Pumping Stupidity

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Joined: 04/10/11
Posts: 1703
Pumping Stupidity

Ok, I don't get it. I'm completely oblivious about pumping. Help!

So here's where I'm at ... I have 3 used pumps and based on the names and model numbers, I think I have picked out the best 2 that I will actually use and the best 1 that I want to like get actually set up with new tubing and everything soon. So I think I'm good there. I'll be using a Medela PIS advanced from like 2007 (it was my sister's.)

So as I understand it, there like little plastic cuppy things that go on the boobs and that are attached directly to little bottles. Do those bottles have to be the kind that come with the pump? And are the plastic nipple cuppy things all the same?

And then to store boob milk, you pour it from those bottles into something else, right? I have a bunch of bags. So ... you just dump it into the bags, seal and label?

What's up with the tubing? Where does that go? And what do you have to clean out each time and how do you do it?

mlle_carrie's picture
Joined: 07/17/05
Posts: 1134

I have the same questions! I too was offered Medela pump from a co-worker and I was planning to just buy some of the replacement parts for it, but do I have to use specific bottles?

lesleynka's picture
Joined: 04/26/11
Posts: 1845

Idk that the bottles necessarily have to be the same brand, but i think most pumps will only fit w/ bottles of the same brand.

Storage...yes, bag & label. I just used zip-locks instead of milk bags. Idk if there is a difference, but they worked fine for me. It helps if you bag the same amount of oz of milk that you will use in a feeding. Ex..don't want to have to defrost 8oz if you only plan to use 4oz.

Tubes, I would imagine those attach to the machine, but I have never used electric so idk for sure. I would guess they would need to be cleaned after usage.

sugspop's picture
Joined: 02/22/07
Posts: 1418

I laughed so hard I choked on my b-fast burrito... boob milk haha. You are too cute.

I have an older madela too. You can buy the madela bottles to attach (and serve immediately) or any sort of "boob milk" storage bag. I like the lansinoh storage bags cuz you can strap them right to the "plastic cuppy thingies" and pump the milk in there, seal it, mark the date and put it in the fridge.

The plastic tubes go from the pump to the "plastic cuppy thingies". There are some small parts of my plastic cuppy thingies that are required to make the pump action work and you have to put it together. Maybe have your sister show you? I had to have my sister show me. You will want to clean and sanitize (in a microwave sanitizer or boiling water) the plastic cuppy thingies and all the working parts, bottles, nipples etc. regularly. Since air is what goes through the plastic tubes, I don't clean and sanitize as often, maybe every couple of weeks.

Does that help?

sugspop's picture
Joined: 02/22/07
Posts: 1418

"mlle_carrie" wrote:

I have the same questions! I too was offered Medela pump from a co-worker and I was planning to just buy some of the replacement parts for it, but do I have to use specific bottles?

Typically you have to buy the madela bottles to attach direct. But you can always use the milk storage bags and pour into any bottle. Again, I like the Lansinoh ones because they can attach to any pump with a little sticky strip.

jeepbaby's picture
Joined: 11/08/07
Posts: 492

I have that pump. I used the small cheap glass baby bottles from BRU (evenflo, I think). I stored in glass simply because they were cheaper, and I did not see the point in pouring into a storage bag. I made so little milk that I hated to have to throw away the 'drips' left over! LOL!!!

You only need to clean the tubing if you have a backup. Pay attention, and you won't have to worry. I did get the microwave steam bags from Madela and sterilize them that way. It is the only way to get the condensation out of the tube so it dries!

Hope this helps!

Joined: 09/29/09
Posts: 1346

i have never cleaned my tubes... is that bad lol??? they don't come in contact with any fluids. They only transfer the suction from the pump to the bottle. The tube goes from the pump into the back of the flange behind a one way valve. The milk comes out of the breast and trickles down the flange directly into the bottle or bag. Milk does not get into the tubes.

i found that any bottle attached to the flange. I used a Medela pump n style. I pumped directly into the bag a few times... but i had too many accidents where the bag fell off the flange and milk went everywhere. After that I always pumped into a bottle Smile

Joined: 04/10/11
Posts: 1703

YES! Thanks, guys!

And good call on the breakfast burrito. I'll get some beans started for breakfast burritos for dinner. Mmm.

sugspop's picture
Joined: 02/22/07
Posts: 1418

"Carolyn85" wrote:

i have never cleaned my tubes... is that bad lol??? they don't come in contact with any fluids. They only transfer the suction from the pump to the bottle.

True. I live in a dust bowl so dust tends to accumulate in the tubes, so I would clean them. :confused:

"triplespiral" wrote:

And good call on the breakfast burrito. I'll get some beans started for breakfast burritos for dinner. Mmm.

Yea, I was craving it something bad this morning. Your post made me laugh so hard though... thanks I appreciate that. Smile Enjoy your b-fast burritos tonight! Smile

I'm_a_pepper's picture
Joined: 10/25/05
Posts: 606

"Carolyn85" wrote:

i have never cleaned my tubes... is that bad lol???

I never cleaned my tubes either. I just watched and made sure that there wasn't a lot of condensation build-up and I never had any problems.
I used the breastmilk bags and poured the milk from the bottle (I just used the bottles that came w/the pump) directly into the bag, labeled, and froze it, since I wasn't going to feed it immediately. I always tried to wash the flanges (plastic cuppy thingies), bottles, and corresponding parts as soon as I could b/c I didn't want bacteria to build up. I sanitized all those parts in boiling water every week or two.

