Are you a new mother and trying your hands at using breast pumps for the first time? Or are you just done with breastfeeding your little one and wondering what to do with the pumping device? Well, it’s quite a legit concern considering many factors. You don’t know when or if you are going to need it anymore! But it pinches in the back to throw it off because, well, it was expensive!
Some mothers don’t even get there because of such legit dilemmas ahead. However, if you are a “soon-to-be” mom, and going through similar confusions, worry no further. Rather let’s focus on knowing what to do with an old or used breast pump.
What Is A Breast Pump?
Before we jump into the question, we must look into what a breast pump is and see whether it’s necessary for you or not. Breast pump is a device that extracts milk from the breasts of a new mother. Many women-turned-mothers are all confused about feeding their child. The confusion clouds around how much milk she is able to feed or how to assure breastfeeding while at work.
The solution comes handy with the use of a breast pump. You can operate it manually or can choose an automatic one. However, the choice remains subjective of the frequency of feeding. You can extract the milk and preserve it in specific containers for preserving breast milk.
When to Use A Breast Pump?
However, does every mother need a breast pump? Of course, not! There are specific situations when you might need to resort to breast pumping to breastfeed your child. Here are some of the situations when you can shift to breast pumps.
- When the child refuses to breastfeed normally.
- You want to have an increased supply of breast milk.
- When you are going out for a job and won’t be available to feed your baby by yourself. You can use a breast pump to extract and store the milk.
- When you deal with a flat nipple, it’s hard for the baby to get a grip. Then the breast pump comes as a help.
- When you want to measure how much milk you are feeding your baby, then pumping out helps to have the measurement.
- When you feel the need to release the pain and heaviness of holding milk in the milk duct.
- When you’ve already stopped breastfeeding, but you have to make a restart.
- When you lactate for an adopted child.
- When you gradually shift your child to the adult diet and detach from milk.
- When you are potentially ill and cannot breastfeed the baby manually.
Type of Breast Pumps
Depending on the usage, we can categorize breast pumps into the following types.
- Manual breast pump
Manual breast pump is a device that you can operate manually by hand. You might need to squeeze or press a trigger cap that induces the suction. These manual pumps are comparatively easy to handle and less expensive. You can even carry it when going out on a trip.
Manual breast pumps are smaller in size and apply for short-term uses. If you are going to extract greater amounts of milk, then this method is going to appear time-taking and exhausting.
- Electric breast pump
A lot of new mothers kick-start their regular work schedules immediately after a short maternity gap. An electric breast pump comes as a handy solution when you run short of time.
Besides that, if you want to get into the habit of pumping and increase the milk production level significantly, go for an electric breast pump. You can use it more frequently and reduce time consumption.
- Breast pump with battery
If you need to pump once or twice a day, a battery-operated breast pump is the best option for you. However, it is not as powerful as the electric breast pumps and also does not ensure stimulation of milk production.
Battery-operated breast pumps can appear tricky because you need to replace batteries from time to time.
- Used breast pumps
There are breast pumps you can use after someone else has already used it. Such pumps come with sterilization methods. Here, you can dispose of the part that comes in direct contact with the breast. Such breast pumps are mostly available at hospitals, or you can get them on a rent basis.
What to Do with An Old Breast Pump?
Once you are done with breastfeeding, you might wonder what to do with the device. Since they are quite expensive, you cannot just throw them off in the bin. Depending upon your further family planning and requirements, here are the possible ways you can put an old breast pump to use.
Preserving for Future Baby
If you plan on getting your newborn a companion in the future, you can store and preserve the pump in the following ways.
- Cleanse the pumping device and sterilize the parts that come in contact with the body.
- You cannot clean the battery or charging parts. Hence, wipe them thoroughly with disinfectants.
- Use sterilized zip-lock pouch bags to store them well.
- Place the pack at a place where it’s not too hot.
Donate to the One Who Needs
If having another child is out of the question, then the next best thing to do is to donate the device. It may serve the purpose for someone who might need it. However, you must make sure that yours is a closed system breast pump. Then only you should think of giving it to someone else.
In closed system breast pumps, you can sterilize the pumping parts. It has a barrier between the motor and the suction part. In open system pumps, both the parts are attached without a barrier. Hence, you cannot sterilize it properly.
However, often the suction power reduces with time. So, let the customer know that she might need to replace the suction device.
The most eco-friendly way to use an old breast pump is to recycle it. If you are a responsible mother, do consider contacting the product provider if they conduct recycling programs. Some leading breast pump manufacturer companies run such recycling programs to reduce environmental waste.
Recycling is particularly essential because the elements that breast pumps contain become harmful wastes when thrown into the environment. The electric devices produce toxic wastes that degrade soil quality.
Does Breast Pumping Hurt?
Usually, breast pumps don’t hurt. You might feel slight discomfort and tingling sensations for a few initial moments. However, you must consult with a lactation consultant if the pain persists more than 3 minutes or even when you’re not pumping. At times, the suction might hurt if the funnel placement is not proper.
In closer, we would like to recommend you to recycle the breast pumps that are old, or you’ve already used. What better way than this can assure environment-friendly motherhood?