Should I Buy A Used Breast Pump?

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As a mother, you always want to do what is best for your children. For many new mothers, though, it can be overwhelming at first. From trying to figure out how to pack a diaper bag to simply getting to doctor’s appointments, there’s a lot of confusion that surrounds having a baby. An important question that a lot of mothers ask is whether or not they should buy a used or new breast pump. Fortunately, we’ve put together a go-to guide that can help you determine what choice is best for you.

Breastfeeding Statistics

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 80 percent of mothers breastfeed their infants at birth. However, by the time an infant reaches six-months-old, only about half of them are still being breastfed. Around their one-year birthday, only about 30 percent of mothers are still breastfeeding.

There are many reasons as to why a mother may choose to quit breastfeeding. For some of them, it’s not a preferred choice. Perhaps their milk isn’t coming in strong enough to provide enough food to the child, thus causing them to quit and turn to formula feeding. Working moms often have a difficult time breastfeeding as well, but using a breast pump to pump milk is highly recommended. The use of a breast pump allows a mother to pump on an as-needed basis. The milk can be stored in the refrigerator or even frozen to be used at a later time.

Tips for Buying Breast Pumps

Before you buy any type of breast pump, whether it be used or not, you need to familiarize yourself with the different types. There are two main types of pumps — closed system and open system.

A closed system pump adds a layer of protection by making sure there is a barrier between the pump mechanism and where the milk is collected from the breast. This helps prevent contamination as well as bacteria and mold, which is essential to both you and your baby’s health. With an open system pump, you don’t get this sort of protection. Because of this, it is recommended that you purchase a closed system breast pump. Also noteworthy is the fact that an open system pump cannot be fully sterilized. You can take the breast pump apart and sterilize it to your best ability, but some parts do not come apart, meaning full sterilization is not possible. This is yet another reason to always use a closed system pump. Even if you buy new parts for an open system pump, like tubing, you still won’t be able to sterilize the whole unit.

Another thing to remember when buying a closed system pump is that they are different from multiple user pumps. A lot of the closed system pumps are not made to be used by more than one mother. According to research, almost all closed system pumps are designed to be used by one mother only. Also, keep in mind to check the serial number on the pump and contact the manufacturer to make sure the pump is not stolen. Believe it or not, there is a strong demand for breast pumps, and thieves will often steal them from hospitals. Dishonest people will sell them as new pumps when, in fact, they have been used before. A pre-used or defective product when it comes to a breast pump is not something you want to deal with.

To Buy New Or Used

Here’s the truth behind buying breast pumps — they are viewed as personal use products, meaning they aren’t meant to be used by more than one person. This alone indicates that you should not buy a used breast pump. There is a huge risk of cross-contamination when mothers share breast pumps. It may be tempting to buy used because you can get them for much cheaper than a new breast pump, but the associated risks just aren’t worth taking.

Can I use the same breast pump with multiple children? Yes, you can. If the motor stays in good working condition, you can use the same breast pump with all of your children. The risk of cross-contamination only occurs when more than one mother is using the breast pump. However, if one of your children has a disease, such as hepatitis C, it is recommended not to use the same breast pump with your other children.

If you find yourself in a situation in which you cannot buy a new breast pump, you can always rent one. Yes, it’s safer to buy a new one, but this option isn’t available to all mothers. Many Medela breast pumps are a closed system and are designed for multiple users thanks to their special barriers that stop milk from the making its way into the pump motor. This is the type of breast pump you will want to use if you cannot afford to buy a new one. These pumps are available for rent and have been cleaned and sterilized to the best ability possible before being rented to a new mother.

The Takeaway

The safest way to pump breast milk is to invest in a new pump that has never been used before. You will eliminate the risk of cross-contamination by doing this, which means a healthier you and a healthier baby. Breastfeeding is one of the wisest moves you can make for your infant as it provides vital nutrients that aren’t found in formula. If you cannot afford to buy a new pump, you should consider renting one. Always make sure the one you rent used a closed system design and that it has been sterilized before you start pumping.

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