breast pump and breast pump parts on when to replace them

How Often to Replace Breast Pump Parts: Complete Guide

Hey there, mama! Breastfeeding is a beautiful and rewarding experience, but it can also be challenging. That’s why many moms turn to breast pumps to help them express milk and provide their little ones with all the nourishment they need. 

However, it’s important to remember that breast pump maintenance is just as crucial as the act of pumping itself.

One of the most important aspects of maintenance is knowing when to replace your breast pump parts. Let’s go over everything you need to know about replacing your breast pump parts. This way, you can keep your pump running smoothly and your baby happy and healthy.

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Signs That Breast Pump Parts Need Replacement

As you go through your pumping journey, you will need to keep an eye on if and when your breast pump parts need to be replaced. Routinely check your pump parts and replace them as needed based on the signs discussed below.

Changes in Milk Output

If you notice a decrease in your milk output, it may be a sign that some of your breast pump parts need to be replaced. Worn-out parts can make your pump less efficient at removing milk. You’ll notice less milk with each pump session or your breasts will not feel fully emptied.

Decreased Suction

Lost suction might be a result of worn-out valves or membranes. As these parts are responsible for creating the necessary suction to remove breast milk, you should replace them if your pump is losing suction or if there is a decline in their efficiency.

Wear and Tear

Regular use of your breast pump can cause some parts to wear down, fray, or become overstretched. Keep an eye on the silicone components, such as duckbill valves or membranes, as they are more prone to breaking down due to their elasticity. Replace any parts that show visible damage to ensure your pump stays in good working condition.


Discoloration is another indication that it might be time to replace your breast pump parts. Silicone parts, in particular, are prone to discoloration over time. While slight discoloration isn’t always a cause for concern, significant color changes or a cloudy appearance can be a sign that the part should be replaced.

Residue Buildup

Sometimes, residue from breast milk can accumulate on your pump parts, causing them to become less effective. Inspect your pump components, such as connectors and tubing, for any residue buildup. Cleaning them thoroughly can often resolve the issue, but if the residue has caused parts to break down, it’s time to replace them.

Spectra Pump with Manual

How Often to Replace Specific Breast Pump Parts

While using a breast pump, making sure that all the pump parts are in good condition is essential for maintaining hygiene and ensuring the breast milk supply. In this section, we will cover how often to replace various parts of your breast pump, such as tubing, breast shields and connectors, valves and membranes, backflow protectors, and bottles and nipples


Breast pump tubing should be replaced every three to six months to maintain optimal suction and cleanliness. Check the tubing for any signs of wear, dirt, or mold, and replace it sooner if you notice these issues. It is crucial to sterilize the tubing and air dry it after each pumping session to keep it clean and bacteria-free.

Breast Shields and Connectors

Breast shields and connectors typically need replacement every six months to ensure a comfortable fit and proper suction. If you notice cracks or signs of wear on the breast shields, you should replace them immediately. Keep the shields and connectors clean by washing them in warm water with a mild detergent and a bottle brush, and then letting them air dry on a clean paper towel.

Valves and Membranes

Valves and membranes work together to regulate the suction of your breast pump. As these parts are small and made of silicone, they tend to wear out faster than other components. 

Depending on your pumping frequency, you should replace valves and membranes every two to four weeks if you pump more than once a day, and every two months if you pump less frequently. 

To maintain valve longevity, it’s recommended to avoid washing them in the dishwasher and instead clean them in hot, soapy water with a clean brush.

Backflow Protectors

Backflow protectors, also known as diaphragms, are essential for maintaining a closed system in your breast pump. A closed system prevents milk and moisture from entering the pump’s motor unit7. It’s best to replace backflow protectors every six months or sooner if you notice wear or damage.

Bottles and Nipples

Finally, bottles and teats require replacement every three to six months, depending on usage and wear. Inspect the bottles for any cracks or signs of damage, as well as checking the nipples for any thinning or splitting.

Remember to sanitize the bottles and teats regularly to maintain a hygienic and safe environment for your breast milk.

breast pump backflow protectors and when to replace them

Tips for Replacing Breast Pump Parts

Keeping your breast pump in optimal working condition is crucial for efficient milk expression and maintaining hygiene. Here are some helpful tips for replacing breast pump parts:

Familiarize Yourself with Manufacturer’s Recommendations

Read the user manual or visit the manufacturer’s website to understand their recommended replacement schedule for each part. Following their guidelines ensures that you maintain the best performance and hygiene standards.

Regularly Inspect Parts for Wear and Tear

Sorry to add another thing to your to-do list! But I recommend routinely inspect your breast pump parts for signs of wear and tear, such as cracks, discoloration, or loss of functionality. If you notice any issues, it’s a clear indication that replacement is necessary.

Keep Spare Parts on Hand

This tip has saved me in the middle of the night! It’s a good idea to have spare breast pump parts readily available. This ensures that you have additional breast pump parts when needed, especially if you’re in a situation where obtaining new parts may be challenging or time-consuming. Having spare parts also minimizes interruptions in your pumping routine.

Consider Replacement Sets or Kits

Some manufacturers offer replacement sets or kits that include all the necessary parts for your specific breast pump model. These sets can be convenient and cost-effective, allowing you to replace multiple parts simultaneously.

