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Old 10-12-2006, 07:50 PM   #1
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Don't reuse Madela pumps?

I went to my childbirth class tonight and the topic was breastfeeding. The lactation consultant very strongly recommend that the Madela Pump In Style (as well as several other pumps) be considere one-person items. The Madela in particular - referring to the fact that the milk can/may make contact with the tubing and be sucked into the motor, and then produce bacteria. She said that someone she knows took the panel off the front of the motor, and found that it had pulled in milk, and that there was build-up in the motor itself.

Does anyone know anything about this? I was given a very lightly used Madela, and just assumed that I could replace several parts, and sterilize others, and it would be okay to use... but now I'm not so sure.

I don't really need to use an electric - we're planning on DH doing one bottle feeding each evening ("Daddy Time" ), during which, I will pump... so an electric really is overkill... but I'm still a bit disappointed by this.
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Old 10-12-2006, 08:22 PM   #2
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Re: Don't reuse Madela pumps?

The only pumps OK'd for multiple users are hospital grade (Lactina, Symphony)and closed loop systems (the Ameda Purely Yours, I think.)

With that said, I made the personal decision to use a used pump. Usually if milk enters the motor, one of two things will happen - bacteria will form, or the motor will cease to function. I actually killed a pump by having milk back up into the motor. But regarding the bacteria.. there's bacteria in the air, too, to be frank, and that's what your milk would encounter in normal circumstances with a pump. If you had milk back up into the motor of a used unit - yeah, toss the milk just in case maybe. But in normal operation it won't ever touch it, and the parts it is in direct contact with are replaceable. There is always the chance that the previous person had a communicative virus that survived being dried out in the motor and could expose you and your baby, but I personally believe that chance is remote and I've not heard of an actual reported case of it happening.

But yes, the manufacturer and LC's recommend not purchasing/using a used pump of any type that is not a closed loop or multiuser system.
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Old 10-12-2006, 08:28 PM   #3
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Re: Don't reuse Madela pumps?

I used a Medela PIS with DS and I would get distracted and overflow bottles, and I did see milk go through the tubes into the area the tubes connect-- that's what makes it iffy-- the Ameda is the only one approved for use by more than one person.

That said I gave one of my PIS that got little use before I stopped pumping with DS (PIS aren't meant for exclusive pumping over long term this was the 3rd) to a 15 year old mom who was wanting to keep BFing and pump during school-- she got all new parts from WIC with a hand pump. She's used it for 6 months now.
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Old 10-12-2006, 11:20 PM   #4
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Re: Don't reuse Madela pumps?

Whittlestone pumps are also closed systems, and less expensive than some of the other closed system pumps (I got mine used for $100). You can sterilize everything but the one way valve, which you can order. Mine worked great, although now I just use an avent manual pump for occasional pumping - pulling out the big pump seems to be overkill for occasional over-supply (ds won't take bottles).
My LC gave us the same lecture, but at the end she said that there had never been a known case of any communicable diseases being spread by a used breast pump, ever.
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Old 10-12-2006, 11:34 PM   #5
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Re: Don't reuse Madela pumps?

They HAVE to tell you that for liability reasons. Yes, there is that chance (very small), and you just have to decide if you're willing to take that chance.

Personally, I was willing to take a chance on a used pump from someone I trusted
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Old 10-13-2006, 06:40 AM   #6
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Re: Don't reuse Madela pumps?

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Originally Posted by trashley View Post
They HAVE to tell you that for liability reasons. Yes, there is that chance (very small), and you just have to decide if you're willing to take that chance.

Personally, I was willing to take a chance on a used pump from someone I trusted
With DD #1 I used my SIL's pump, just bought my own stuff. With dd #2 I bought my own PIS and I am using it with dd #3 too.

Pumps are expensive, and especially if you only need it for occasional use, I would use the used one. The tubing and horns thingys on my new PIS (2004)are different than the old ones, less likely for milk to back up in them. And, on my new pump you can take the front cover of the motor off so you could check it or clean it.
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Old 10-13-2006, 06:32 PM   #7
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Re: Don't reuse Madela pumps?

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Originally Posted by MamaMegan View Post
I used a Medela PIS with DS and I would get distracted and overflow bottles, and I did see milk go through the tubes into the area the tubes connect-- that's what makes it iffy-- the Ameda is the only one approved for use by more than one person.

That said I gave one of my PIS that got little use before I stopped pumping with DS (PIS aren't meant for exclusive pumping over long term this was the 3rd) to a 15 year old mom who was wanting to keep BFing and pump during school-- she got all new parts from WIC with a hand pump. She's used it for 6 months now.
Im just jealous you could overflow a bottle LOL

even when baby was like 6 months,i could only ump about 1 oz total in 20 min doing both breasts... I dream of that milk supply LOL
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