Jenn0113's picture
Joined: 03/09/07
Posts: 5335

I may be repeating what the others have said but here goes anyway:

* If I was pumping a bottle that would be used that day or soon I would pump directly into the bottle he would drink out of. I used Playtex Drop ins and could pump directly into them. Lots of bottles fit onto the pump so yours may work that way too.

* If I had to pump and freeze I would pump into the medela or evenflo bottles and pour it into a bag and date it and throw it in the freezer.

* When I finished pumping I would always rinse everything out and then sterilize it in one of the Medela steam bags in the microwave.

The Medela is an excellent pump and I think you made a great decision. Pumping seems like a pain and difficult to do but the first time you do it you realize how simple it is. Then the more you do it you will find ways to make it easier for you. Like I prefer to pump both sides at once and I would hold the cups with my forearm and read or surf the net while I did it.

And just for grins...here is the freezer stash I had in the house, not including what I had in the deep freeze in the garage.

JuneorJulyBaby?'s picture
Joined: 10/20/08
Posts: 2479

"triplespiral" wrote:

So as I understand it, there like little plastic cuppy things that go on the boobs and that are attached directly to little bottles. yes you are rightDo those bottles have to be the kind that come with the pump? No, I found dr. brown's bottles fit directly on medela PIS parts. You have to make sure they screw on tight though because you need the air seal so there is suction And are the plastic nipple cuppy things all the same? No, some are different sizes of the "horns" to better fit mom.

And then to store boob milk, you pour it from those bottles into something else, right? If you want to store it for more than a day, I would do this. If you are going to use it right away, just pop a nipple on it and let the baby drinkI have a bunch of bags. So ... you just dump it into the bags, seal and label? Yes, lay them flat to freeze and store it in the BACK of your freezer, not on the door. Deep freezer is best. Once frozen, let thaw in refrigerator overnight for use or put it in warm water. Don't microwave or heat on a stove.

What's up with the tubing? Where does that go? Tubing goes from the pump to the horn. Match the shapes and you should see where it goes.And what do you have to clean out each time and how do you do it? This is what I did: I would clean the horns and the bottle. The tubing isn't supposed to get milk in it so I sterilized it the first time and never washed it again. I would just make sure it didn't have any milk inside of it after pumping and it never did for the 8 months of pumping that I did.

Good luck!

Jenn0113's picture
Joined: 03/09/07
Posts: 5335

And are the plastic nipple cuppy things all the same? No, some are different sizes of the "horns" to better fit mom.

And there are soft horns and hard plastic horns. As crazy as it sounds I found the hard ones to be more comfortable. And really I think the size depends on your nipples.

JuneorJulyBaby?'s picture
Joined: 10/20/08
Posts: 2479

"Jenn0113" wrote:

And there are soft horns and hard plastic horns. As crazy as it sounds I found the hard ones to be more comfortable. And really I think the size depends on your nipples.

I think the sizing of the horns isn't as important as the sizing of breast shields though. I had to use size small breast shields but the regular sized horns were just fine for pumping. I've always wondered about the soft horns too....thanks for the imput!

_Jessicah_'s picture
Joined: 04/21/11
Posts: 1973

This is a good thread. Very educational Smile

Joined: 09/29/09
Posts: 1346

wow I didn't know they had soft ones either! I used the hard ones, but they don't hurt at all. I used the "medium" breast shield because that's what my pump came with lol. They were comfortable and worked well so I suppose that was the correct size.

Starryblue702's picture
Joined: 04/06/11
Posts: 5454

Lol! Every make and model of breast pump is different. Some have tubes, some don't. The manual ones usually don't, and that's what I use. Mine pump directly from the "plastic nipple piece" straight into the bottle. You can of course use my breast pump bottles without transfering the milk to another bottle if you want, but I don't use those bottles to feed baby, as I don't like that brand. It's no big deal to just pour from one bottle to another! Then you just store in the fridge as usual, and run the bottle under hot water to heat up (not sure if anyone has mentioned this, but you can NEVER microwave breastmilk!). As far as cleaning, I just run the nipple part under hot water after every use, and wash out the bottle part.

fireflies11's picture
Joined: 03/26/11
Posts: 613

looks like you have received some GREAT advice already! But I wanted to add one thing...be sure to be diligent in seeking help. Find a La Leche league rep in your area and ask ask ask for moms around you for help!!! I cannot stress that enough! I had such a great nursing experience w/DS (and I pumped too!) and it was only because I had a lot of help!! For example, I almost quit pumping because I could not get a good let down, but my cousin gave me simple advice to pump while feeding DS and sure enough, I was filling whole bottles every morning! If I hadn't of asked, I may have quit!

Good luck Smile

sugspop's picture
Joined: 02/22/07
Posts: 1418

"Starryblue702" wrote:

(not sure if anyone has mentioned this, but you can NEVER microwave breastmilk!). .

Or formula for that matter! Buy a bottle warmer!

.hilary.'s picture
Joined: 01/31/10
Posts: 1505

I ,ove this thread....so helpful!!! I will be coming back to it when I'm pumping for sure, I think Smile