Last updated: December 3, 2023

Electric breast pumps are really a godsend for nursing and pumping moms. They help feed babies when mom has to be away from them or if nursing just isn’t working out.

Because of this you want to keep your breast pump and its parts in the best shape possible. Changing pump parts when needed is important for maximum milk production. I learned this early on as a pumping mom to twins and also as working pumping mom.

In this article I wanted to help make clear to new moms how often to replace breast pump parts. We will also discuss why it is important to replace breast pump parts and what you can do with the ones you no longer need.

Please note, there are affiliate links in this post. Read my privacy & disclosure policy at the bottom of this page to learn more.

How Often Do You Need to Change or Replace Breast Pump Parts?

The answer to this question is that each part has a different lifespan due to its placement within the breast pump and the material it is made of. Let’s take a look at the most replaced parts below and how often each needs to be checked and possibly replaced.

Valve Membranes

These are the little white flaps that attach to the valves of the breast pump. Valve membranes will stretch over time and lose elasticity, which will affect suction power. Therefore, membranes should be replaced every 2 weeks to 2 months depending on usage.

One way to tell if a membrane is worn out is to feel how thick it feels compared to an unused membrane. I always knew it was time to replace the membrane because I could feel how much thinner it was than a new one.

Valves (Sometimes Called Duck Valves)

Breast pump valves or as some companies call them, duckbill valves are the plastic pieces the breast milk goes through before entering breast milk storage container. The valve membranes mentioned above, attach to the top of the valve.

Valves need to be replaced every 1 to 3 months. This time frame will depend on how often the device is used. Worn out duck valves can affect suction power.

Backflow Protector

Some breast pumps have backflow protectors. These can also stretch and degrade over time.

They lose elasticity and can greatly impact suction power and therefore milk flow. Backflow protectors should be replaced every 3 to 6 months, depending on how often you use the breast pump.


There are conflicting ideas as to when tubing should be replaced, but the general rule of thumb would be to replace tubing every 3-6 months. The reason is because when the tubing starts stretching and slipping off, it can leave the motor exposed and moisture could get inside and damage it. Just be aware of how the tubing looks and try not to let any excess moisture enter it or the motor.

Breast Shields or Flanges

Breast shields are also referred to as flanges. They are the part that attach to your breasts.

Residue can easily build up on these parts as they are sometimes difficult to keep completely clean. Ideally you will be replacing breast shields every 6 months, or as soon as you see cracks or tears in the shield.

Why Do You Need to Replace Breast Pump Parts?

When you use a breast pump you could be using it once or twice a week, or multiples times a day. For example if you are pumping at work on a set schedule or if you need to stick to a pumping schedule because you are pumping exclusively you will be pumping a lot.

This will inevitably lead to wear and tear, meaning your breast pump parts will need to be replaced. Over time, regular use can lead to the harder working parts of your breast pump being significantly worn out, stretched or frayed.

When the parts start to deteriorate breastfeeding moms may get the feeling that their milk supply is no longer optimal or even that the breast pump itself is broken or damaged. If you feel your breast pump is not working quite as well as it used to, the first step is to check whether it needs parts replaced. Bacteria build up is also a real concern because overused parts can form crevices and cracks, making it a little more difficult to keep clean.

What Can You Do With Old Breast Pump Parts?

This is a good question and there are a few answers depending on the part.

  • Valves or duck valves: can be recycled
  • Backflow protectors: if it is hard plastic it can be recycled, but if it’s soft silicone it must be thrown away
  • Membranes: must be thrown away
  • Breast shields / flanges and connectors: can be recycled
  • Breast pump: needs to be taken to an electronic recycling depot

Remember, you can also keep your pump for future babies, but make sure to replace all used parts beforehand.

How often to change breast pump parts.

Electric Breast Pump Brands & Their Parts

We have now taken a look at how often to replace each breast pump part. But, which brands have which parts?

Breast pumps have come a long way over the years and there are many new brands on the market. Different breast pump brands generally have similar parts.

In this section we will discuss some of the most popular breast pump brands along with their associated parts. This will help you understand what you will need for your specific breast pump.


Medela is a trusted household name when it comes to everything breastfeeding and pumping. Their Double Electric Pump In Style with MaxFlow is extremely popular.

Medela makes a large variety of pumps including double electric, hands free, single electric, and manual pumps. They also have many accessories for their pumps, including breast milk storage options and bottle cleaning and sanitizing products. Medela has the following spare breast pump parts and accessories available when needed.

It is important to know that because there are various types of breast pumps, there are also various replacement parts available, so be sure to pick the right one for your device. Lastly, something I highly recommend doing is ordering a whole set of spare parts to have on hand when needed.


The Spectra S1 and Spectra S2 are both very, very popular breast pumps for mothers who are either breastfeeding and working, pumping exclusively, or using a breast pump to increase milk supply. If you own a Spectra pump then you are going to want to have the right replacement parts available too. The main parts that usually need replacement first are the valves, tubes and actual breast flange.

Again, I would recommend having a whole set of replacement parts on hand. Then buy individual parts as time goes on and as you need them.


Lansinoh is another very well known brand and one of the most popular products is the Lansinoh SignaturePro Double Electric Breast Pump. Lansinoh, just like the other brands, has a variety of products available.

Other popular items include the Lansinoh Manual Breast Pump and the Lansinoh Breastmilk Collector (collects milk from breast that is not pumping). The variety of spare parts and accessories available for your Lansinoh Breast Pump are great and include the following:

Lansinoh really has thought of everything so that you can have peace of mind while you are breastfeeding. Lastly, start with a Lansinoh breast pump parts set, if this is the pump you have.


Elvie is a truly innovative breast pump. It is the world’s first silent, wearable breast pump. This incredible little device simply fits into your bra and you are set. No tubes and no wires.

So, you may be wondering, since it is so different to any of the other breast pumps, are replacement parts still necessary, and more importantly, are they available to purchase separately? The answer is YES!

No one is selling a complete set of Elvie breast pump parts, but they can be purchased individually along with some helpful accessories, including the following:


The Willow breast pump is another innovative breast pump like Elvie. You can wear it in your bra and pump milk no matter where you are or what you may doing.

It’s light, discreet, spill-proof and silent, you really can get on with your day while pumping milk for your baby. This particular hands-free breast pump has no bottles, cords, wires or anything of the sort.

You simply have milk pumped straight into the self-sealing storage bag or you can get a container which is sold separately. What spare parts are available for the Willow breast pump? These are the accessories you can get to maintain the longevity of your device.


BellaBaby has a fantastic (and very affordable) double electric breast pump which is pain-free and has a powerful suction. It even comes with an display panel to show the working mode and suction level.

Replacement parts are readily available to keep your BellaBaby pump in optimal form. Your best bet is to get a complete detachable flange kit that includes a full set of replacement parts.

How often you change out breast pump parts might be more important than you realized!

Sometimes we get so busy with life and it’s easy to forget about things like maintenance of our breast pump. But, replacing your breast pump parts means you get better pumping action, more breast milk when you pump, and less wear and tear on your pump.

Before I sign off, as pumping mom you might be interested in the following resources to help you stay organized or understand the best ways to maximize your breast milk output. If you need a little extra guidance, be sure to check out the links below.

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