Posted by: Admin | May 19, 2012

No sharing of breastpumps!

No sharing of breastpumps!!

All our life we are encouraged to share, but there is one thing we should not be sharing, lending or selling: Breastpumps!!!

Although hand expression works really well with a good technique and after a few days of practice, many mothers prefer to use a manual or a small electric breastpump to pump their milk. There are many reasons why a mother would wish to express her milk.

  • To store (freeze) some breastmilk for later times (see URL link below for storage      periods).
  • To relieve her breasts from engorgement.
  • To have  some breastmilk handy to put into her baby’s cereals and other foods (solids should be introduced only at around  6 months of age)
  • To make sure her baby will be getting breastmilk while she is away at a doctor’s appointment or some other event where she feels she cannot take her baby.
  • To prepare some bottles of breastmilk before she goes to an outing where she will be taking alcohol.

In times like those, hand expression or a manual pump will do just fine. Some mothers might prefer using an electric pump. The ones on the market can work well for certain moms, but you have to remember that the small electric pumps can be noisy, ineffective and quite expensive for what they have to offer.

A mother with a premature baby, with a baby who cannot breastfeed directly at the breast and/or who is very sick, etc. will need to use a large hospital-grade electric breastpump to keep up her milk supply. These are the only breastpumps that can be passed on from one mother to another, as the mechanism they use does not allow the milk to backflow into the pump itself. Also, when they are passed on, the whole accessory kit is discarded and a new one is provided and, if breastmilk is found in the tubing, this too is changed.

This is not the case with small electric pumps or manual pumps. They should never be passed on to a new owner. By definition, they are a one-user accessory. Even when washed thoroughly and boiled for a while, breastmilk can be stuck to the tubing or in the mechanism or motor of the pump. This can lead to a risk of contamination. The only effective sterilization method is the autoclave, which is a machine that clinics and hospitals have. If all the parts of a manual pump have been autoclaved, it is safe to be used by a second person. If not, or if only some pieces were autoclaved, it is better to throw it away and get a new one.

In Eeyou Itschee, any mother can request a manual breastpump from the Community Myupmatsyun Center. The mother needs to see a nurse or a doctor to get a prescription for the breastpump, and then present it to the communities’ pharmacy. She will be able to get a manual breastpump free of charge.  As there is no space to store breastpumps at the centers, there might be a delay of a few days before the mother can obtain it. If the mother needs a breastpump urgently, the CMC does have a hospital-grade electric breastpump that she can use. The CMC sterilizes the accessories by autoclave so different mothers can use it.

Here is page 300 of the Tiny Tots to Toddler booklet available for online consultation or download at this URL:

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