Find Authorized Retailers

Purchase replacement parts from authorized retailers or directly from the manufacturer. This ensures that you’re getting genuine, high-quality parts that are designed specifically for your breast pump model.

Size and Fit Matters

When replacing breast shields and flanges, pay attention to the size and fit. It’s essential to find the correct size that provides a comfortable and efficient pumping experience. Consult sizing guides provided by the manufacturer or consider seeking assistance from lactation consultants if needed.

Properly Clean and Maintain New Parts

Before using new replacement parts, thoroughly clean and sterilize them according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Maintaining proper hygiene from the start will ensure a safe and sanitary pumping experience.

Dispose of Old Parts Correctly

When replacing old breast pump parts, dispose of them properly following the manufacturer’s recommendations or local regulations. If recycling options are available, separate recyclable parts and dispose of non-recyclable parts in a sealed bag.

duckbill valves and when to replace them as well as other breast pump parts

By following these tips, you’ll be able to replace breast pump parts effectively, ensuring optimal performance, hygiene, and convenience throughout your breastfeeding journey. Remember, keeping spare parts on hand and staying proactive with replacements will help you maintain a smooth pumping routine.

Breast Pump Cleaning and Maintenance Tips

Proper cleaning and sanitizing of your breast pump and parts will ensure optimal pump performance and milk production. Here are some breast pump cleaning and maintenance tips.

Cleaning Process

To properly clean your breast pump, make sure to follow the instructions provided in your pump’s instruction manual. Rinse the parts that come into contact with your breast or breast milk under running water to remove any remaining milk.

Then, use a wash basin filled with soapy water to clean your pump parts by hand, ensuring to remove all bacteria and germs that could potentially affect your baby’s health. 

Per the CDC, it’s important to clean your breast pump parts after every use to protect your milk supply and your baby from harmful germs.

Sterilizing Methods

Sterilizing your breast pump parts is an essential part of keeping your milk safe for your baby. There are several methods for sterilizing, such as using hot water, steam, or microwave sterilizer bags.

To sterilize with hot water, submerge cleaned pump parts in a pot of boiling water for about 10 minutes. 

Steam sterilization can be achieved by using an electric steam sterilizer or a microwave steam sterilizer bag following the manufacturer’s instructions. 

Always allow the parts to air dry on a clean surface or rack after sterilizing to prevent the growth of bacteria.

Proper Storage

Proper storage of your breast milk and pump parts plays a crucial role in maintaining a clean and healthy environment for your baby. 

Make sure to store your pump parts in a clean, dry area away from potential contaminants. Additionally, always store your expressed breast milk in clean containers or milk storage bags that have been properly sealed.

While in the refrigerator, place the milk on a shelf rather than the door to ensure consistent temperature. It’s also important to label your milk storage containers with the date of expression to ensure that you are using the freshest milk for your baby.

breast pump and breast pump parts on when to replace them

Breast Pump Brands and Replacement Parts

In this section, we’ll discuss the different breast pump brands and their recommended replacement parts schedules. The focus is on Medela, Spectra, and Motif breast pumps.


Medela is a popular breast pump brand that offers several models, including the Pump In Style, Sonata, and Symphony. It is essential to replace parts of your Medela pump according to the following guidelines:

  • Valves and membranes: every 30-90 days
  • Tubing: every 3-6 months, or if there is moisture buildup inside
  • Breast shields and flanges: up to 6 months
  • Connectors: up to 6 months

Inspect the hard plastic parts of the milk collection kits regularly to ensure optimal performance. Replace them if you notice any cracks or warping.


Spectra breast pumps, such as the S1, S2, and 9 Plus, are well-loved by many new moms. To keep your Spectra pump working efficiently, consider replacing the parts as follows based on the manufacturer:

  • Duck valves and membranes: every 2-4 weeks if exclusively pumping, or every 2 months if pumping less frequently
  • Tubing: every 3-6 months, or if moisture is present inside the tubes
  • Breast shields and flanges: up to 6 months
  • Connectors: up to 6 months
  • Backflow protectors: every 3-6 months

Similar to the Medela pumps, examine the hard plastic components for signs of wear and replace them if necessary.


Motif offers reliable breast pumps, including the Luna and the Twist. To maintain your Motif pump’s efficiency, follow these replacement suggestions:

  • Valves and membranes: every 1-3 months
  • Backflow protectors: when they become torn, warped, or discolored
  • Tubing: every 1-3 months, or if moisture is detected inside
  • Breast shields and flanges: every 6 months
  • Connectors: every 6 months

As with other pumps, vigilantly inspect the hard plastic parts for any damages or deformities.

Spectra S1 versus Spectra S2 Featured

Frequently Asked Questions About How Often To Replace Breast Pump Parts

Spectra S1 versus Spectra S2 Closed System

Replacing Breast Pump Parts

We hope this article has been helpful in guiding you through the process of replacing your breast pump parts. Remember, regular maintenance is key to keeping your pump functioning properly and ensuring your baby gets the best possible nutrition.

By keeping an eye out for signs of wear and tear and replacing parts as needed, you can continue to provide your little one with all the benefits of breast milk. So, keep on pumping, and don’t forget to take care of your breast pump!

Check out these other helpful articles about breast pumps!

when to replace breast pump parts pin 1

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