Are you thinking about buying a second hand breast pump? Or has one been kindly gifted to you from another mum friend? If you are pumping to establish supply or you have a sick or premature infant who is unable to breastfeed, I want you to think about whether that bargain is worth it.
Do you know who owned the breast pump before you? If this is bought second hand off sites such as eBay or Gumtree, who knows how many owners your pump has had before they sold it on?
Do you know how often it was used for? Many personal (non hospital-grade) breast pumps have a limited working life. Motor life may be compromised from being a workhorse for too many times a day when it is designed to be used only 3-5 times a day.
Does it have a closed or open milk collection system? Closed = no chance of milk, moisture or mould getting inside the internal parts of the motor. Open = potential for all of the above to travel in, particularly if milk has back-flowed into tubing during pumping.
Has the suction level been checked and is it working as well as it should be? A breast pump with poor suction – well, it SUCKS but for the wrong reasons! It will affect your supply and may leave you wondering if it is you that is the problem when it simply hasn’t been doing the job it is meant to.
Click on the pictures below for more (dirty) detail!
Mould spores on pump where foam liner sits.
This mum paid $50 for a pump from a work colleague. It was missing the foam liner and had strange dirty deposits all through it, along with rusting battery contacts.
Dirty second-hand pump – milk on foam liner