How to Store Your Breast Pump After Weaning
Getting ready to wean from the pump? Once your pump is no longer in use, here's what to do with it and how to properly store it for next time.
Ready to Put Away Your Breast Pump and Parts? Here's How!
If you’re in the process of weaning from your breast pump and getting ready to finish your pumping journey, you may be wondering what you should do with your pump – and that’s a decision that is entirely dependent on you! There are several options for how to store your breast pump, or what you can do with it if you’d rather have your pump completely off your hands (and your boobs).
If you’re planning to have another baby in the near future, you could plan to store your breast pump to use the next time around. Most insurance plans cover a new breast pump for each new birth (though some have limitations based on timing between pregnancies), but it can always be helpful to have your previous breast pump available as a back-up if you need it. Whatever the case, keeping your breast pump safely packed and stored somewhere at home is important if think you might use it in the future. Follow these steps to properly prepare your breast pump for storage:
- Thoroughly clean and sanitize your breast pump, kit, and all parts and accessories using up-to-date cleaning instructions from an official source like the CDC. For accessories that can’t be washed with soap and water (think – your car charger, power adapters, or pump body), wipe down the surface with your breast pump and accessory wipes – no soap and water needed!
- Sanitize your cleaned breast pump parts through steaming or boiling. For instructions, please refer to your breast pump’s instruction manual or the CDC’s guidelines. If you opt to steam your breast pump parts, try our Quick Clean™ Micro-Steam™ bags – steam cleaning can eliminate 99.9% of common bacteria and germs in about 3 minutes, using just a microwave and water.
- After cleaning and sanitizing, allow your parts, accessories, and breast pump to air-dry on a clean, unused dish towel in an area where they’ll be protected from dirt, dust, and germs. Your breast pump and parts may need a full day or longer to fully air-dry, and should be completely dry before being packed into a storage area.
- Before packing up your breast pump, be sure to wash your hands. Reassemble your breast pump one more time (we know, you could probably do it in your sleep by now – and maybe you have!), so you don’t have to worry about finding any loose parts that may have gone missing when you’re ready to bring it out of storage.
- Carefully pack your assembled pump and any additional pumping accessories in a clean, protected space – such as a new box (you can usually grab small cardboard moving boxes at stores like Walmart) that can be tightly sealed or a large, sealable food storage bag.
- Store your packed breast pump in any clean, dry area of your home – storage closets or nooks are great options. If you choose to store your breast pump in a basement or attic space, just be sure that it’s an area where everything will remain dry, protected, and at a moderate temperature to avoid any unexpected damage.
If you don’t need to know how to store your breast pump and are simply looking for a way to get it off your hands, you can always recycle it. Medela Recycles is an environmentally-friendly breast pump recycling service that participates in the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Innovative Waste Wise Program. It’s super easy to get started – Simply visit MedelaRecycles.com and click the orange “Recycle Your Breast Pump” button. If you have any questions about the process, visit our Medela Recycles FAQ page for more details.
You’ve done an amazing job pumping and providing your liquid gold to your growing baby – no matter what your breastfeeding experience looks like from here on out, Medela is here to support you. Every drop counts and your unique breast milk feeding journey is one to be incredibly proud of!