65 answers

Sharing Breast Pump


I have a Medela Pump In Style which I would love to lend to my pregnant cousin, who's due in September. I'm currently still using it now, but by the time she delivers, my daughter will be 1 and I'm assuming that I won't be pumping anymore.

I know the manufacturer says do not share the pump, but if she buys her own tubes, breast shields, etc, is it really still a no-no?

I would love to hear from moms that have actually share pumps and had no problems as well as moms who have had problems. Thanks!

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

Thank you all so much for replying. I personally felt that as long as I knew no milk ever backed up into my motor (which is hasn't) and my cousin gets all new equipment (tubing, shield, membranes, bottles, etc), there should be no reason she can't use my pump. I'm glad so many of you feel the same way and even some professionals as well. Now we can both feel better about her using my pump when she delivers. Thanks again!

Featured Answers

Hi M.. I've shared my pump with several other Moms who have bought their own accessories. My pump is 8 years old and still holding strong. I've used it for 4 of my own children in addition to the other Moms who have borrowed it. The pumps are expensive and I was happy to help others. Hope this helps!


HI M. - I shared mine with my sister. She used it for 3 months and then gave it back to me after my second son was born and I was heading back to work. I told her she could get a new pack of tubes, etc - but she actually jst sterilized them a couple times. There doesn't seem to be any problems. I'd say you can do it - though I think it is safest to get the new materials. Someone told me it can be hard to get them. I was going to order the package set via the lactation consultant at the hospital where I delivered - but then never did. No problems so far. Good luck

My feeling is that that's pretty much their way of getting more people to buy pumps. I got one as a hand-me-down and really enjoyed using it (and had no problems).

You don't actually need to replace the tubes because nothing goes in them except for air. In fact, don't even wash them (the woman who gave me her pump tried to and it made them a little weird).

Simply wash and boil the other parts as you would a bottle and you're ready to go!

More Answers

You can definitely share a pump if you get all new accessories. I shared mine with both my cousin and sister. The pupmp is only the suction. It doesn't house any milk. Medela just wants you to buy a new one and spend the money.

I worked in a store that sold the pumps and many mothers would come in for the tubes and shields and said La Leche League approved reuse if parts are changed.

I have heard contradicting things-my Bradley instructor said not to share. She said something about germs/infections that could be in your milk storing in the motor? But that doesn't make sense to me because the milk never actually makes it to the machine. So when I was in the hospital I asked the Breast Feeding Consultants and they said they saw no issue with it as long as you got your own chords etc. So I went with their view!~

Hi M.,
My cousin gave me her evenflo breast pump without the attachments for sanitary reasons. I purchased my own attachments, and had absolutely no problems.
Good luck!

My sister in law and I have passed a pump to each other in just the same way w/o any problems. We just bought our own tubes, shields, etc.

i shared mine, lent it to a friend for her baby after i had my first; got it back, and then used it with my second; it was all fine -- i just sterilized all the pieces and got new breast shields (they make nicer flexible ones now anyway; they didnt have that kind with my first child a couple years ago. go ahead and lend it to your cousin and save her the $300!

Hi! I'm also a 36 first time mom to a 7 month old. My girlfriend lent me her Medela pump and I bought my own tubes, shields, bottles, etc and everything is going great! All is sanitary and there isn't a possibility of any contamination because we're not sharing tubes or any other equipment. My friend is happy that I can use her pump. I'm sure the manufacturer does not want people sharing pumps because then you can't spend the $350 for it. I would lend it to your cousin without any worries.

I can just speak for myself and say I used a friend's old Medela breast pump (bought new tubes, shields etc.) and had no problems what-so-ever. I spoke to the lactation consultant at my hospital and she explained that not all of the internal parts are sealed off (they are, however, sealed off in the industrial / hospital pumps, which can be rented) so bacteria etc. could potentially get into the pump and then into your milk... My friend used it for her two children, I used it (for a year) with my son and I finally had to throw it away... I think it served its purpose. If I'm lucky enough to have another child I'll spend the money for a new one because I couldn't have lived without it!

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