Breast Pumps & Bacteria
At Mothers Milk Cooperative, breast pump kit contamination is a subject we are quite familiar with. We are one of the few milk banks that test every shipment of milk for safety and quality. Back when we first launched in 2013 we began noticing correlations in our testing data relating to the age of the breast pump kit being used. To put it simply, we found that the first three months of using a new breast pump kit produced high quality - you could say grade A milk. By month four the quality dropped to equate to a C level, and by month six it failed to meet our safety and quality criteria. Once the milk donor replaced the breast pump kit, her quality would go back to grade A - with very few exceptions. This is why we recommend that all of our milk donors replace their pump kits every four months.
"The CDC's New Breast Pump Cleaning Guidelines Are a Must-Read for Pumping Moms"
Related to this, the CDC has issued new guidance on how to clean your breast pump after a preterm infant became seriously ill. Parents Magazine journalist Tina Donvito says, "...slacking off on cleaning your pump parts could have dangerous consequences, as evidenced by the case of an infant who contracted the rare but serious Cronobacter infection. That tragic situation prompted the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention(CDC) to wonder if moms are being given proper instruction on how to care for their pump parts. Their new guidelines aim to spread awareness of exactly what to do and how often." We believe this issue deserves much more attention, as we find that most nursing mothers are unaware of this problem and the potential consequences.