You have no items in your shopping cart.
The warm season is here again, and it’s an excellent time of the year to go on vacations and catch up on some outdoor summer fun. However, with the heat comes sweat. It makes your skin and hair damp and sticky, and if you are a pumping and/or nursing mother, sweat can be bad for you. It can linger in warm areas such as the breast, where bacteria can form. Avoiding bacteria growth and possible contamination of your milk is essential for you and your child’s health. To help you, we have listed five tips for helping mothers who are using the breast pump in the summer.
Keep Your Hands Clean
Ensure clean hands before and after pumping or handling any pump parts. Wash your hands with soap and warm water, and dry them with a clean cloth or paper towel. Avoid getting any creams, lotions, or sunscreen on your hands to reduce the risk of milk contamination. If you’re unable to have access to soap and water, you can use a hand sanitizer.
Clean Your Pump Parts
Before washing your used pump parts, rinse them under cool water to get rid of any milk protein residue. Heat can encourage the growth of bacteria and germs, so it is very important to wash and dry your pump parts thoroughly. Between pumping sessions, you can wash the pump parts in warm, soapy water. Rinsing twice with hot water and allowing the parts to dry on a clean paper towel helps keep them clean for the next use. Some pump parts can be dried and sterilized in a UV sterilizer, so if you have one, you can do so after checking with your breast pump manufacturer. However, if you are unable to wash the parts between sessions, it is recommended to store them in a clean zip lock bag in the refrigerator. This helps to minimize bacterial growth on your pump parts.
In the warm summer heat, sweat can accumulate on the sides of your breasts, top, and underneath. Where possible, avoid applying lotions and creams on your breast as the chemicals in these can contaminate your milk, along with sweat. If you are unable to take a shower, have a towel with you so that you can dab the sweat off your breast when needed. To avoid getting sweat on your pump parts, ensure your breasts are dry before every pumping session.
Change Nursing Pads Often
If you use nursing pads, you will need to change them more frequently in the summer. The heat and moisture from sweat, along with your body heat and leaking breast milk can boost the growth of yeast and bacteria. If you have been sweating a lot, remember to change your bras daily.
Keep Your Milk Cool
Whether you are planning to pump while traveling or simply pumping and storing the milk at home, make sure that you keep your milk cool and at the correct temperature. If you are traveling, pack extra ice packs and coolers for your milk. If you do not have access to a freezer, use frozen gel packs instead of ice. This is to prevent melting ice from getting into contact with the milk and contaminating it.