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MEDELA: What you need to know about pump-sharing, insurance coverage and double-pumping

1. HEALTH RISKS: When purchasing a used pump, it is difficult to know the intimate personal hygiene or health of a previous owner. Breast milk is a bodily fluid that can carry disease that in turn can be transmitted via a shared pump. This can happen regardless of where your overflow system/media separation is on your pump – sometimes referred to as “closed” or “open” systems, however these terms are industry generated and are not recognized by any regulatory body.

2. HEALTH CANADA: All personal use pumps, regardless of manufacturer, are licensed as single user medical devices, intended for use by one mother. Health Canada has made this assessment based on risk information available to them.  Also, in the rare event of a product recall, it may be difficult for you to be notified if you are not the original purchaser of the pump.

3. WARRANTY: Breast pump warranties are non-transferrable, making a used pump an “as is” purchase, with no cost effective support or coverage for maintenance.

4. PERFORMANCE: When purchasing a used pump, you cannot be certain of the conditions under which the pump was used. Factors that impact the pump, and ultimately your milk supply, include:  duration of use, thorough cleaning, appropriate storage, pump maintenance, use of authentic replacement parts, and more.

5. COSTS: The costs associated with potential health issues, replacement parts, lack of warranty/servicing, replacement of a borrowed pump if lost/damaged, performance issues that may affect milk supply far outweigh the cost of purchasing a new pump. Hospital grade (multi-user) breast pumps, such as the Medela Symphony, are the only pumps that are licensed to be used by multiple mothers (who use their own pumping kits that cannot be shared). Symphony is specially designed, placed in a sealed case and has a powerful motor rated for many hours of use, to serve the needs of hospitals.*

Insurance:

Make sure you check with your insurance company prior to purchasing a pump to see if you are eligible for coverage! Many insurance companies in Canada provide coverage for breast pumps and some may require a prescription from your doctor.  If you reside in Ontario, and are the mother of a premature baby, the Province of Ontario released new legislation in 2017 that provides coverage for breast pumps to moms of preemies.

Double Pumping:

Other than your baby, ONLY double electric pumps:

  • Help you build and maintain your milk supply over time.
  • Can be used on a frequent, daily basis, including for full-time pumping (i.e. by moms who do not breastfeed and depend on the pump to provide breast milk for their baby).
  • Help you express more milk when you simultaneously double pump vs pumping one breast than the other. This is because moms who simultaneously double pump with a Medela pump experience an extra let-down, leading to approximately 18% more milk per session!
  • Make pumping twice as fast as single pumping (Note: all Medela double pumps can also be used as single if you wish to pump while nursing).

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MEDELA: What you need to know about pump-sharing, insurance coverage and double-pumping

1. HEALTH RISKS: When purchasing a used pump, it is difficult to know the intimate personal hygiene or health of a previous owner. Breast milk is a bodily fluid that can carry disease that in...Read More »

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