- In This Feature
- So Many Questions, So Little Time
- Is it OK to buy a used breast pump?
- What’s the best sleeping arrangement for my newborn?
- Can I use an heirloom crib?
- Do imported car seats sold in the US meet federal safety standards?
- Can I use my baby’s play yard as a crib when we travel?
- How soon can we travel with our newborn?
- If walkers aren't safe, why are they in stores?
- Can my baby play with toys for slightly older children?
- Can I hold my baby on my lap in taxi cabs?
- What makes one stroller worth $100 and another $750?
- What kind of baby thermometer should I buy?
- My baby just started walking. Is it time for shoes?
- Is it OK to use a hand-me-down car seat?
Is it OK to buy a used breast pump?
Buying a pre-owned electric pump or borrowing a friend's can put your baby's health at risk because breast milk can carry bacteria and viruses. These potential contaminants can travel through the tubing and lodge into the pump's internal mechanism, which can't be removed, replaced, or fully sterilized, to possibly infect your baby, says Katy Lebbing, an internationally board-certified lactation consultant and manager for Breastfeeding Information at La Leche League (LLL), in Schaumburg, Illinois.
Hospital-grade rental pumps, on the other hand, are durable and designed for multiple users. They have special filters that prohibit milk from entering the internal diaphragm, preventing cross contamination.
To save on a pump, (mid-weight, professional pumps can retail for as much as $320), "I rented one from a medical supplies store near my home," says Elisabeth Elman Feldman, who breastfed for three months for a total cost of $150.
If you plan to breastfeed longer, however, buying is the way to go, so shop around. You can find deals on new breast pumps online, at hospital birthing centers, and through the LLL. You can also consult a LLL leader or lactation consultant in your area for guidance on which type of pump to buy. Small, electric, and battery-operated and manual pumps are less expensive and may suffice if you won't be pumping often.