may dissolve in high heat.
Do I Need to Wash Breast Pump Parts After Use?
it is important to wash breast pump parts after every use. And also sanitize them once a day after washing for both mother and child to have an amazing and healthy pumping of the breast milk. When it comes to washing the parts of the pump, no part is exempted no matter how little. As far as it comes in contact with not just the breast milk but the breast itself it must be washed after every use.
Do You Need to Clean Breast Pump Tubing Before First Use?
Of course, Yes!
You need to clean not just the breast pump tubing but the entire parts before first use. This is necessary because you don’t know the chemicals that came in contact with it as a result of packaging and storing. You do not know how it was handled by the seller and the number of customers that touched it before you finally bought it from the seller.
To maintain and promote both your health as a mother and that of your child, it’s important to clean the tubing before first use.
Also Read: How to Relieve Shooting Pain in Nipple Breastfeeding
How to Wash Parts Of Breast Pump
There’s a need to learn how to wash the breast pump parts appropriately to avoid bacterial infection. The process isn’t rigorous, and it’s very essential.
1. Firstly, disconnect the parts of the pump to enable easy and good washing.
2. Soak the parts in soapy warm water for 2 to 3 minutes after disconnecting them, and wash thoroughly.
3. After washing, rinse every part of the pump in running water, especially the part that comes in contact with the milk to remove the milk residues.
4. Rinse very well to eradicate all the residues of soap. It may be with warm water also.
5. After rinsing, arrange the parts in a clean rack to air dry them After drying, store them in a clean place for use when the need arises. Avoid touching the inside of the parts of the pumps for health purposes.
How to Sterilize Breast Pump Tubing
Breast pump sterilization is necessary and the good thing is that there are different ways to do it. You can use the soaking method, dishwasher method, or microwave method.
For the soaking method, disconnect the pump parts and soak them in boiled water for 5 minutes without detergent. Remember, you shouldn’t subject the tubes to much heat because they may dissolve.
For a quicker option, you may use the dishwasher. Place the tubing on top of the dishwasher rack and run the dishwasher on both the hot water cycle and heat drying cycle. The germs and bacteria will be killed in the process with the help of the heat in the dishwasher.
The third method is the Microwave method. Place the tube in a microwaveable bag, add little water then seal the bag and put it inside the microwave. While in the microwave, allow it to sit inside for 3 minutes. Put the microwave on high voltage while sterilizing the tube using this method.
How Can I Dry My Breast Pump Tubing Fast?
There’s no big deal in drying your breast pump tubing, follow these steps to do so as fast as possible:
1. After washing with soapy warm water, shake the parts to get rid of the water remnant on them.
2. After shaking, switch on your hand dryer and dry the parts well. You can place them on a clean paper towel to enable efficient and fast drying. It’s that simple.
Also Read: Lactation Massage And It Benefits
Is It Necessary for a Breast Pump to Work With Tube?
The tube is an important part of a breast pump. For the milk to pump there must be suction and it is the tubing that provides this suction. That means that without a tube, pumping milk will not be possible.
Can Breast Pump Tubing Be Shared?
Whether the breast pump tube or the breast pump itself, it is dangerous to share it with another person. If the device is contaminated it will put the life of both the mother and child at risk of contracting the infection as a result of sharing with someone else.
No matter how clean it may look, there is every tendency that it may be contaminated. So it is important to avoid sharing a breast pump or any of its parts with another person.
Do Breast Pump Parts Need to be Dry Before Use?
Yes, it must be dry before use. This is to ensure that the baby does not ingest external liquid which may contain microbes that his body cannot fight against.
As you know, once mold is seen in the tube, it becomes automatically unsafe for the baby. And one of the factors that contribute to the growth of mold is moisture. To avoid this, ensure you dry every part of the breast pump after washing.
In conclusion on how to clean breast pump tubing, a breast pump is very useful as it helps nursing mothers to ensure that there is milk for their children even if they are not around. A breast pump cannot function without its parts which one of them is breast pump tube.
This tube is what ensures that breast milk pumps by providing suction. It’s important to know that this tubing has to be maintained by washing, drying, and sterilizing it to avoid the growth of mold. And prevent the baby from contracting infection in the process of feeding on the milk it was used to extract.