Advice Column, Baby, Breastfeeding, Pregnancy & Baby

Did you check for mould in your breast pump?

  • My Breastpump
  • Category Advice Column, Baby, Breastfeeding, Pregnancy & Baby

The first time I needed a breast pump, I did not know that there were “closed” and “open system” breast pumps. In fact, I naïvely did not know that it was important. I just went along with what everyone else used. 

In the beginning I was an exclusive pumper because my son was in NICU. This means that I pumped day and night basically around the clock.  I started to notice that when I had a really strong let down (that was a good thing) my milk started to get stuck in the tubes of the pump (I did not think this was a good thing). I started to worry about “How do I clean the milk out? “.  I really did not want sour  breast milk in my tubing, what if it got contaminated with bacteria, that could make my baby sick. That would be worse than gross it could be very harmful. The more I thought about it the more worried I became. I did what every self-respecting mother would do….. I googled it. 

Oh my….. what a scare I had. Have you ever tried it? I dare you to use google images and look up “mould in breast pump”. Apart from having a mild heart attack I realise that I should not just be concerned about “off milk’ in the tubes but there could be worst things going on in my breast pump. I wondered “Why were people not talking about this?”  There are real risks to using an open system breast pump and as my baby was in NICU I did feel like this was something to really worry about. 

After a bit more researching, I found out that there are closed system breast pumps. This means that there is some type of barrier that stops the breast milk (moisture and other nasties) from getting into your breast pump. This was great to find out. I then also found out that not all closed systems are equal. Some have the closure at the pump which allows for the nasties to collect in the tubing and then there are closed systems that close off the entire pump system from the flange (the thingy that sticks to your breast).  The closer the closure is to the flange the better as this stop’s nasties from growing in the tubing. I loved the idea of having a breast pump that did not allow for breast milk to enter the tubing. Firstly so that no nasties would grow and secondly what a waste of breast milk. Every drop counted for me. 

The top closed system brand found in South Africa is the Ameda brand with the Mya Joy hospital grade private pump, Elite hospital grade (rental) pump and soon to have the Pearl Hospital (rental) pump. They all have complete closed system (at the flange) that is also FDA approved for bacteria and viruses. This means that they have tested their system and found it to be effective in separating the flange and breast milk from the tubing and pump. How it works is amazingly simple. The flange only has 4 parts which makes it so easy to clean and put together. The parts are: the collection bottle, the flange, the duck bill valve and the silicone diaphragm. The silicone diaphragm is the key. It completely separates the milk from the pump. So, no milk, moisture or nasties (bacteria, mould or viruses) can move between the two.  As an example, let’s look at thrush. If you get thrush on your nipples (sadly it is known to happen) the fungi sores can then move through an open system pump and grow in the tubing or your pump. This can later re-infect your nipples. What a nightmare. With a closed system this cannot happen. 

All the Ameda breast pumps have the option of changing your flange size form 21mm to 36mm. The standard size is 25mm. Yes, women have different sized nipples! Not all breast flanges are comfortable for moms and this can really affect how much they can express and even cause damage if their fit is not comfortable. 

Breast pumps are an investment, and they are an invaluable help. You need to do your homework and look at all the aspects. You need to find out if the pump you purchase will fit all your needs. Compare to the valve of the Ameda Mya Joy: 

Question Ameda Mya Joy
Is this a quality breast pump?
Is it a closed system Yes
How much noise does it make? Very quiet, it can’t be hear over the phone
How do the setting work? Easy to use: Stimulation 6 levels

                       Expression 12 levels

Will the flanges fit my nipples? Will it be comfortable? Yes and Yes. There are 7 different size flanges, and we have support staff to help you find the best fit
How long is the warranty? 2- years
Can I claim from my medical aid? Yes, the Mya Joy has a Nappi Code. Claiming is scheme dependent


Find out more about the Ameda Mya Joy on our Website 

After you have done your research and got your pump you can pump when you need to and most importantly of all enjoy spending time with you baby. 

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