There’s no doubt about it: Being a new parent is expensive.
Even after the baby shower, there are expenses for everything from diaper cream to daycare, and it seems like there’s a new bill every time you turn around.
So when it comes time to get a breast pump, you may be wondering if it makes sense to buy a used breast pump to save money? The quick and dirty answer is “no,” but read on for more information on why it’s important to never get a used pump and how to get a breast pump for free.
Medicaid or private insurance will cover a new pump
First of all, if cost is your biggest concern, rest easy. Medicaid and private insurance policies are required by the Affordable Care Act to cover the cost of one breast pump per pregnancy, along with the required supplies.
Companies that sell breast pumps can help you figure out which pumps are free under your particular plan and can also help you get a reduced cost on models that aren’t fully covered.
To get your pump for free, all you have to do is contact us and we can find out which pumps are covered under your insurance and ship one to you for free.
But let’s say you want a second breast pump, for use at work or at school. Even though you have to pay for it, it’s still better to buy a new one rather than a used one, for the reasons listed below. And the good news is that you can get 20% off the retail price of a second pump at NebMedical by using the code THANKYOU.
And know that some insurance plans also allow you to get an additional breast pump after a calendar year has passed since the baby’s birth, so check with us to find out if that is true for you.
3 Reasons Not to Get a Used Pump
- Used Pumps May Be Contaminated
A breast pump is a medical device, designed to gather and store bodily fluids. (That’s the reason charities like the Salvation Army won’t accept donations of used breast pumps.) For some time, doctors thought breast milk was sterile, but more recent research has proven that’s not the case. Trapped fluids also can cause mildew or mold, and there may be infectious particles in breast milk.
There are two kinds of pumps: ones designed for multiple users (often called “hospital-grade pumps”) and those designed for single users. Most pumps are intended only for single users.
There are also two further categories of breast pumps: open-system pumps and closed-system pumps. In an open-system pump, milk can reach the motor or inner parts of the machine. A closed-system pump keeps fluids from the pump’s interior.
The FDA strongly recommends against buying or accepting a used single-user pump, due to the risk of contamination. Even in a closed system, milk travels through all of the breast pump’s tubing and can get on almost every part of the outside components of a breast pump. There’s no guarantee that a single-user pump can ever be completely sterilized. So buying one that someone else has used can put you at risk.
- Used Pumps Won’t Have a Warranty
Most breast pumps aren’t designed for long-term use – they only come with a one or two-year warranty because that is how long the motor is intended to be good for. If you start using a breast pump past the time that its warranty covers it, it means that the pump’s motor will start to wear down and work less efficiently, which means you could get less milk out of your pumping sessions and your supply could drop.
But even if a used breast pump works perfectly well and is still within its warranty period, the warranty will only cover the first owner, which means it may be difficult or impossible to get replacement parts and repairs.
As a side note, if you’re looking for pumps that will last longer, here are some with two-year warranties, which is usually the maximum offered. (Note: Some warranties are limited or only cover the motor):
- Ameda Mya Joy
- Baby Buddha
- Cimilre P1, Cimilre S5+, Cimilre S6
- Elvie Double Pump, Elvie Stride, Elvie Stride Plus
- Motif Luna, Motif Twist
- Phillips Avent
- Spectra S1, Spectra S2
- Unimom Opera (three-year warranty)
- Zomee Z2, Zomee Fit
- New pumps = new technology
Companies that make breast pumps are coming up with new technology all the time. Just within the last few years, they have designed breast pumps that can fit inside a bra, quiet pumps intended to be worn in public without attracting attention and pumps the size of a cell phone, so small they can fit inside your hand.
There are also improvements in the way the pumps work and the accessories that can help make pumping an easier and a more relaxing experience. If you can buy a newer breast pump, you’ll be able to take advantage of all the newest technology available.
The final word
At the end of the day, if you have any insurance, used breast pumps aren’t the way to go. And even if you don’t have insurance, it’s crucial to make sure a used breast pump is a completely sterilized, closed-system pump intended for use by multiple people. And no matter what, never reuse accessories or pump parts like breast flanges, tubing and storage bags. It’s not worth the risk.