Today I said goodbye to my breast pump. The pump that I had for seven years. The pump that I have wonderful experiences with. The pump that I share bitter-sweet memories with. The pump that helped me achieve my breastfeeding goals. The pump that provided the benefits of breast milk to my two babies.
With the pump, I pumped in beautiful mother’s rooms in fancy shopping malls. I pumped in nasty storage closets at a baby unfriendly company. I pumped in toilet stalls, dirty or clean. I pumped on the road; in the car; at airports from California to Texas to Ohio. I got upset when not having basic workplace accommodations and adequate break time, but my pump stuck to her job no matter what. I complained; she responded with a steady pumping sound. That was so comforting. We were a great team.
All good things come to an end, including my pumping journey and my partnership with my dear pump. Jade is now 7 and Jasper is turning 3 in one month. My pump has successfully completed her important task and it’s time for her to rest.
The children helped me to pack the pump. My pump’s manufacturer offers a recycling program which allows me to ship my electric pump back to the company, where they send all eligible breast pumps to a third-party processing center where they will be broken down and all recyclable parts will be recycled appropriately.
If you are, too, ready to say goodbye to your breast pump, there are three things you can do: Selling it, donating it, or recycling it.
Selling your used breast pump
Selling your used pump may be an option; however, used pumps should only be reused by another individual when they are a closed system pump. Make sure you have a closed system pump with a still strong motor before selling it.
Donating your used breast pump
When considering donating your used breast pump, the rules above apply. Many non-profit organizations don’t accept a used pump due to liability and health concerns, so your best bet is to connect with other moms in your community.
Recycling your used breast pump
Some pump manufacturers, like Medela and Hygeia, offer recycling. Some manufacturers, like Spectra, suggest consumers to recycle the old pump by taking it to an appliance or PC recycling center. You can always contact your manufacturer directly to find out if they offer a way to recycle your pump.
Farewell with a good partner is emotional. Luckily, with the many safe and eco-friendly options for saying goodbye to a breast pump, we don’t have to throw it away. What have you done with your old breast pump? Leave a comment and share your experiences!