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Thread: sterilizing pump parts

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
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    Default sterilizing pump parts

    How often do you sterilize pump parts? In the NICU and until now we were sterilizing them daily in the quick clean steam bag from Medela. This was for premature infants but they will be 40 weeks next Tues and I am wondering if things change then. When I had my full term baby I did not sterilize that often, I don't remember how often but it sure wasn't daily although I would wash parts.

    Also do most of you just sterilize with boiling water 20-30 min or use the steam bags?
    Nursed my sweet daughter 3 years, 3 mos.

  2. #2
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    Jan 2013
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    NY
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    Default Re: sterilizing pump parts

    I use the steam bags in the microwave every day, just because it's easier for me. I pump a lot at work, and don't always have time to soap and water wash as good as I would like to during the day, so for me, the steam bags at the end of the day help me feel like I'm killing whatever my time constraints leave behind!

    As far as I know, once babies are no longer in a delicate state, you don't have to sterilize at all. Just wash. But I still like to sterilize with the bags!

  3. #3
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    Oct 2012
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    Default Re: sterilizing pump parts

    My routine was to wash pump parts daily in warm, soapy water, and boil on the weekends for 10 minutes. Actually with my first baby I don't think I sterilized at all, with the second one I had thrush so for a while was sterilizing constantly but then fell into the once a week routine. Which was not based on any sort of data but was more a convenience issue, ie having more time on the weekends to spend sterilizing. My understanding is that either the steam bags or boiling are effective; I just didn't want to spend money on the steam bags! (Although it's probably quicker).

  4. #4
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    Jun 2012
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    Default Re: sterilizing pump parts

    My routine was to rinse (water only in the office kitchen) and air dry parts after each use, then soak/wash daily in hot soapy water at home in the evenings. A friend gave me a couple of the steam bags and I used them occasionally (maybe once a month over a year of pumping?). Honestly I felt like my daily washing was pretty thorough so I didn't feel like I needed to sterilize parts that often. But I didn't have a premie, and he was 12 wks old when I went back to work anyway, so I wasn't too concerned about vigilantly sterilizing all the time.

    I found the microwave bags didn't work equally well for all parts. I liked them for small parts (valves, connectors, and membranes), but not for flanges and collection bottles (too big - easier to do in one round in a big stockpot of water) or tubing. The plastic tubing was one thing that I sterilized via boiling water more frequently than the rest, because condensation would collect in them while pumping, and the steam bags seemed to create MORE condensation/pool water in them. So I would fill the tubing with water via the sink faucet, then submerge them in boiling water for 5-10 mins (if I didn't fill them at the sink first, the air would stay in them in the pot and keep them floating). Then to dry them out, you hold one end and whip them around in a circle a dozen or so times (outside, unless you want to splatter your house with water!), then hang to dry completely.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: sterilizing pump parts

    I'm going to ask our doctor next week when they're not really considered extra fragile and how long we should keep sterilizing pump parts. I wash the parts after every feeding but I didn't do that with DD. Just boiling for that long seems like it would really heat up the house during the summer when we're already trying to keep it cool. I'm not sure how expensive the steam bags are because we just had the one the hospital gave us.
    Nursed my sweet daughter 3 years, 3 mos.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: sterilizing pump parts

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*krystine View Post
    I'm not sure how expensive the steam bags are because we just had the one the hospital gave us.
    I think they're like $15 for 2 on amazon, and you get 20 uses per bag.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: sterilizing pump parts

    Oh OK, I think we'll try the boiling water method. The water is continuously boiling while you sterilize them, right?
    Nursed my sweet daughter 3 years, 3 mos.

  8. #8
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    Jan 2013
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    Default Re: sterilizing pump parts

    Yes, I do a continuous low boil for ten minutes when I am out of bags.

  9. #9
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    Oct 2012
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    Default Re: sterilizing pump parts

    Me too. I keep the lid on the pot for a "steaming" effect, which I think also helps keep the kitchen from heating up.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
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    Default Re: sterilizing pump parts

    I put my pump cups in boiling water and it cracked, so be careful. Now, while at work I only rinse with hot water and pat dry and once every few weeks I let sit in hot soapy water for a good cleaning. My son is 10 months old, has never had a problem, knock on wood and nor has my breasts. (I would get an occasional bleb on the nipple from poor positioning while baby was latched but that is something totally different.)
    After six years of infertility and 2 miscarriages later , I am proud to say I am the happiest woman alive thanks to my son Giuseppe
    Nicole Marie

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