Pumping at work: How well do you REALLY clean the parts between uses?

posted 3 years ago in Babies
Post # 3
5460 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: August 2012

I pump 4x a day, two of those are usually at work:

First thing in the morning- I steam my parts in a Medela microwave sterilizer bag thingy.

First pump at work- I rinse & dry my parts and leave them in the fridge in a zip loc baggie.

Second pump at work (or my lunch pump- whenever I can get it in!)- steam parts in the medela bag again

Last pump of the night- soak in hot soapy water & clean thoroughly.  I take the little valves off for this one.  The rest of the day I leave them attached.

**I have an Ameda, so my pieces and parts might be a little different from yours. 

Post # 5
215 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: October 2013

I don’t pump anymore but when I did I would just wash with hot water and dish soap, rinse well and let air dry on paper towel. THen put in zip lock bag. Did it this way with all 3 of my kids and they survived. I did run it through dishwasher each night though.

Post # 6
5460 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: August 2012

@iarebridezilla:  LOL, no I don’t think anyone would appreciate a nice garden salad topped with pump valves!  I am lucky enough to have access to a small unused office in our building so I can let my parts air dry between uses.  I do put my milk & parts in the fridge with everyone’s food, HOWEVER I put it all in my insulated lunch pack (thank you, ThirtyOne I love you!) so it’s not like anyone could accidentally consume my breast milk.  It’s also labeled.


Post # 7
1787 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: November 2012

No baby yet, but I’ll echo DaneLady and definitely plan to use the Medela steam bags (assuming all goes well with my supply).  The reviews on them are really good.  Just wanted to point out that each bag can be used up to 20 times, so don’t forget that otherwise they are way.too.expensive. 

There’s also the wipes that I plan to use maybe in between.  My friend uses those (and only those) and she’s had no problems with her little one. 


Post # 9
2740 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: April 2010

I pump 3x a day at work.  I wash the parts with soap and water after each use, and between uses I store them (along with the milk) in an insulated cooler bag with ice packs.

I’m not keen on leaving the milk or the pump parts out for all to see.  No room to put the whole cooler bag in the office fridge and my coworkers shouldn’t have to reach past my bodily fluids to grab their sandwich and nor do I need everyone to know what size nipple flanges I use.

Post # 10
577 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: April 2012

I only wash my pump parts once a day. When I worked, I just rinsed all the parts with hot water after each use, shook the water off, put them back together (yes they were still wet), and put them in my bag. I didn’t have a reliable fridge and I kept my milk in a cooler. Now that I stay at home, I just put my pump bottles with flanges in the fridge after each use without rinsing them or anything. I pump 2 or 3 times a day, I take them apart and wash them every night. It has worked perfectly fine.

You could put them in a big tupperware and put the tupperware in a paper or cloth bag in the fridge so nobody can see what’s inside.

Post # 11
3677 posts
Sugar bee

Ina May’s Guide to Breastfeeding echoes the same advice caritas gave you: about once a day is frequent enough. From p. 161,

“Practicing good hygiene is very important in pumping and storing your milk. Dried milk left on your breast shields or any of your pump parts can be a medium for bacterial growth, which could infect you or your baby. Wash your hands with soap and hot water each time before handling the breast shields and the pump … If you are pumping multiple times in a day, studies have show that, due to special live properties in human milk, it’s not necessary to wash the parts of your pump each time. Once every eight to ten hours is sufficient. Washing your pump parts when you return home will save you time at work.”

So, she’s definitely not advocating being lax on hygiene, and she says waiting until the end of the workday is fine. (She unfortunately doesn’t give citations for the studies, which I would have preferred, but Ina May is a pretty reputable source of information on these matters.)

Post # 12
10384 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: September 2010

My friend at work who pumps has multiple sets of parts that she presterilizes every night at home. Makes it less time consuming at work :-).

Leave a comment

Sent weekly. You may unsubscribe at any time.

Find Amazing Vendors