Re: Hown many sets of pumping parts do you need or use?
I have one set of pump parts. I use the Medela Quick Clean wipes to clean out the horns between pumping sessions and store the part assemblies in a Ziploc in my pump bag between pumping sessions - my first session of the day is around 9 AM and my last is around 3 PM, so the assembly with a bit of residual milk is spending only 6 hours at room temp. The time window for fresh milk at room temp below 72 F is 10 hours un-refrigerated. I feel comfortable with it being at room temp at this time of year for that amount of time, most of the milk is out of the assembly, and if the horns are cold I don't let down as quickly. During warmer months I will likely put the pump parts in the refrigerator because it's a bit warmer in the office during the summer. That will be the last few months of my pumping at work experience, though.
At home after work, everything is broken down and washed in hot soapy water, followed by a trip through the Medela micro steam bag. The water evaporates so quickly after they come out of the bag that I can re-assemble them within about 5 minutes.
This is my collection process:
- At night I set up three Drop Ins in the 4 ounce Playtex nursers with a Playtex milk storage sealing ring for each. In the morning the ice pack goes in the cooler bag with the three prepped nursers and one Medela collection bottle.
- At work, I pump one side directly into the prepped nurser (with the adapter) and the other side into the collection bottle. Whatever comes in the collection bottle is poured into that Drop In and I use the Playtex sealing ring to seal the Drop In and that one goes back into the cooler bag along with the now-empty collection bottle.
- At each pump session I just keep following this process. At the third pump session of the day any leftover milk that won't fit in the Drop In will stay in the collection bottle.
- At home, I remove the sealing rings, even out/adjust the milk amount in each Drop In, and attach the nipples/caps. The three nursers go back in the fridge and any leftover milk can be stored.
The benefit of this is that I only have one collection bottle to wash along with the pump parts, and I'm basically prepping DD's bottles for the next day as I pump. It works well for me.
I do have a backup set of the spare parts at home just in case I somehow break or lose anything. I didn't want to have to make an emergency Babies R Us run at 9 PM! I also carry a Medela manual pump in my pump bag just in case something goes wrong with the Freestyle itself.
Katie - mom to Lily, 8/5/2010