19 answers

How Long Does a Breast Pump Motor Last?

I purchased a new Medela pump in style when I had to go back to work after my first child. I used it 2-3 times a day every day for just under a year. Should the motor still be good? Toward the end, I wasn't getting as much milk no matter how long I pumped and I don't know if it was me or if the motor was wearing out.

We're trying to have a second child and I don't know if I can rely on it again. Has anyone else used a pump (regularly) for multiple children?

What can I do next?

Featured Answers

I have the same pump and it wasn't working as well towards the end of baby #1. Then with baby #2 it was horrible! I discovered that my tubing had a hole in it. I replaced the tubing and all is fine.

Hi S.,

I bought my Medela 9/05 and used it for 6+ months, about 4 times a day. I started using it again 7/08 and used it 4 times a day until just recently when I started pumping a little less frequently. I thought my motor went out once, but I just didn't have everything connected right. The previous posters were right about the membranes especially. Several of mine have developed small rips and seem to get thinner and more pliable after so many uses/cleanings, so new ones really help with the suction. Good luck on becoming pg soon!

More Answers

Your pump should definitely still be good. I would either call the Breastfeeding Resource Center at Harris Methodist, downtown Ft. Worth or a lactation consultant and see if they will test the suction on your pump. Good luck!

S.,
I have had my pump in style for 10 years and after 4 children, still works like the day we got it!! I did find that at the end of nursing each child (about 10-11 months) I wouldn't produce as much as in the begining, for the pump. I think I got so used to the child nursing, that I wouldn't let down as well for the pump. I thought the same thing that you did about the pump not working as well, until I got it out to use w/ our 2nd child and it was just as effective as when I used it in the beginging w/ the 1st.
Good luck!
S.

I am the 3rd person to use my pump (we sanitized it well after 2 of our good friends used it). They both used the pump for about 6-8 months each before I got it and it seems to work well. It is also a Medela.

I used mine with both my kids and also let a friend use it and it still works. I think they are made to work for a very long time.

It's most likely your milk supply. I nursed my oldest for a year, and after about 9 months, I could nurse my baby fine, but if I pumped I could not get anything out. Baby's are more efficient than the pump, and as your milk supply dwindles due to less demand as the child grows, I found the pump not to be useful any more. That being said, checking the membrane is a good idea. I did have a problem at one point with suction, and changed the membranes and it made a world of difference. The pump motor should last a long time.

It's probably you. At about 10 mos to a year, your milk supply decreases.

I took my pump to Sharon Mattes at Natural Beginnings before the birth of my 3rd...she was able to use something to check how strong the motor was. If she is not in your area, you could probably find a doula or LC who could do it if it would make you feel better. I went ahead and replaced my tubing and the membranes...

that is a great pump. you can have it serviced to make sure it is working properly. you should be able to use it with several children. my best guess for not getting much milk towards the end is that your supply was going down. a pump just can't do what a baby can do and you will never get as much pumping as you would if baby nursed. my baby would drink 4oz (early on) but it would take me more than 1 pumping session to store up that much milk. I just didn't respond well to the pump.

I have a medela advanced pump and style and have been pumping for almost a year. I stopped nursing after 4 months and just pumping for about 6 times a day. I had the same problem and called medela. They sent me replacement parts and now it works fine. Make sure the membrames do not have any rips or holes. I would call medela and see if they can help.

Hi, it may be your pump. I have 3 children and used it with all three. I even lent it out twice. still working today.

I have the same pump and it wasn't working as well towards the end of baby #1. Then with baby #2 it was horrible! I discovered that my tubing had a hole in it. I replaced the tubing and all is fine.

I'm betting the motor is just fine. If there's problem with the pump it is likely the white - gosh it's been so long I forget what it's called - membrane in the horns. If they don't form a tight seal then you won't get suction. Also make sure everything is nice and tight, the tubes to the machine and the tubes to the horns. Even check the dial and diaphram on the machine are on tight. All of these parts can get loose or wear out and are replaceable. If the pump sounds the same and has the same rhythm it is probably fine. I know of a ton of medelas that have gone through several kids and last and last. When the motor wears out you'll know it. Good luck and way to go for giving your baby the best. I know how hard it was, I too pumped at work for a year. The dreaded black bag, uggggg. :)

Did you change out the little white rubber pieces every 3 months? I never knew this the first time & was the reason I was getting less milk (due to decreased suction). Your motor should still be good. Mine has lasted for years.

I would recommend not getting a new pump! I have used a double electric pump for three children. I actually got it from a friend who had used it for her children. I didn't have to pump all the time with my first two children, but with this last child now I pump every feeding. One thing that you might not know is that there is a way to check the strength of the pump. I went to a lactation consultant and she used an "instrument" to check the strength. I could give you her number and you could call her in you are interested. I did not have to pay for her to do that. She lives in Garland. The other thing I have learned is that the pump only gets out 75% of what a baby can get out of your breast. My baby is 10 1/2 months and I can only pump out about 17 oz a day. But..she gets alot more of her nutrition from baby food now than when she was on breastmilk exclusively. Hope some if this helps!

My cousin gave me her medela breast pump when I had my first child. She had two children that she breast fed for at least a year for each. I breast fed my first for six months pumping two to three times a day, and am still bf my almost five month old, pumping two to three times a day, and it still works great!

My Medela pump also started to wear out at the end of the first year. I called the manufacturer, mailed it in to them & they sent me a brand new pump! Don't know if it will work for you - but you can always try!

Girl, this pump got me to nurse and pump for 3 kiddos! They will send you a replacement motor so CALL the customer service!!!!!!!!!!

Hi S.,

I bought my Medela 9/05 and used it for 6+ months, about 4 times a day. I started using it again 7/08 and used it 4 times a day until just recently when I started pumping a little less frequently. I thought my motor went out once, but I just didn't have everything connected right. The previous posters were right about the membranes especially. Several of mine have developed small rips and seem to get thinner and more pliable after so many uses/cleanings, so new ones really help with the suction. Good luck on becoming pg soon!

I know this doesn't answer your question, but I want to post it for other readers.

We've been told by nurses & LC's at Baylor All Saints to not share breast pumps. They can carry diseases like Hep C and HIV -- not to mention mold -- into the motor compartment through the humidity/air that goes through the membranes. This has been tested on old pumps and found to be true.
The only pumps that do not do this are the hospital grade ones because their tubing doesn't go to the motor. We use the Medela Symphony for now (rental) and the tubing goes to a little diaphram like thing.........so there's no air (or anything else other than electrical current) running through the motor.
They aren't just trying to sell the hospital grade pumps..........no one can afford to buy them............but they're trying to inform us for the health of our children. My son needed to go to NICU at first (he's 2 weeks old) and that's how we ended up renting a hospital grade pump for the 1st month. With my age (doubting we'll have another) it's hard for me to figure out if I'll purchase a non-hospital grade one or just rent for 6 mo. to a year.

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