Medela Pump Question

Specialties Ob/Gyn


My daughter has been given a Medela Pump-in-Style personal breast pump to use from a friend who is no longer breast feeding. She has bought new tubes, cones and bottles for it. Her baby is due Sept. 5th.

She went to a breastfeeding class last night and the Lactation Counselor (?sp) told them that this is a personal use item and you should never use anyone elses because of the danger of HIV, HepC etc. If the milk from the preceding mother never went through the pump and you have all new parts, how can this be? This is a $300.00 item (which the LC sells)

What is the difference in renting one? Isn't it the same thing???

We don't teach this on my OB floor--is this the latest info and why???

allnurses Guide

Spidey's mom, ADN, BSN, RN

11,302 Posts

Well, I have a Medula Pump In Style and am going to sell it when I'm finished. My understanding is that if you buy all new plastic accessories, you are fine. You can clean it on the outside with an antibacterial cleaning solution. I wouldn't worry about it. I even let someone at work borrow the pump part when she forgot hers. (We used the hospital pumps plastic parts). We do rent out an old pump and it is cleaned on the outside by housekeeping and all new stuff given to each mom who rents it.

Why not write Medela themselves if you are still worried.

Medula's are awesome.

Best wishes for a safe and pain-free delivery. :)


Dayray, RN

700 Posts

If your worried I agree write them but I think that the lactaion consultant is wrong. I have heard of allot of people buying used pumps and replaceing the disposable parts. I mean the parts you repalce are the only washabel parts. If the milk got into the non washable parts Id be more worried about bacteria then HIV. It's been a while but if I remember .. the instructions say that only the washable parts are even exposed to milk.


237 Posts

This is off the lactation specialist site at and is the same as the handout my daughter got in her class.


"Many mothers have asked if they can safely sell, purchase, or use a previously owned breastpump. Medela is concerned about the health and welfare of breastfeeding mothers and their babies. There is evidence that bacteria and certain viruses may be transmittable through breastmilk. For this reason, it is not advisable to use a previously owned, personal use breastpump, such as Medela's Pump In Style®. However, it is safe to use a Rental pump, such as Medela's Symphony®, Lactina™, or Classic™ pumps. The difference between personal use pumps and rental pumps is as follows:

Personal Use Breastpumps

Personal use pumps that you buy at the store are personal care items, much like a toothbrush. Personal use pumps should never be resold or shared among mothers. The Medela Pump In Style has an internal diaphragm that cannot be removed, replaced, or fully sterilized. Therefore, the risk of cross-contamination associated with re-using a previously owned pump such as the Pump In Style cannot be dismissed, even when using a new kit or tubing. Similarly, the Medela MiniElectric™, Single Deluxe™, DoubleEase ™ and Double Deluxe™ Breastpumps have internal motors that cannot be removed, replaced or fully sterilized. Multiple women using these single-user products automatically voids the warranty of the Medela product."


Now that being noted from the manufacturer, I do not remember the last time that we took apart the internal motors of the 10 pumps we clean with antibacterial solution (external parts) and cart from room to room in our facility and give with new disposable parts to our new moms. Is this just CYA from medela?


62 Posts

Medela is concerned with selling lotsa new pumps too, I bet.


74 Posts

I think with with recieving this pump from a friend and cleaning the diaphragm with an antibacterial solution plus buying the new tubes, cones and bottles she will be fine. (IMHO) These pumps are expensive and it is a shame not to share with a friend if you can. I am a mother of two and have used the Medela pump in style for both when I went back to work, this is a great pump! I recently won a new pump and gave my old pump to a friend who has had no problems.

On the flip side though if she is not comfortable with the idea then maybe she should just buy a new pump. I do think she will be fine with using the pump, though.

Best of luck! Amy

manna, BSN, RN

2,038 Posts

Originally posted by Hardknox

We don't teach this on my OB floor--is this the latest info and why???

I don't know... I think if it was me, the paranoia factor would be enough to scare me away from a used pump.

I was lucky enough to get a very nice, brand new Avent dual pump for free from WIC - if your daughter meets the income qualifications, she might want to check into that?


583 Posts

Originally posted by Texagain

Medela is concerned with selling lotsa new pumps too, I bet.

lol... exactly what I was thinking. Perhaps the same could be said for the LC?


20,964 Posts

Specializes in Specializes in L/D, newborn, GYN, LTC, Dialysis.

Yep some moolah changing hands for the paranoia factor. We have not cleaned the "innards" of our hospital pumps either. I don't see a hazard if the parts handle the MILK are changed with each mom. I think this is a scare tactic to generate more revenue, frankly.


1,804 Posts

hmm.. i a gree w/ texagain. lots of moms use our electric pump. we wipe down the outside and use new plastic parts for each pt. medela has very high quality products for sure, but they are very, very expensive. personally, i'd feel comfortable using another person's pump if i had my own plastic stuff. i think their statement is a combination of cya (due to our overly zealous legal system) and a desire to keep the profits turning. after all, who wouldn't be willing to spend $$$ if it's for their baby. they know where to hit us!

Dayray, RN

700 Posts

I' m not sure but I would find it hard to believe that their is a part somewhere inside of the pump that is exposed to milk and not cleanable. I mean that would be gross even if it was only for 1 user. Have you ever seen what breast milk look like when left out? yuk and could you imagine all the bugs that would grow in the nice dark moist brestmilk if it were inside and unclean able?

If I were medella I would be thinking "If we tell them they can use it and someone gets sick on some off chance, then we are liabel. But if we tell them they cant reuse it and they buy a new one 0 liability and an extra $300 bucks"

It would be a shame to just throw away such an useful and expensive item. I'm sure you guys can just take it apart and clean it out if you think you need too but I still don't think there is any secret part hiding in there harboring bacteria and viruses.


237 Posts

I agree. Dayray. Thanks for all the input, everyone. I guess it will have to be her call...Myself, I'd clean it and use it. But I'm not out in California where she is and can't inspect it. The pump had one user --her best friend-- and looks brand new according to my daughter.

Stevie Ray--Have you ever cleaned the innards of yours??? Can it be done? The hospital medela's are a closed system and can't be cleaned by us. Thanks. ~ Jeanne

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