More Resources What to do with a used breast pump?

What to do with a used breast pump?

Everybody's breastfeeding journey must come to an end sometime. But if you're not sure what to do with your breast pump, we've got you covered. In this blog, the Limerick team will address what to do with a used breast pump, we'll look at the three main ways you have to (in a sense) recycle your pump, and we'll also cover what you can do with any extra equipment you may have, such as tubing, bottle caddies, breast shields etc. Let's get started.

What to do with a used breast pump?

Option 1 - Keep it

One answer for what to do with a used breast pump, is simply to keep it. If you're planning to have more children, or if you know someone who is trying for a baby, it certainly might be worth keeping the pump and putting it in some form of long-term storage until you (or they) need it again. In certain circumstances a used breast pump can be a lifesaver for a new mom, so it's worth thinking twice before you take the decision to just throw your pump away - you may be able to pass it on to friends or family at a later date.

What to do with a used breast pump?

Option 2 -Sell it

Perhaps the most obvious option for what to do with a used breast pump, if you're looking for a quick and easy way to get rid of your used breast pump, you might consider selling it, as there are a number of options available. Similar to the situation we spoke about above, you could sell it to a friend or family member who is expecting a baby if you know someone in that position. If you don't however then there are also online marketplaces where you may be able to list your pump for sale - though you should be aware that not all sites or online marketplaces accept listings for breast pumps.

What to do with a used breast pump?

Option 3 - Donate it

If you're not in a position to pass your pump on to a friend or family member, and you can't (or don't want to) sell it, then you do still have one option when it comes to what to do with a used breast pump - you might consider donating it to a suitable charity, establishment or organization of some kind. There are several such places that may accept donations of used breast pumps, including churches, healthcare facilities, educational establishments and parenting groups.

What to do with a used breast pump?

What about the extra, supporting equipment?

If you're thinking about getting rid of your breast pump, you might also be thinking about passing on all the other equipment that goes with it. However, this isn't always safe to do. The main concern here is contamination from bacteria and viruses. There are many different types of bacteria that can live on breast pumps and their accessories, including staphylococcus (staph), E coli, salmonella and listeria monocytogenes (listeria). Bacteria can be transferred to - and live on - this supporting equipment too, so unfortunately any piece of equipment that has touched mom or baby's skin, mom's milk, or even been exposed to outside air should never be passed on in any way. Only equipment that is in sealed "new-in-box" condition is safe to pass on.

What to do with a used breast pump?

Other things to bear in mind

The FDA's stance

When it comes to breast pumps, moms in the US need to know that their options for what to do with a used breast pump may be limited, since the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not support the sale of second-hand pumps, nor their use by more than one person outside of a hospital setting.

However, we know that in territories where the US FDA does not have jurisdiction, selling a breast pump may be a perfectly normal thing to do. As a result we wanted to cover this topic, because wherever used breast pumps may be passed on to new moms and their babies, we want it to be done safely.

Your pump's condition & maintenance

If you're wondering what to do with a used breast pump and thinking about passing it on to someone else, it's important that it be clean, and in good working order before you do so. Second-hand pumps do come with some risks - related to both health and maintenance - so it's important for all parties involved to know what they are.

Your pump won't be covered by a manufacturer warranty if you pass it on. That means that if anything goes wrong, which is likely with any second-hand device, the new user will have to fix it themselves. If they don't know how to do that, they'll need to find an independent tradesperson who can help them out.

If you think your pump might have some sort of technical issue like this, the question of what to do with a used breast pump becomes much simpler to answer - just don't pass it on. It's better not to take the risk—you don't want someone else being left out of pocket, or without their pump when they may need it most.

Get more practical breastfeeding support from the Limerick team

The Limerick team is made up of moms just like you. We understand the challenges of breastfeeding and have designed our own closed system breast pump that uses patented technology to mimic a baby's natural nursing pattern, helping mom express more milk with less pain or discomfort. You can buy one of our pumps direct from the Limerick shop, or find out more about them by checking out these pages for moms and new parents, for healthcare professionals, and for corporate stakeholders.

However, we're also passionate about sharing our knowledge about breastfeeding to help moms on their breastfeeding journey. That's why in our resource center you'll find a number of practical breastfeeding articles offering tips on everything from what to do with a used breast pump to Nipple Vasospasm, or engorgement and lopsidedness. Click the link to take a look.

Lastly, don't forget that you can also get more tips, and put questions to our team via our social media pages, on Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn - so feel free to join us there too!