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Breast Pump Sterilisation

(13 Posts)
Unexpectedbaby Fri 16-Dec-16 23:23:48

I wonder if anyone can give me some advice.

DD came a little early this week and is currently on NICU. Due to not tolerating formula and an infection she has been nil by mouth for 2 days now with the hopes of starting feeds tomorrow. I have been expressing at the hospital and sterilising everything there as they have a set up for me but tonight we have decided to come home so I can get a better routine and milk supply going for when her feeding is fully established.

My question is. Do you need to sterilise you breast pump parts after every single use? If so, how do you tackle this when out of the house for an amount of time that will require you to pump away from home?

Also, if anyone has any tips for exclusively expressing I would be hugely grateful.

OP’s posts: |
sycamore54321 Sat 17-Dec-16 01:09:38

Not at all an expert but I think you should ask your NICU for advice. Presumably your baby is more delicate than a healthy term baby so there may well be a need to be hyper vigilant. Lots of stuff from pro-BF sites seems to suggest that breastmilk is this magical mythical stuff and practically never grows bad bacteria etc so sterilising is unnecessary or only once daily etc. I read that with huge scepticism - to me, breastmilk with moisture, sugars and warmth is the perfect environment for all parts of bacterial growth and I would not be willing to take the risk for my baby, particularly a new born.

For the moment, until you are advised otherwise by someone familiar with your child's particular needs, I would definitely wash and sterilise each time, even if it is a huge hassle

Best wishes for your baby to recover rapidly and get home from NICU soon

Littlelegs19 Sat 17-Dec-16 01:16:24

I pumped for a short time and took apart my pump and sterilised it after each use as that's what the instructions said to do. I'm not sure how you would tackle this out of the house though. Maybe contact NICU and ask them? It maybe ok to just do it once a day but give it a really good rinse after each use?

I hope your baby recovers quickly and is home with you soon. flowers

SpeakNoWords Sat 17-Dec-16 01:51:07

I sterilised after each use, and had multiple sets that I could take with me pre-sterilised if I wasn't going to be at home to express. If you're somewhere with a microwave you can get microwave bags for sterilising that take a couple of minutes.

BunloafAndCrumpets Sat 17-Dec-16 02:28:12

Congratulations on your baby and hope she's doing well flowers

I would second the advice to ask NICU re this.

A tip: I bought the same brand pump they used at the hosp (smaller version). They had given me a couple of sterile sets at hospital I could use with my home pump, so had spares to sterilise/wash.

Also: you can get t tippee or Milton travel sterilisers that might work for you

Also: the mw told me I could keep pump bits in A food bag in fridge for 24h and use several times between sterilising (by daughter was at home at that point tho)

All the best! You're amazing. Pumping is hard but worth it

Rocket1982 Sat 17-Dec-16 05:00:10

You could get a hand pump to take out with you. I pump 8 times a day and have 4 hand pumps, so I just sterilise them all twice a day. They are about £25 each.

Unexpectedbaby Sat 17-Dec-16 09:16:33

Thank you all. You all pretty much confirmed what I was thinking. Best to be safe and sterilise every time. Especially while she is so little. I will talk to the NICU today as well.

I don't think I have the best pump either to be honest. Having used it last night, during the night and this morning I seem to be getting less each time where as with the hospital one it's the opposite. It's day 4 today and I have woken up in pain and feeling really full so hopefully that will help things!

Thank you all again

OP’s posts: |
BunloafAndCrumpets Sat 17-Dec-16 10:35:01

Good plan OP.

Our hospital used medela double breast pumps which were great. The local feeding hub were able to lend me one for a couple of weeks which was fab. It is also possible to rent them round here (Somerset). It's def worth asking your mw or la levee league to see if that's an option as the hospital grade ones are more efficient.

I eventually bought a medela swing pump for home (second hand but used my own boob bits kits so no hygiene issue)

Hope all goes ok today!

Unexpectedbaby Sat 17-Dec-16 13:14:27

That's what our NICU have here and just expressed more from just one side than I am getting from both at home. They have said I can take one home while baby is here which is amazing.

She has eaten today and kept it down and wants more so can't afford an ineffective pump now!

I am thinking of getting the medela swing once she is out. Read some good things today.

OP’s posts: |
AppleMagic Sat 17-Dec-16 13:22:48

I'm in the US and here the NICU just advises washing in hot, soapy water - no sterilising at all.

If you get a Medela or Ameda pump it is pretty cheap to buy spare sets of the parts that need cleaning each time. The expensive bit is the motor unit part.

You may not need to pump much when baby comes home though. DS was born 6 weeks early, was tube fed at first, then bottles only in the NICU. Within a week of getting him home I was able to transition him entirely to breastfeeding.

TheDisillusionedAnarchist Sat 17-Dec-16 13:24:08

Check with the NICU but most are now on wash with warm soapy water after each expression and sterilise once a day. This was due to a study which showed that advice to sterilise after each expression increased bacterial contamination (because people didn't wash properly. Washing well is key)

SpeakNoWords Sat 17-Dec-16 14:36:37

I've got the Medela Swing, used it 4 years ago for DS1 and now again this year for DS2. I've found it to be a good home pump, not had any problems with it. The only thing I would say is that if you have to express for a longer period of time, a double pump is much more time effective than a single pump.

You might find that you can transition to direct breastfeeding once you're home. I've done this twice now, so it is doable.

mimiholls Wed 21-Dec-16 14:09:48

I exclusively pumped for 3 months. I would seriously recommend hiring the double symphony pump from medela. About 40 quid a month, it's the same one they use in the hospital and is far far more efficient than the swing. Very easy to hire via their website. I sterilised the equipment once a day and washed with hot soapy water in between each use. You could get a hand pump for if you are out and about. To begin with you will need to pump every 2 or 3 hours but as your supply establishes you can go longer so may not need to pump outside house, I never did.

It is a labour of love and I didn't realise just how draining the whole thing was until I stopped. Good luck x

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