View Full Version : sharing breast pumps

07-29-2001, 12:31 PM
As a first time mom, I just wanted to get some perspective from others who have reused the Medela Pump In Style. I have one from my sister-in-law that is in great condition. Once I replace the tubing, I can't see why it wouldn't be safe to use. Any opinions on the subject? What parts do I need to replace?

07-30-2001, 03:07 PM
Just boil everything (to sterilize), and it should be fine!

The directions that I had from Medela recommended placing parts in cold water in a pot on the stove on high for 20 minutes (watch so it doesn't boil over). Air dry parts when finished (I just dumped the pot into a clean colander/strainer in the sink).

I borrowed a pump from a friend, and I didn't replace anything.

08-01-2001, 11:21 AM
Personal use pumps are icky to share in the best of situations and down right dangerous in situations where the pump was obtained from a stranger.

This is why...the pump creates suction by pulling air in and over the the milk...the air that has been pulled over the milk picks up milk condensation and pulls in into the motor, which is not necessarily air tight and which you cannot remove to clean. Boiling the removable parts does not help.

They operate differently than a rental unit because with a rental unit, the air circuit in completed with in the disposable parts and at no time enters the pump.

If you know this persons health history very well, it may not be a huge issue (think about not only communicable disease but things like mastitis and breast yeast) Your baby will be exposed to all the previous users germs...it is kind of like allowing this person to nurse your baby. If the pump was obtained from a stanger, it couold be very dangerous. In my opionion, it is like sharing used underwear that cannot be cleaned completly.

One more thing...pumps do not last forever. Some moms get a used pump, find that the results from pumping are less than spectacular and assume they must not be making enough milk...and stop nursing, very sad.

Best to invest in your own pump.

08-01-2001, 10:19 PM
I borrowed the Medela from my sister-in-law and had the same concerns that you do. My lactation consultant gave me all new attachments (that were not even Medela--I think they were made by Avent)-- and informed me that it was perfectly safe. Her view was that these concerns about sharing were created by pump manufacturers to discourage sharing and to encourage people to invest in their own pumps.

08-01-2001, 11:32 PM
I am a lactation consultant as well, any LC stating it is OK to share a personal use pump is giving advice that is not supported by any pump manufacturer OR the FDA. I have taken these pumps apart to see what they look like inside after use.....TRUST ME, you DONT want to share!

As for using pump parts from another line of pumps on the Pump in Style...that is dangerous as well...this can cause severe nipple damage...any LC who is keeping current in her field should know this.