CDC guidelines blog

How do you clean your breast pump parts? [New CDC Guidelines]

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Earlier this summer, a prematurely-born infant had his brain affected by poorly-cleaned breast pump parts, leading to meningitis and global development delays. In that specific situation, the mom would reportedly leave her pump parts soaking in soapy water, then rinse them off hours later. The water could have been a breeding ground for the germs, with samples of the bacteria found on the pump parts, sink, and in milk pumped at home.

As a result, the Center for Disease Control released new guidelines on how to clean breast pump parts. Their list of essentials is here, and a PDF fact sheet is here.

A good summary can be found on

  • Wash your hands before using your pump, and use disinfectant wipes to clean the outside of your pump.
  • After every use, take apart the pump parts and rinse them under running water. Don’t put them directly in the sink!
  • Clean your pump parts as soon as possible with hot, soapy water in a wash basin and brush used only for cleaning pump parts, or in the dishwasher.
  • Rinse in fresh water (don’t put them back in the same basin).
  • Air dry on a clean dish towel, but don’t rub the parts with the towel as this could spread germs.
  • Rinse your basin and brush, and leave them to air dry. Clean them as well at least every few days.
  • If you’re using the dishwasher, place on a hot water and heated drying cycle, or a sanitize cycle. Wash your hands before taking out the parts, and allow them to air dry.
  • Store items in a clean, protected area only after they’re completely dry.

This is very important to understand and remember. While infant issues from breast pump part cleaning are rare, they still can happen — and they can happen despite your best intentions.

The Nightingales can also help with any questions around breast pump care or breastfeeding in general, especially within our Concierge Services package.

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