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Old 07-05-2012, 10:12 PM   #1
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Milk in Medela motor.

Can it be fixed? My friend was pumping and noticed milk in the tubes and now the pump is being weird. Is there a way to clean it out?
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Old 07-08-2012, 10:03 PM   #2
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Re: Milk in Medela motor.

Nope. This is why you aren't supposed to share Medela pumps. And one of the reasons why I will never ever ever use a Medela pump again. Ever. Medela has an "open pump system" which makes the milk open to the air and allows milk and moisture to get into the pump... which can then in turn cause MOLD to grow in the motor.

http://www.justwestofcrunchy.com/201...s-with-medela/

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Before anyone gets overly upset over that, let me tell you: Medela pumps are sub-standard. If more mothers knew the facts about their Pump in Style pumps, Medela would be selling a lot less of them. [I speak from experience; I have a PIS sitting in my closet, waiting to die a slow death in a landfill.]

[It's worth noting here that I know a lot of moms have emotional attachments to their Medela-brand pumps. I've written on this subject before and have seen backlash from those moms, who defend Medela in the face of the facts due to that emotional bond. If you want to read more about that, I suggest taking a look at Dou-la-la's blog post on Medela.]

These $300 breastpumps have to be (are supposed to be) tossed in the trash when moms are finished with them. They are not FDA approved for more than one user. There’s a huge black market for the sale and donation of used Medela pumps, thanks to Medela’s savvy WHO-violating marketing campaigns and their huge market share.

There are “closed system” pumps and “open system” pumps. Medela is the latter. Having an “open system” means that milk can back up through the tubing and contaminate the motor to the pump. And while the tubing can be cleaned or replaced, the motor cannot.

That means if milk makes it into the motor, so could a hypothetical seccond user’s, at which a time they’d mix. The motor can’t be cleaned or sanitized, and there’s no way to know if milk ever contaminated it. So, if you’re using a second-hand pump, it might be clean, or it might not.

This isn’t to say that breastmilk is unclean or unsanitary. Far from! But, knowing whose milk the pump has been exposed to is vital, as this research shows.

Even if you follow the rules an purchase a new Medela pump, keep it, and never allow it to be used by a second party, you can still have problems. It’s important to note that Medela is completely open about their pumps being single-user only, they’re very forthright about that. What’s not being said, though, is that if milk or condensation make their way into the tubing and then motor, the pumps can grow mold inside their motors.

There’s no way to tell if there’s mold in the pump motor without opening the case. If there is mold, the mold spores will be wishing and wooshing through the pump tubing as the pump runs, coming into contact with the expressed milk. (Not believing this? There are seasoned IBCLCs who will tell you about Medela pumps they’ve cracked to find massive mold growth. This isn’t a remote, small possibility; it’s very real.)
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Old 07-09-2012, 09:57 PM   #3
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Re: Milk in Medela motor.

Yes there is a way to clean it. I emailed Medela CS and they gave me the following directions below and a new set of tubes for free!


Thank you for contacting Medela. If the tubing is dirty or if milk has backed up into the tubing, remove the tubing from the pump and breastshield connector. Wash the tubing in soapy water, then rinse in cold clear water. Shake out the water droplets and hang to air-dry. For faster drying, attach the tubing to the pump and run the pump for 1-2 minutes.

Detach the faceplate using the thumb tab on the right side. If there is liquid behind the faceplate, wash the faceplate in soapy water, then rinse in cold clear water. Use a damp cloth to wipe the Pump diaphragm, inspect for tears or punctures. If there are any tears or punctures, the pump needs to be replaced. Inspect the rest of the backplate. If the mounting ports are broken or cracked, the pump needs to be replaced.
Let it dry. After the Pump diaphragm and faceplate are completely dry, re-attach the faceplate. Locate the connection points and press on each individually, making sure you feel for 3 snaps.

A milk back occurs due to heavy let down or when milk flows fast resulting in the membrane not opening and closing fast enough. Some women just have a heavier let down.

The valve and membrane may not be cleaned properly. Remove from each other, wash in warm soapy water, dry and reassemble after each use. You may also need to replace your membranes.

Overfilling the bottle past the valve and membrane could also cause the milk back up. Leaning forward or lying down while pumping, milk may back up through the valve and membrane.
To download an instruction manual visit http://www.medelabreastfeedingus.com...Whats-Included
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Old 07-09-2012, 10:55 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by susanq
Yes there is a way to clean it. I emailed Medela CS and they gave me the following directions below and a new set of tubes for free!

Thank you for contacting Medela. If the tubing is dirty or if milk has backed up into the tubing, remove the tubing from the pump and breastshield connector. Wash the tubing in soapy water, then rinse in cold clear water. Shake out the water droplets and hang to air-dry. For faster drying, attach the tubing to the pump and run the pump for 1-2 minutes.

Detach the faceplate using the thumb tab on the right side. If there is liquid behind the faceplate, wash the faceplate in soapy water, then rinse in cold clear water. Use a damp cloth to wipe the Pump diaphragm, inspect for tears or punctures. If there are any tears or punctures, the pump needs to be replaced. Inspect the rest of the backplate. If the mounting ports are broken or cracked, the pump needs to be replaced.
Let it dry. After the Pump diaphragm and faceplate are completely dry, re-attach the faceplate. Locate the connection points and press on each individually, making sure you feel for 3 snaps.

A milk back occurs due to heavy let down or when milk flows fast resulting in the membrane not opening and closing fast enough. Some women just have a heavier let down.

The valve and membrane may not be cleaned properly. Remove from each other, wash in warm soapy water, dry and reassemble after each use. You may also need to replace your membranes.

Overfilling the bottle past the valve and membrane could also cause the milk back up. Leaning forward or lying down while pumping, milk may back up through the valve and membrane.
To download an instruction manual visit http://www.medelabreastfeedingus.com...Whats-Included
Thank you very much!
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Old 07-09-2012, 11:28 PM   #5
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The problem is the milk likely got into the motor.
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Old 08-15-2012, 07:19 AM   #6
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Re: Milk in Medela motor.

although painful to have the spend the money on a new one.. better safe than sorry.
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Old 08-16-2012, 02:33 PM   #7
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I read so many reviews when I was buying a pump about how milk backed up into the motor or otherwise stayed in the pump. Scared me to death. I did not buy a Medela for that specific reason. I'll take a "crappier" but more sanitary pump over my constant worry about mold any day. I use an Ameda and have no problems with it.

From my iPhone, probably while BF'ing.
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Old 09-01-2012, 10:08 AM   #8
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Re: Milk in Medela motor.

I would not feel comfortable using a pump that had gotten milk in it. I'd be afraid I'd never be able to find it all and clean it all properly. Milk will quickly sour and become moldy. A closed-system pump is best and most hygenic. There are many other pumps that are as good or better than Medela. Medela is simply the most popular.
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Old 09-01-2012, 10:02 PM   #9
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I'm confused, I have used medela pumps for going on 10 years and have NEVER gotten milk in the tubes or the pump. I hope the fix works for you.
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Old 09-01-2012, 10:04 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by lildutch1
I'm confused, I have used medela pumps for going on 10 years and have NEVER gotten milk in the tubes or the pump. I hope the fix works for you.
If you don't pay attention while your pumping and pump more than 4 ounces milk will get sucked up in the tube.
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