Thursday, January 15, 2009

Confused about Sharing Breastpumps?

by Corky Harvey MS, RN, IBCLC, Co-Founder of The Pump Station & Nurtury™

Last week we ran a blog discussing the issue of “re-using pumps”. We discussed the health issues regarding using another woman’s breast pump and shared with everyone a list of FDA recommended multi-use pumps. Many of you responded in frustration thinking:

“is this merely a ploy to get you to spend more money when a perfectly “good” pump is available?”

While the Pump Station & Nurtury™ is a Retail Store – first and foremost we are a New Mother’s Resource Center. I must emphasize - Wendy, Jessica and I are Registered Nurses and we are bound ethically to tell you about this concern. This is not an issue simply of making money for our business but rather this issue involves our lifelong commitment to our client’s and their success as mothers.

When we look back at our blog , we realize now that this should have been explained in a more thorough and satisfactory way. There are “hospital grade multi-use pumps” that can be used by multiple women without risk of cross contamination – and they can be rented. Our warning pertained to single-use pumps which shouldn’t be shared due to the health risks. We felt we were doing a service to our Moms by sharing this information – instead we seemed to just anger many of our moms.

We have found what we believe to be an excellent article that we would love for you to read. Rather than us “reinventing the wheel” - please read the article on the attached link regarding Second-Hand Pumps by Kathy Kuhn, RN, IBCLC. Hopefully this will help clarify the information and make your decision easier.,,9kdb,00.html

As a New Mother’s Resource Center the Pump Station & Nurtury™ is committed to providing Mothers with information that will enable you and your baby to thrive. We believe that it is our responsibility to educate you on what is most healthy for your baby. An informed choice is almost always the best option. Make your own decision using the facts and your good common sense.

Using your healthy sister’s pump versus buying a used pump purchased from eBay or at a garage sale?

Hmmmmmm—You be the judge.


Anonymous said...

i'm glad you guys posted this because i was frankly shocked by the reaction to the original post and was having to hold myself back from responding to the hysteria.

fyi that Baby Bargains also states (on p. 265):

"Models like Medela's Pump In Style can actually collect milk in the pump mechanism. So, let's state it clearly: DO NOT PURCHASE A USED BREAST PUMP. The risk of exposing your baby to any pathogens in the previous user's breast milk is not worth it."

Anonymous said...

I'm a little appalled at the number of women who responded to the original blog post and seemed to be hearing this information for the very first time.

Information about the potential dangers of used breast pumps is readily available, assuming one engages in any kind of self-education about breastfeeding. I know that I heard about it in breastfeeding class, I read about it in breastfeeding and baby care books, and I've seen the information on countless websites.

I suppose for those who care so little about something so important that they can't be bothered to do any research whatsoever, it probably was new information. I am, however, shocked at how many people are apparently included in that category.

Anonymous said...

i doubt that anyone who was reading a blog post from The Pump Station

"care so little about something so important that they can't be bothered to do any research whatsoever"

your post is a strange response to women who were looking for more information.... maybe less judgmental next time.

Anonymous said...

What is most bothersome to me is the unapologetic tone of both the Pump Station blog entries. With as much importance as is placed on breastfeeding and breastmilk these days, it seems that a more responsible and sympathetic approach would have been to present some low cost or even free options for mothers who clearly cannot afford even $1.67 a month to rent a pump. At six months of pumping that equals more than $300 and if someone had that kind of money, they could go out and buy a new pump in the first place. I hope the Pump Station's "lifelong commitment to our client’s and their success as mothers" will in the future include solutions to real societal issues. Perhaps partnering or starting a non profit to ensure that all babies who can get breastmilk do get it (through pumping or not) would make posts like these a little more digestible in my book.

Anonymous said...

Wendy and Corky, and the entire staff at Pump Station for that matter, have been the most caring, loving, support network for me and my 3 children over the last decade. I owe them the world! In their defense I couldn't possibly imagine that they would ever elude any of us on any issue, or even cloud the facts. Although I haven't completely agreed with everything they shared with me over the years, but I have trusted their resources and opinions with the highest regard. Don't bite the hand that feeds you - instead use your freedom and wisdom instead of accusation and take responsibility. BTW, I borrowed 3 separate pumps for 3 different babies, as well as rented one from Pump Station. THANK YOU Pump Station and God bless you! - Lori

Anonymous said...

4:00 pm: what does the pump station have to apologize for? not giving away free breast pumps? so, if they can't provide a way for every single mother to get a breast pump, they shouldn't warn those that use/have pumps about potential hazards associated with using them?

no one is entitled to a breast pump--millions of people are fine without them and have been for millions of years. they are a convenience and yes, one that may only be available to a certain segment of the population. that segment, however, and the people that service them should not have to feel guilty for being able to do so. seriously, having access to a breast pump hardly qualifies as "real societal issue."

Anonymous said...

4:47pm: Actually yes, some women in this country ARE entitled to a breast pump, at lease WIC says so. If you qualify for WIC you qualify for a free Medela PIS. What about the segment of the population though who works and makes too much to qualify for WIC but not enough to shell out $300 at once for a pump? Tough luck I guess, your baby gets formula.

For me a breast pump was not a convenience, wow anything but convenient. I had to go back to work full time when my son was three months old and I don't think he should have had to get formula because of that. No way could I have afforded $300 for a pump, thankfully my family chipped in for one.

My problem with the many arguments against sharing pumps would also be arguments against the same mom using the same pump through multiple children. I would still be fine with sharing the pump of a trusted source.

Medela freestyle said...

I loved the way you put it, thanks for the post, I liked when you say is this the way to get us spend more money!


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