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Thread: Milk in tubing. Help!

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Oregon
    Posts
    48

    Default Milk in tubing. Help!

    I just started pumping with a brand new Pump in
    Style this week since I'll be going back to work at the end of November. One of the tubes keeps getting filled with milk. The manual just says to look for kinks and I don't see any. I had to pump on one side at a time this morning because of this and that takes a lot more time! Has anyone else had this problem and know how to fix it? Thanks!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    San Francisco
    Posts
    717

    Default Re: Milk in tubing. Help!

    Do the little white membranes need to be replaced or cleaned? You can separate them from the yellow part and clean them well. Milk used to back up for me when the bottles got too full. Also, rinse the tubing in warm soapy water and then let them dry so no icky stuff starts to grow. If you don't have any luck cleaning or replacing the membranes I'd call Medela and see what they suggest.
    Proud Mama to Noah Michael and Baby Charlie



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Posts
    10,440

    Default Re: Milk in tubing. Help!

    Put alcohol in the tube to kill stuff, but what you are describing isn't typical. Call Medela.
    Susan
    Mama to my all-natural boys: Ian, 9-4-04, 11.5 lbs; Colton, 11-7-06, 9 lbs, in the water; Logan, 12-8-08, 9 lbs; Gavin, 1-18-11, 9 lbs; and an angel 1-15-06
    18+ months and for Gavin, born with an incomplete cleft lip and incomplete posterior cleft palate
    Sealed for time and eternity, 7-7-93
    Always babywearing, cosleeping and cloth diapering. Living with oppositional defiant disorder and ADHD. Ask me about cloth diapering and sewing your own diapers!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Kansas
    Posts
    419

    Default Re: Milk in tubing. Help!

    I would NOT use alcohol to clean, since you may need to use this milk to feed baby and it takes forever for the tubes to dry. I would use vinegar, and in fact, when i used to have to take in home breathing treatments we were to clean the tubes with vinegar for that too. (it is basically the same machine for pumping milk and breathing treatments. A air compressor thing).

    Any way that being said, I personally never had this happen, but I heard a lot of moms having this problem on pump moms group on yahoo, most commonly I heard the solution was to make sure the pump was higher up then your breast. however, I used to have my pump in the car floor board while pumping in the backseat and still never had this problem. But, like I said, this has been what I have read others say. I do concur to call Medela.

    ~Heather~
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  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Posts
    10,440

    Default Re: Milk in tubing. Help!

    The alcohol evaporates and kills off germs. Also, if you let the pump run for a few minutes, it blows out all the moisture. Then let the tubing hang for a while. Perfectly dry tubes.

    I do it ALL the time. Really. I live my life stuck to a pump
    Susan
    Mama to my all-natural boys: Ian, 9-4-04, 11.5 lbs; Colton, 11-7-06, 9 lbs, in the water; Logan, 12-8-08, 9 lbs; Gavin, 1-18-11, 9 lbs; and an angel 1-15-06
    18+ months and for Gavin, born with an incomplete cleft lip and incomplete posterior cleft palate
    Sealed for time and eternity, 7-7-93
    Always babywearing, cosleeping and cloth diapering. Living with oppositional defiant disorder and ADHD. Ask me about cloth diapering and sewing your own diapers!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Posts
    10,440

    Default Re: Milk in tubing. Help!

    Susan
    Mama to my all-natural boys: Ian, 9-4-04, 11.5 lbs; Colton, 11-7-06, 9 lbs, in the water; Logan, 12-8-08, 9 lbs; Gavin, 1-18-11, 9 lbs; and an angel 1-15-06
    18+ months and for Gavin, born with an incomplete cleft lip and incomplete posterior cleft palate
    Sealed for time and eternity, 7-7-93
    Always babywearing, cosleeping and cloth diapering. Living with oppositional defiant disorder and ADHD. Ask me about cloth diapering and sewing your own diapers!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Maine
    Posts
    26

    Default Re: Milk in tubing. Help!

    So I read the response to Milk/Mold in tubing that tracy.fees gave, I wonder if she (he?) noticed that there was no answer given as to WHY is happens, just HOW to clean it. I saw my In Style has dried milk splatter in the first inch or so of the lines. I cannot take the little plastic connector off without a huge struggle so I my plan is to soak the lines in hot soapy water, then use a pipe cleaner to scrub the inside of the lines before rising and drying. We use the pipe cleaners all the time for small sized endotracheal tubes (small cats/very small dogs) and it works to remove dried-on gunk (lungs can be a dirty place!).
    Married 10/30/10 to DH Ryan
    DD Ruby 9/20/11

    Currently and learning

    I breastfeed because I couldn't produce enough formula.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Posts
    10,440

    Default Re: Milk in tubing. Help!

    I have only had milk come up into the tubing when I fill the bottles a bit too far. But this is why Medela pumps are one user only. The air, as it passes back and forth, picks up droplets, which can be carried back into the pump itself and cause mold to grow. Ick.

    Be sure it's a clean pipe cleaner We have brushes the staff uses to clean ET tubes. Dr. Brown makes some similar for cleaning their bottles. I use them to clean the connectors. I'm not sure I want to take my tubes apart...what if I can't get them back together?
    Susan
    Mama to my all-natural boys: Ian, 9-4-04, 11.5 lbs; Colton, 11-7-06, 9 lbs, in the water; Logan, 12-8-08, 9 lbs; Gavin, 1-18-11, 9 lbs; and an angel 1-15-06
    18+ months and for Gavin, born with an incomplete cleft lip and incomplete posterior cleft palate
    Sealed for time and eternity, 7-7-93
    Always babywearing, cosleeping and cloth diapering. Living with oppositional defiant disorder and ADHD. Ask me about cloth diapering and sewing your own diapers!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Maine
    Posts
    26

    Default Re: Milk in tubing. Help!

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*aprilsmagic View Post
    I have only had milk come up into the tubing when I fill the bottles a bit too far
    Not an issue for me, I'm getting about an ounce in each bottle. Would love to get more, but I'm working on it.

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*aprilsmagic View Post
    Be sure it's a clean pipe cleaner
    LOL, I used a clean, new one. Scrubbed the first 6 inches of tubing, rinsed well, flushed with alcohol, and hung to dry. Looks ok
    Married 10/30/10 to DH Ryan
    DD Ruby 9/20/11

    Currently and learning

    I breastfeed because I couldn't produce enough formula.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Northern Cal.
    Posts
    4,983

    Default Re: Milk in tubing. Help!

    Your pump should not be sucking milk into the tubes on a regular basis. I'd wonder if you got a lemon. I would call and potentially seek to get a replacement. Like PPs, I've only had this once or twice in many months of pumping, always because I'd overfilled bottles and things were starting to leak everywhere.


    You can call me JoMo!

    Mom to baby boy Joe, born 5/4/09 and breastfed for more than two and a half years, and baby girl Maggie, born 7/9/12.

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