Did you realise that breast pump components must be routinely replaced? This guide provides the necessary information for new mothers.

It is common knowledge that breastfeeding has countless benefits. A breast pump can be the secret instrument that simplifies the lactation process.

However, many new mothers are unaware that their cherished breast machines require routine maintenance. When breast pump components wear out, the machine produces less efficiently. If you do not replace the elements of your breast pump, you will experience ineffective pumping.

Additionally, obsolete breast pump components are prone to cracking and breaking. This results in milk leakage, which poses safety concerns for breast milk.

It is simple to learn when to replace breast pump parts. Keep reading to learn everything you need to know about maintaining the cleanliness and security of pump parts.

Duckbill Valves

Replace: every 4 to 5 weeks.

Poor suction is one of the most common issues with breast pumps.

If your breast pump machine is not functioning as well as it once did, it is likely time to replace one of the vacuum-generating components.

Consider the duckbill valve first. It is primarily responsible for providing adequate suction. It is a tiny portion with a triangular tip that resembles a nozzle.

The duckbill valve allows milk to travel down the pump without allowing air to return up when functioning properly. However, when it becomes stretched or worn, the seal will no longer be effective. The result is a breast pump with minimal or no suction.

Replace the duckbill valve on your breast pump every four to five weeks to maintain it in working order. However, if your machine is experiencing suction issues, you may need to replace it sooner.

The Diaphragms

Replace: every 8 to 9 weeks.

Backflow protectors, also known as diaphragms, prevent milk and air from travelling back up the tube. They prevent milk from entering the breast pump motor and maintain the tubing as clean as feasible.

Because diaphragms perform such an essential function, they are the most crucial breast pump components to replace. When silicone diaphragms age and become damaged, milk may seep upwards. This not only compromises the motor of your breast pump but also the integrity of your milk.

Replace the silicone membrane every 8 to 9 weeks. It must be replaced frequently, particularly if the device is used multiple times daily.

If you do not use your pump every day, the diaphragm may last slightly longer. However, as it is essential to the longevity of your entire breast pump unit, you shouldn’t delay too long to replace it.

The Tubing

Replace: every 6 to 12 months.

Regarding tubing, you must scrutinise your breast pump to determine the type of system it has. Two distinct varieties of conduit systems exist.

The system is exposed if the breast pump’s tubing connects directly to the machine. On the other hand, you have a closed breast milk system if your machine has a barrier between the milk and the machine.

Because hermetic breast pump systems provide an additional layer of protection, milk leakage is less likely. Closed systems also reduce the likelihood of contaminants entering your breast milk through tubing gaps.

Open breast pump systems lack a protective layer, which makes them more susceptible to leakage and contamination. They also deteriorate quicker due to a lack of protection.

Every 6 to 12 months, you should replace your tubing. However, you should frequently inspect the condition of your tubing. Replace it immediately if you observe wear and tear, such as:

  • Mould
  • Dirt or discolouration that cannot be removed through washing.
  • Fractures

It can be difficult to sanitise tubing, but any debris or contamination in the tubes will enter the baby’s milk. Replace your tubing immediately to ensure the safety of your breast milk for your child.


Replace: every 6 to 12 months.

Flanges are the breast pump component that adheres to your breast. They are typically made of rigid plastic or silicone and have a funnel shape. You can find sizes as small as a 13mm breast pump flange to a 24mm one, depending on the brand. This accessory may also be referred to as “breast shields”.

Over time, flanges can develop fissures in which milk can become trapped and shrivel. Cracked plastic is difficult to clean and can harbour pathogens that contaminate breast milk.

In addition, as flanges age, their form can deform. A misshapen flange will not suit your breast as well; therefore, it will not provide sufficient vacuum. Not only does it produce less milk, but it can also be inconvenient or even excruciating to use.

Change breast pump flanges every six to twelve months. You can prolong the life of your flange by thoroughly cleansing it after each use. However, even a well-maintained flange must be replaced after one year of use.

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