The CDC has issued new breast pump cleaning guidelines after an infant contracted a rare but dangerous infection from contaminated pump parts. Their new guidelines aim to spread awareness of exactly what to do and how often.
“In response to the investigation, we reviewed existing resources for women about how to pump breast milk safely, but found little guidance that was detailed and based on the best available science,” says Dr. Anna Bowen, CDC medical officer. “As a result, CDC developed its own guidance.”
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.
Is it safe to place pumping parts in the fridge between sessions? Dr. Bowen says, “Although refrigerating used pump parts between uses might be OK if the pump kit is not contaminated, cleaning the pump kit after each use is safest and is particularly important for babies who are younger than two to three months old, were born prematurely, or have weakened immune systems.”
Can working moms who pump at work simply wipe down their parts after a session? “Quick-clean wipes cannot reach all surfaces of the pump kit, so thorough cleaning in a dishwasher or by hand is preferred,” Dr. Bowen says. If you can’t do that, she suggests having duplicate parts to switch out for each pumping session.
While we wish we could say we have some great time-saving tips on how to wash your breast pumps, in this case, take the time to thoroughly clean and disinfect each part after each session. You can find the entire article on the CDC’s website.
For a printable version of the CDC Breast Pump fact sheet click here.