A Mother’s Guide to Safer Pumping

March 8, 2023

By: Dr. Eric Levene, Chester Pediatrics

As a parent of a newborn, there is so much to consider when it comes to your baby’s safety. One of the many decisions facing new parents is how to feed their baby, whether it be what formula to use, how to breastfeed, or when you should start pumping. Your trusted Allied Pediatricians are here to help and support your decision every step of the way. You and your family are our top priority.   

Breast milk can be an excellent natural way to provide for a baby’s health. Pumped breast milk is a commonly used method to feed babies breast milk. Keeping the pumped milk and the pump clean and germ-free is crucial for the baby’s health, especially for premature infants and those with compromised immune systems or complex medical issues. 

Federal health officials have warned parents of newborns to sterilize equipment used for both bottle- and breastfeeding. Last year Federal officials confirmed an infant died from a rare infection tied to a contaminated breast pump. While this is very uncommon, it is a reminder of how important it is to sanitize breast pumps properly.   

Germs can accumulate quickly in breast milk or breast milk residue that remains on breast pump parts. It’s essential to keep your breast pump clean to help protect your baby from these germs. Please note if your baby was born prematurely or has other health concerns, your baby’s healthcare provider may have additional recommendations for pumping breast milk safely.   

Here’s what you need to know:  

  1. Wash your hands well with soap and water before each use!  
  1. Assemble your pump kit. Inspect your pump kit to be sure it hasn’t become moldy or spoiled while being stored away. If it doesn’t look right to you, replace your pumping kit immediately.   
  1. If you are using a shared pump, please wipe down all pump dials, power switch, and countertop with a disinfectant wipe.  

After every use, please be sure to:  

  • Store milk safely  
  • Clean your pumping area  
  • Take apart and inspect pump  
  • Rinse pump kit  
  • Clean the pump thoroughly either by hand, by sterilizing machine, or by dishwasher (please click here to see important steps while cleaning your pump)  
  • Wash pump basin and bottle brush  

Knowing how to properly store and defrost breast milk and clean bottles and nipples, whether from breast milk or formula, is a crucial and simple step in preventing rare infections. Mothers who pump at work also should be careful how they store and transport their breast milk.  

If you need help or have any questions, Dr. Lauren Macaluso from Allied Physicians Group, Breastfeeding Medicine Division recommends this information from the CDC, https://www.cdc.gov/hygiene/childcare/breast-pump.html. Your trusted Allied pediatrician is available to answer any questions, and the Allied Breastfeeding Medicine Division is available to any breastfeeding help.   

If you have any questions or concerns, please never hesitate to reach out!   

Allied Physicians Group is a partnership of more than 150 dedicated, caring physicians and 350 highly trained support staff. Allied serves over 180,000 patients with offices throughout Greater New York CityLong Island, the Hudson Valley, and beyond. Founded in 2006, Allied Physicians Group is a recognized leader in increasing healthcare efficiencies and patient satisfaction, emphasizing support, innovation, and collaboration. If you are looking for a Pediatrician near you click here, or for more information, please visit https://alliedphysiciansgroup.com/.