Ottawa Doula Services
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Blog discussing pregnancy, birth & parenting in Ottawa. 

Blog for all things Pregnancy, birth and

parenting with an ottawa touch.

Is it really safe to buy a used breast pump?

When it comes to shopping for baby, many people are trying to buy less new products. It’s better for the environment and it’s less expensive but is a breast pump something that is safe to buy used? Well, the answer is….


I know, really helpful. I will explain below why some breast pumps are ok to buy used but some may not be.


Manual pumps (like the one in the picture) can be taken apart and properly sterilized, so it would be considered safe to buy a used one as long as you clean it properly.

Electric pumps is where things get slightly more complicated. If a pump is an “open system pump” such as many of the most popular Medela pumps, they are single user and should not be resold. Medela says so themselves here. The reason being that milk has the potential of getting into the motor. If milk does get into the motor there is no possible way to sterilize the pump between users. So while many people think they are being safe buy ordering new tubes and shields, that isn’t where the potential problem could be. The exception to this when it comes to Medela is their line of hospital grade pumps, including the Symphony and Lactina. They are made to be multi used and can be used by many people as long the parts that come in contact with milk are replaced.

Other popular pumps that are closed system and therefor safe to buy used include Ameda, Lansinoh and Spectra (although Spectra is not available in Canadian stores at the moment, it is a favourite among many who have tried it).

It is also worth noting that many systems only come with short warranties because over time they will lose suction, so you may find that they are not as effective as they should be if it was used a lot by the original user.

Is there a pump you are considering? Contact the manufacturer and ask what type of system it is!

Sherry Trowsse