For new mothers, breast pumps can be a godsend. But like all good things, there are a few downsides to the device as well.
According to a report by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, unless a breast pump is designed for multiple users, sharing it with other parents—even with relatives—can pose health risks for both the mother and baby.
“Contaminated breast pumps could cause you and your baby to develop an infection,” H. Paige Lewter said in an FDA news release.
Lewter works for the agency’s Obstetrics and Gynecology Devices branch as an electrical engineer and device reviewer.
Echoing her concerns, Dr. Michael Cummings, an FDA obstetrician-gynecologist, said that even if a pump looks clean it may still be unsafe.
“Potentially infectious particles may survive in the breast pump and/or its accessories for a surprisingly long time,” he said.
However, if you are one of those with rented or borrowed pumps, it’s advisable that you have a kit of your own that includes a milk container, breast-shield and tubing, the FDA also said.
“Multiple-user pumps are designed so that the breast milk can never touch the working parts of the pump that are shared,” Lewter added. “ The only part of a multiple-user breast pump that you can safely share is the pump itself.”
It’s important to remember that mothers should refrain from buying single-user pumps; if unsure which pump to get, mothers should get in touch with their health care professional.
FDA also advise that mothers disinfect their pumps after each use.
The many benefits of breastfeeding
Although there are a lot of formula milk in the market today, the consensus is still that breastmilk is the best option for newborns. Here are some reasons why:
- Breastfed babies get sick less: breastmilk reduces risk of ear infection, diarrhea, and stomach problems.
- Breastfeeding also benefits mothers by reducing risk of ovarian cancer, type 2 diabetes, and postpartum depression.
- Breastfeeding makes kids smarter. Children who were breastfed for a year performed better on tests conducted at ages 3 and 7.
- Breastfeeding is good for the environment and can help save money by eliminating the need to clean bottles and buy formula.
Republished with permission from: theAsianparent Philippines
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