March 31, 2009,
E.R. asks from Silver Spring, MD on March 21, 2009
What to Do with Used Breastpump?
Does anyone know how to dispose of or recycle a used breastpump? I have the Medela Pump in Style. I used it slightly less than 1 year and was told it would last about 1 year. It says it is a single person pump, so others are technically not supposed to use it - for sanitary purposes I think. Is it worth saving in case of #2 or is there something do be done with it that doesn't leave it in a landfill???
T.K. answers from Washington DC on March 22, 2009
I have a pump as well. I can tell you that I got mine from a friend. She used it for her 2 children ( at least for 4 years) and I used it for my first one. With my 2nd one I had to buy a new one. I think that it is safe to use because the milk is not passed through the tubes. I just bought the breast shelds and bottles. I felt ok with it. If you give it to a friend who knows you well I think it is a BIG gift.
J.F. answers from Richmond on March 22, 2009
I agree with the other moms, don't trash it! I tried the evenflo pump and didn't like it, so I got the Medela, which I loved. It worked great for both my kids and when I was done I gave it to a close friend and she used it for 2 of her kids. I think it might have even been passed on to another friend of hers after that. New tubing was bought each time and the rest was sterilized. Medela is a good quality pump. Save it for #2 or pass it on, but either way, don't trash it!
H.M. answers from Washington DC on March 22, 2009
I did save mine for #2. I would contact a Breast feeding La Leche expert. I remember mine also took donations of clothes. You can sterilize the stuff by boiling it. Or they can buy the plastic pump cap for the bottle. Best of luck, so many low income women can't afford the pump.
A.W. answers from Washington DC on March 31, 2009
You don't have to dispose of the pump. Many women buy them used - you only have to buy new breast shields and bottles. Pumps cost hundreds of dollars and if yours is in good condition you can sell it on ebay or craigslist or your local paper.
D.S. answers from Washington DC on March 28, 2009
I had one that lasted ten years and three kids...keep it for #2 or sell or donate it!
M.R. answers from Washington DC on March 22, 2009
All of the responses here are correct, but here's the "deal"... Do YOU have a communicable disease? Have you had yeast issues while pumping? Do you have HIV or some other disease that could spread through bodily fluids? If the answer is "no", then your pump would be safe and fine to pass on to someone else, and it is CERTAINLY fine for you to keep for yourself. The "problem" with "personal use" pumps, as opposed to "hospital grade" pumps, is that the motor housings are not sealed. A hospital grade pump has a sealed motor, insuring that no moisture of any kind could ever enter the pump motor. That being said, the personal use pump, like you have, does run that risk, but the chances are incredibly low that could or would ever happen, and as I said, would depend on YOU being a carrier for a communicable disease.
If you do want to keep your pump to reuse for yourself, just sterilize the parts you would sterilize anyway (the shields, etc) and pack it away for next time. If you boil the tubes, they will turn cloudy, which will prevent you from being able to see if moisture has collected inside of them when you use them (this is not REALLY a problem, but it's best to keep the tubes clear and not boil them). You can always replace them if you need to, but remember that milk doesn't go into the tubes anyway--just sometimes condensed moisture from the process--so all you really need to do is run water through them, then shake them and let them hang dry. If you want to sell or give your pump to someone, they will probably buy all new "accessories" anyway, just for piece of mind.
I worked for a lactation consultant for years. We rented hospital grade pumps and sold the accessories for all types of pumps. Countless women reuse pumps... Even I did. As a matter of fact, my Medela Pump in Style was 5 years old when I got it (from a woman that I was comfortable with and knew was healthy), and I used it for two children of my own after that. It's still in my closet, just in case, waiting for #3.
E.M. answers from Washington DC on March 23, 2009
I've heard you can buy new tubes/bottles and it is ok. People who can't afford it would love to have the option of buying one second hand. I would never sell it with the tubes though, incase they are too lazy or cheap to buy new ones. Craigslist is a great option, or try your local consignment store. Search online for new tubes. Maybe you could buy them first then sell it as a set with new tubes. I'd also suggest keeping it for the second child. We used ours for 2 kids and it was fine. I'm waiting to sell till we're SURE no more kids.
D.K. answers from Washington DC on March 21, 2009
Definitely save it. Those things can last a lot longer than anyone guesses. With my first, I had an $11 hand pump from evenflo that I used for over a year and it was still in great shape, and I was working 12 hours shifts so it saw heavy use. Hold on to it and if you don't have another one, maybe you can sterilize it again and give it to a relative. I'm passing my Avent Isis pump on to my sister and she's glad to have it. I don't think the sanitary thing is of real concern if you're passing it to someone that know you well, like a relative.
K.L. answers from Washington DC on March 22, 2009
You could save it for your next child or you could sell it. As L. as the tubing and breastshields are replaced (the only parts that breastmilk actually touches) then it is safe to use it again for you or someone else.
I bought mine on ebay and then sold it on craigslist when I was finished with it.
A.S. answers from Washington DC on March 22, 2009
Truth be told, for obvious reasons, it is not a good idea to donate a pump or give a pump away to a stranger...yet, my girlfriend borrowed my pump - we have a long history together - and were completely comfortable in sharing. All pieces were sterilized and I purchased new tubing...that is all it took. Perhaps you are also comfortable sharing with a close friend.
L.S. answers from Dover on March 22, 2009
I actually used my sister's for my first 2 before it decided to stop working periodically so I bought a new one for #3. It was well used by my sister for her 2. I used it for travel and vacations only. She bought it in 97 and I used it from 04-06.
The hospital we used actual gave us new attachments when I asked about them.