by Ashton Fortin Higgins, PhD, MEd, certifying cALS
Why do we need to change our pump parts?
Changing pump parts throughout your milk feeding journey is to ensure you have a good working pump to best help you express your milk if you choose not to hand express. It's also important for your safety to help prevent plugged ducts or mastitis. Ensuring you are swapping out old parts for new is important for bacteria growth and potential contamination.
Chances are you've probably seen a few guidelines out there as to when to change your parts. But none of them include some frequently used pieces, like inserts and cushions.
With my experience in obtaining used pump for pumping research, I've received numerous pumps (75-80%) with milk residue. This leads me to believe that we are just not able to get inside the connectors as well as we should. It's understandable. It's a tight spot! I've seen this residue in a crystallized form and as far as mould. This is why I've shortened recommendations that are already out there in terms of giving you the pump maintenance 411. It's primarily for baby's safety and to ensure your hard earned efforts are safe from contaminants.
Will I need to change my parts more often then this?
It will depend if you start noticing a decrease in input out of the blue. Aside from ovulation returning, it could mean that pump parts need to be replaced to improve suction and restore your pumps full potential. You be the judge of when you feel you need to swap out parts. These are simply recommendations for you to consider, and add to your pumping tool box.