Thursday, June 18, 2015

How do I clean my Medela pump tubing?

We get a lot of moms coming in asking about cleaning their Medela breastpump tubing, whether for the Symphony hospital-grade rental pump, the Medela Freestyle pump or for the personal-grade Pump In Style Advanced breastpump.

One thing to note, milk shouldn't normally be going into your Medela tubing when you pump.  If you see milk coming back into the tubing, make sure of two things:

1. Your pumping bottles are upright while you're pumping and
2. Your valves and membranes are attached fully, and that they don't have any holes or cuts.  Only air is supposed to go through the tubes.

Every time after you pump, disconnect (and clean) all of your pump parts, but leave the tubing connected. Let your pump keep running for another 5-10 minutes with just the tubing connected - this will usually get rid of any little bit of milk or condensation.

If you do see some milk in your tubing after letting the pump run, you can clean your tubes by:

1. Holding the tubing upright in your sink, and letting cold water flow through the tubes.  (Don't use hot water, or it might melt the tubing.)
2. Then drying the pump tubing by attaching it to your pump without the breastshields or connectors - just the pump and tubing - and then running the pump for a few more minutes or until you don't see any more condensation.  You can also get condensation out with the 'cowgirl techniques'.  You can swing the tube around your head quickly like a lasso, or you can whip the tube to get any moisture out.

You can sterilize your breastpump tubing by using the Medela Quick Clean microwave bags. Just make sure that you use the special directions for tubing, and clean the tubing by itself, not with other pump parts. Steam-cleaning your pump tubes may cause clouding or discoloration, which is okay and doesn't affect your pumping or your breastmilk.

Hope this helps you to clean the tubing for your Medela breastpump - if you don't notice or forget to clean it, and you do get mold inside, you can buy replacement tubing either by coming into our baby store in Encino, CA or by ordering online - we carry both the replacement Symphony tubing with connectors on both ends and the replacement Pump-In-Style tubing with connectors only on one end.  We also carry the special replacement tubing for the Medela Freestyle pump.

Visit us at:
16101 Ventura Blvd. Suite 230
Encino, CA. 91436
p. (818) 380-3111 w.


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  3. I just got my pump. I know I clean and sanitize all parts before I use, but what about the tubing do I use right out of package? I have the Medela pump in style.