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Author: TLN

What to do with your old breast pump 

By the time you finish breastfeeding your child, you and your breast pump will have probably been through many milestones together: late night pumping sessions, perhaps a return to work, and most importantly, nurturing your baby! It makes sense that you wouldn’t want to just toss your trusty companion out when you’re finished with it… but you may not know exactly what to do with your old breast pump or are wondering where to donate your breast pump. So what are your options? 

Where to donate your breast pump

When you’re finished pumping, you may think about donating your pump to help another family out. But figuring out what to do with your old breast pump is not as straightforward as many think. Most breast pumps are intended to be single-user pumps, and for that reason, the FDA does not recommend donating or sharing breast pumps. This is true even if the pump is defined as “closed system” (a set-up where the milk collection is separate from the pump mechanism).  

The term “closed system” causes some confusion and leads many parents to believe their pump can be fully sanitized and then reused by another parent (whether by donation or sale). However, only pumps described as multi-user pumps in their pump manual can be donated or sold. Since breast pumps are medical devices, many organizations won’t accept a breast pump donation to prevent liability or contamination. 

Selling your used breast pump

If you want to sell your breast pump, the same rules apply: The FDA does not recommend single-user pumps be sold or shared with another breastfeeding parent. Only pumps specifically made to be multi-user pumps should be used by more than one person. 

The good news is all parents should have access to an insurance-covered breast pump under the Affordable Care Act. If you’re not sure which pump is the best pump for your needs, arrange for an insurance-covered prenatal lactation consultation with an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC) here

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TLN offers breast pumps and lactation products tailored to your lifestyle and your insurance plan.

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Recycle your breast pump

Some breast pump brands have pump recycling programs. You can go to their website or reach out to their customer service department to ask for details. Most manufacturers can recycle their own breast pumps but may not accept used pumps from other companies. If your pump manufacturer doesn’t offer a recycling program, call or email them to let them know that they should start.  

In case you’re unable to find recycling information for your model on the pump manufacturer’s website, contact your local waste management organization. They can provide information on how to safely recycle your pump and pump parts. 

Remember, The Lactation Network offers insurance-covered breast pumps at the lowest possible out-of-pocket cost to lactating parents. If it’s not safe to donate your used electronic breast pump, feel free to help another breastfeeding parent out by spreading the word about us. We’re always here to provide the best care for lactating parents and their babies.