A 3 week old baby has died from a Cronobacter sakazakii in the US, this has lead the CDC (center for disease control) to issue new guidelines around cleaning, sterilizing and storing breast pumps.

Before pumping

Wash and dry your hands.

Inspect your kit, if its moldy do not use, this must be replaced.

Clean all parts including switches with disinfectant wipes.

After every use

Store all milk in the fridge.

Cap milk collection bottle or seal milk collection bag, label all milk with the date.

Take apart breast pump tubing and separate all parts that come in contact with
breast/breast milk.

Rinse all parts in running water that come into contact with breast or breast milk.

Clean all parts of the pump as soon as possible.

You can use the dishwasher or wash by hand in a basin or plastic tub only used for your breast pump and bottles.


Scrub all parts of your breast pump. Breast milk is fatty, so warm water, soap and scrubbing is essential.

Rinse all parts in cleaning running water,or a clean basin.

Air-dry thoroughly all parts and bottles, this is a very important stage in the sterilizing process.

Clean wash basin and bottle brush, rinse and allow to air dry. Do not use your regular sink, use a separate plastic tub.

Or clean in dishwasher and allow to air dry.


Sterilize all pump parts and bottles at least once a day.


Store all bottles and pump parts only when DRY and in a clean dry container with a lid. Moisture will help bacteria and mold grow, do not store damp pump parts or bottles.

Pumping hints and Tips

Everyone’s bodies respond differently to different pumps, experiment with a different pump if you are struggling with your current pump.

Relax, if you are stressed out, you will struggle to let down.

If you are trying to pump extra milk to store for an occasion you will be away, try pumping a little at the start of your feed, your baby will be more efficient at removing milk than your pump, so have your baby do the hard work afterwards.

If you are pumping to increase your milk supply, “dry pumping” once your flow has stopped for 5 minutes on each breast for a couple of days will help the body know you are wanting more milk.

If you are trying to pump a full feed and struggling to build supply, try switch pumping if using a single pump. Pump each breast until you get a let down, and switch as soon as the let down stops. This makes the body think you are feeding twins!

Pump on one breast while baby feeds off the other breast.

Never take what you can express as an indicator of how much milk you are producing. Your baby is much more efficient that your breast pump, and some women struggle to express for no apparent reason.

If you full time express (hats off to you!), try to keep night time milk for night time feeds, it contains hormones which will help your baby sleep.

It can be tempting if you are pumping full time, to not express at night after a night feed. But a quick pumping session after your baby has fed will actually help you get back to sleep, and help maintain your milk supply for longer.

Whats your favorite breast pump? Tell us in the comments below!