How to Use Breast Pump Parts and When to Change Them

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Pumping breast milk requires a lot of new skills. Not only that, but a lot of new knowledge about parts and supplies you’ve probably never heard of or seen before.

Not to worry though, because today you will be given the ins and outs on how to use breast pump parts and when to change them.

I’ll also be diving a little deeper into the equipment options for extra pumping supplies and details on each part.

I hope you’ll find that this in-depth and descriptive round-up of breast pump parts helpful for you to make better sense of this pumping life.

making sense of pump parts and pumping supplies

Breast Pump Parts, Supplies and Equipment

There are so many additional parts and attachments that can help you with breast pumping and your milk supply.

Breast pump parts can be very confusing for a beginner. I can relate to not having a clue about any of them at first.

First, I’ll show you what parts are available and how to use these breast pump parts and when to replace them.

Free Pumping Schedules

An image of a cell phone with a free pumping schedule on the screen.
Three free pumping schedules to help increase milk supply or build a freezer stash. Download and print or keep on your phone.

The Breast Pumping Parts:

  • Back flow protectors
  • Valves and membranes
  • Tubing
  • Breastshields and Connectors
  • Freemies
  • Pumpin’ Pals
  • Duckbill Valve

Scroll down the page to check current pricing of these items.

Suggested: Extreme List of Exclusively Pumping Essentials and Pumping Supplies

Backflow Protectors

backflow protectors pumping supplies

How do I use backflow protectors and what pumps are they compatible with?

These spaceship looking parts are designed to stop backflow of milk from entering into the tubing and causing mold and bacteria growth.

Backflow can also ruin a pump if the breast milk gets inside. These Maymom Backflow Protectors are compatible to be used with all Spectra pumps.

Follow this to see visual diagrams on how to use and attach these parts.

Valves and Membranes
valves and membranes pumping equipment and supplies
How often should I replace the valves and membranes and what happens when I do?

These parts are specifically for Medela breast pumps.

Valves and membranes should be replaced about once every 6-8 weeks or more frequently depending the type of use your breast pump is getting.

I could easily change mine once a month. Keeping these breast pump parts new will hugely help with milk output as they are responsible for the suction capability of the pump.

Click this to see visual diagrams.

Suggested: Best Breast Pump for Exclusive Pumping and A Few Extra Options!

Tubing

replacement tubing pumping supplies

Replacing the tubing isn’t something you need to do as frequently.

A tip to keep the tubing and pump’s seal tight, cut the stretched end that goes onto the pump.

After doing this so many times, the tubing loses length and that’s when it’s nice to replace it with a fresh set.

when to change breast pump parts

Breastshields and Connectors
breast shields and connectors pumping supplies and equipment

Why should I replace these parts?

I’ve had to size down my breastshields multiple times throughout the last nine months of exclusively pumping. Also, accidents happen.

If you’re sanitizing your parts on the stove in a boiling pot of water and just so happen to forget about them for a few hours, you may just find yourself a melted blob of boobie parts.

Thankfully, I have not does this, but I did just read a cute post in the exclusively pumping facebook group I’m in where a mom confessed to this happening to her.

Be sure to check your qualification with Aeroflow for free breastpumps and supplies! 

Suggested: What to Expect Exclusively Pumping, A.K.A. EP

Freemies Collection Cups

freemie collection cups pumping equipment
What are freemies and how do I use them?

These breast milk collection cups make pumping on the go and maintaining your privacy possible!

They are designed to slip into your bra and collect up to 8 oz of breast milk each! If you want to go for a bike ride and pump, now you can with Freemies!

See a video and visual diagrams on this product.

Pumpin’ Pals

pumpin pals breastshield alternatives pumping extra pumping supplies

Why would I need these attachments?

These custom breastshield replacements for Medela flanges are designed to be more comfortable to wear.

They keep elastic breast tissue from being pulled too deep into the flange. The sizes range from xs-m. They are angled downward to keep you in a more comfortable position while pumping that encourages more milk to flow.

Suggested: How to Exclusively Pump and Free Pumping Schedules

Duckbill Valves

valves for pumping parts and supples
What is the difference between these and the valves and membranes?

These valves are compatible with almost every pump.

They are much more durable than the valves and membranes shown above. Easy to remove and replace and it’s only one piece to have to wash. Superior suction.

Click this link to see visual instructions and diagrams on these.

To Summarize

Figuring out how to use breast pump parts definitely come with a learning curve if you’re new to pumping. I hope you feel more equipped and knowledgable about pumping supplies and equipment and how better to use them.

Again, the extra pumping supplies parts and equipment we went over were:

Use the links above to check current pricing on Amazon.

pumping awards for instagram posts

Read Next: 8 Best Breast Pumping Hacks and Tips too Good Not to Share!

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2 Comments

  • Great advice! I realized that I didn’t state that our baby was in the hospital for the first 3 months, so I had amazing nurses feeding him throughout the night so that I could get up and pump.

  • Hi Hector! My heart goes out to nicu moms. I can’t imagine how hard that would be. Sounds like you were blessed with wonderful and supportive people during that trial. God bless you!

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