So you've just received your Spectra breast pump, and now you're wondering how to get it clean and sterilised so you can get started pumping. This post is going to run through how to sterilise your pump parts and keep them clean. We'll give you some quick pointers to start with and then go into more details.
Sterilise everything except the tubing (and pump motor)
Before you use your breast pump for the first time, sterilise all parts except for the tubing and obviously the pump motor. You do not need to sterilise the tubing because the Spectra backflow protector blocks breastmilk from ever being able to get into the tubing. If you're using a Dew 350, please never sterilise the backflow filters. They work by absorbing moisture, so sterilising them will mean they need replacing rightaway.
How to sterilise your breast pump parts
There are lots of different methods to sterilise breast pump parts. Choose whatever is your favourite method. Here's how to get started with some of the most common methods.
Sterilise using boiling water
- Place all parts into a large saucepan and cover with water
- Make sure there are no bubbles inside the bottles or other parts
- Place lid on the saucepan and bring to the boil
- Boil for 5 minutes (making sure pot doesn't boil dry)
- Turn off heat and allow to cool.
Make sure that your breast pumps parts aren't too crowded in the pan, as if there's not enough room parts can end up becoming warped while being boiled.
Miltons / chemical solution
We understand that Miltons is no longer recommended for sterilising parts, but if you are using Miltons then just follow the usual manufacturer's directions.
Using a steam steriliser
It's fine to use a steam steriliser to sterilise your breast pump parts. Please be aware that frequent microwaving of your breast pump parts can result in cloudiness / discolouration of the parts. This is a cosmetic issue and won't affect safety of the parts.
You don't need to sterilise parts after every use (assuming your baby is healthy & full-term)
If your baby is healthy and full-term, then it's not necessary to sterilise parts after every use. Check with your healthcare provider if you're not certain. For most babies, it's okay to just give the parts a good wash in hot soapy water and air dry. The dishwasher is fine, but avoid putting delicate parts like the valve and diaphragm from the backflow protector in the dishwasher as it will cause them to fray and need replacing more often. Sterilising silicone parts like valves and backflow diaphragms more than once, or putting them in the dishwasher, will cause them to wear faster. If you need to sterilise them plan on replacing them more frequently to maintain suction. We hope this gets you up and running a little faster with your Spectra breast pump. If you have a great tip for cleaning and care of your breast pump parts, let us know!