Hi there Mamas!
So, you got your BabyBuddha pump and love it? (I know I do!)
Like all things that are used often and we depend upon, maintenance is needed to properly care for the equipment in order to maintain optimal performance.
The following tips are my personal recommendations.
A breastpump is a piece of medical equipment. For any mom who pumps regardless of the frequency, we are depending on that unit to remove milk at the time of use for whatever reason.
I bring this up because sometimes we might not think about protecting the unit from exterior stressors sometimes.
Keep the actual pump unit protected away from liquids and moisture. Things including but not limited to: breastmilk, high humidity, steam, rain, wet hands, and baby drool.
Whenever possible, keep the tubing plugged into the unit to allow better protection of the suction port. Liquid and debris should be kept completely clear of this port as any foreign objects entering can and will ruin the pump.
Accidentally dropping the unit or mishandling can cause external damage as well as put the internal workings at risk of damage as well.
Wash your hands before pumping and using the trackball on your unit. If the trackball stops responding, there is dirt and debris buildup blocking the sensors. To fix this, simply use a q-tip and a tiny bit of rubbing alcohol to clean and manipulate the trackball.
Dip the q-tip into the rubbing alcohol and remove any excess by gently squeezing.
While the pump is off and unplugged, use the q-tip to roll the ball in all directions.
It may take a few sessions of this to clear and clean the sensors that are not reading the trackball.
If you are using BabyBuddha components there are parts that need to be replaced regularly for proper maintenance.
The little circular membranes for the valves need to be replaced every month if you are exclusively pumping or every 6-8 weeks if pumping occasionally.
Inspect them daily for tiny nicks, tears, or wear and replace sooner if needed. I would recommend keeping spares onhand.
Membranes need to dry completely flat with the connection nub facing up. If they are not dried flat, any warping may create gaps when connected with the valve and that will cause suction loss.
If you are experiencing suction loss on one side only, most likely it is due to a membrane being warped. First ensure the t-valve is in the center position. When you are setup for pumping remove the bottle from the side that seems to have suction loss. Pinch the membrane against the valve to see if that solves the suction issue.
The silicone backflow sphere needs to be replaced every 3 months for exclusively pumping or 3-4 months for occasional pumping.
Check occasionally around the lip of the sphere for any excessive wear or tears as you can experience suction loss from that as well.
When you replace a membrane due to wear or damage, replace both at the same time so you are not worried about knowing which is old and which is new. You also want to have equal suction strength on both sides and an old sphere may have slightly weaker suction.
It’s also helpful to have backups of this part just in case.
Tubing should be replaced every year or as needed. If you have stubborn kinks in the tubing sometimes hot air from a hairdryer and allowing it to cool while straight can help. Placing tape around the kink can also reinforce kink spots.
The silicone inserts and flange/bottle component should be replaced every two years or as needed.
If you are sterilizing your equipment frequently keep in mind that it may break down parts quicker so keep an eye on how things are looking.
*Tubing, the white backflow caps, and the actual pump unit should not be sterilized.
If you happen to get milk in the tubing from the pump parts not connected properly or using different component brands, disconnect the pump from the tubing immediately. If the pump I connected to a power source, unplug immediately also.
Thoroughly flush water through the tubing system. Follow this water rinse with a rubbing alcohol flush. Rubbing alcohol will help sterilize the tubing and it evaporates for quicker drying.
You can also speed the process by gently blowing through one end of the tubing to get moisture out quicker.
Allow the parts to dry completely before use. Moisture in the tubing will get drawn into the pump.
If milk gets into the the actual pump port, turn the pump on it’s side, port facing down. Allow any milk to drain out. Once milk reaches the motor it is very likely the pump will fail. Allow it to fully dry out before attempting to turn the pump on.
If you have any questions or concerns about your pump and this article does not have the answers you are looking for, please reach out to us at BabyBuddha. Our team would love to assist on your pumping journey.