Newborn babies are born with a natural immunity that is passed on from their mothers through the placenta. This immunity is boosted and prolonged through breastfeeding, as a mother’s milk will provide antibodies to help combat illness or infection. Amazingly, new research indicates that babies ‘communicate’ to their mum through their saliva while breastfeeding. In response specific antibodies to fight sickness will be produced by the mother’s body and passed through her breastmilk. However despite this inbuilt immunity and the availability of vaccinations, young babies still have an immature immune system that is not as strong as that of an adult or older child.
Many mums want their babies to benefit from not only the nutritional aspects of breastmilk, but also the immunity boosting properties that to-date, have not been replicated by any commercial formulas. But for mothers who work or travel then breastfeeding is not always an option. Fortunately it isn’t the only option, and expressing and storing breastmilk is another way to ensure your little one is benefiting from your breastmilk, even when you’re away.
To further protect your baby from any airborne germs or viruses in the air, it is incredibly important to thoroughly wash, rinse, and dry your breast pump. It is even more important if your little one was born prematurely or had complications during birth.
This is our comprehensive guide to cleaning and maintaining your breast pump in pristine condition so that the protective benefits of your breastmilk are passed safely to your baby.
1. Use your breast pump and store the breast milk safely in the fridge or freezer.
2. Thoroughly wash your hands in soap and water and dry them on paper towel or a clean cloth.
3. On a clean bench or towel, disassemble all parts of your breast pump.
4. Rinse each attachment in cold water to remove all traces of breastmilk.
5. Wash each part thoroughly in hot, soapy water and use a brush to access hard-to-reach places. Ideally you will have a dishwashing or bottle brush specifically for this purpose.
6. Rinse all parts of the breast pump twice in hot water to remove any soapy residue.
7. Drain the attachments and bottles on a clean cloth and cover them while they air dry.
8. Wash your hands again in soap and water.
9. Check and ensure that each part is completely dry.
10. Reassemble your breast pump and store in a clean container in the fridge until your next use.
The Australian Breastfeeding Association states:
Unimom Breast Pumps have a closed system which provides a barrier between the breastmilk and the air tube creating a hygienic environment within the breast pump itself.
There are many different sterilisers on the market to assist you in the hygienic maintenance of your breast pump. Not all breast pump parts are safe to sterilise in the microwave and some parts we recommend washing in warm soapy water only e.g. valves & membrane/diaphragms. We recommend reading the manufacturer's instructions included in your breast pump.
We hope this guide will help you and your bub stay healthy and enjoy a long and successful breastfeeding journey together.
We love the LaVie range of products here at Milkbar. Designed in collaboration with breastfeeding experts, the LaVie range of products were created to help make your breastfeeding journey that little bit easier.
Many mamas may be familiar with the original LaVie Lactation massager, that nifty tool that uses gentle vibration to stimulate milk flow and break down blocks and sore spots but the LaVie range doesn't actually stop there! There are two other products that can be super handy for the breastfeeding and pumping mum.
Let's take a look at the range to help work out which one might suit you best.
There are many reasons why a mama may sometimes need to supplement her baby with expressed breast milk or formula.
While giving this little bit extra via a bottle is usually what we think of first, a Supplemental Nursing System or SNS can be a super handy option for supplementing mamas who want to avoid nipple confusion and keep baby at the breast full time.