You need to replace breast pump accessories regularly to maintain the quality and performance of your products.
That’s because some delicate parts of the pump might wear down, tear or become overstretched due to frequent use. These changes can reduce milk flow and suction power while pumping.
Unfortunately, most mums think that something is wrong with the pump or (even worse) their milk supply when they notice a reduction in the pump suction. In reality, the problem lies in a worn-out breast pump accessory. The good news is that you can fix this problem with a quick replacement.
When Should You Replace Your Spectra Pump Accessories?
As a general rule, always replace parts if you see tiny tears, misshapen parts, or cracks. The color of plastic parts might fade after repeated sterilisation. That doesn’t reduce its usability and often does not require an immediate replacement.
However, make sure to replace these parts within 2-3 months of use (or when they appear worn out) to make sure your pump works well.
Breast pump accessory replacement rules can vary from product to product and usage. For example, the number of times you use the pump and how often you clean/sterilise each part determines when replacement becomes necessary.
Here’s a closer look at the main breast pump accessories and their standard replacement timeline:
Recommended Replacement Time: 2-3 months
- Reduced suction when pumping is often the first sign that you need to replace the valves.
- The tip of the valve is quite delicate, and it can fray or tear easily. So, if you notice reduced suction or lower milk supply, then check this area carefully.
- You can increase product lifespan if you avoid cleaning the valves in the dishwasher. Also, use a steriliser instead of boiling valves in water to reduce the risk of tears.
- Aside from this, we recommend keeping spare valves on hand (in your baby bag) and at home. It is a practical way to handle emergencies quickly without interrupting your breastfeeding/ pumping routine.
Recommended Replacement Time: 3-6 months
- It would be best if you replace the backflow protectors regularly, depending on how often you are pumping.
Over time, the elasticity of the silicone membrane wears down, which can affect the suction. In turn, it can reduce your milk supply. When the elasticity is worn down, the pump motor works harder than it normally does to maintain the same level of suction, which shortens the overall life of the motor.
- In addition to this, the worn-out silicone membrane loses its airtight and watertight seal. If you don’t replace the backflow protectors on time, moisture or milk might enter the tubing and the pump motor. As a result, the breast pump will need major repairs to fix the situation.
Recommended Replacement Time: 6 months
- Breast shields often require replacements every six months (or earlier) due to excessive milk buildup. Always check these accessories for residue and clean them carefully. Even then, you might miss some hard-to-reach places.
- Breast shields also require replacement if your breast shield size has changed. Remeasure your nipples once your milk supply is well established, approximately 10 weeks postpartum.
Recommended Replacement Time: 6 months or more
- Tubing does not require washing or sterilisation. That’s why you don’t have to replace it as often as the other breast pump accessories.
- You should replace tubing if it has debris, or liquids inside, or when you notice visible signs of damage.
Words of Wisdom
Can You Share Breast Pump Kits?
No. Spectra pump accessory kits are designed to be for a single user only.
That’s why you shouldn’t share your pumping kit with another mom. Sharing breast pump kits may present health risks and affect performance. Also, the product warranty does not apply to pump kits shared by multiple moms.
What If You’re Planning to Buy a Second-Hand Breast Pump?
While is safe to use a second-hand multi-user breast pump (hospital grade), second-hand milk collection kits make the product unsafe for use.
We strongly advise new mamas to purchase NEW breast pump accessories (including milk bottles) when purchasing a second-hand breast pump.
Expressed breast milk is the best source of nutrition for your baby when you’re not there.
Read next how to Store Breast Milk safely.