How to Break-Up with Your Breast Pump

Oh, breast pumps…  If you’ve ever been a nursing mom, then you are probably all too familiar with that methodic “whomp, whomp…whomp, whomp” sound – and you have probably developed quite a relationship with your pump from all of the quality time you’ve spent with it too.  But what do you do when nature has run it’s course and you no longer need this fine piece of machinery?  Throw it in the trash?  Put it away in storage for the rest of forever? Tape a break-up letter to it?

With Earth Day quickly approaching on April 22nd, I wanted to be sure and share an awesome way to break-up with recycle your breast pump and contribute toward a great cause. Recently, a friend shared with me about a program called Medela Recycles. This is a fantastic way to recycle your breast pump and support the donation of hospital grade breast pumps and supplies to Ronald McDonald House Charities. There are so many aspects of this program that are near and dear to our hearts – let me count the ways…

  • First of all, this program supports breastfeeding, which we are a big fan of around here. Not to say this is the ONLY or RIGHT way {I breastfed my first for 13 months and did mostly formula for my second due to MSPI}, but of course we cheer on any mom who wants to breastfeed.
  • Second, this helps out Ronald McDonald House Charities, which we have supported at past HMB events. You can read all about RMH on their website, but basically, their houses provide a home-away-from-home so families can stay near their hospitalized child {we have several Ronald McDonald Houses in Houston!}. They also have family rooms, care mobiles, and the organization helps out with grants and scholarships too.
  • Lastly, this helps breastfeeding moms whose babies are in the NICU. {Many of our contributors have had NICU babies, and you can read stories from LaurenKellyJenniferHeatherJessicaTiffanie, Brittney, and Meagan to learn more.} 40% of families served by Ronald McDonald House Charities are caring for babies in the NICU. For those mothers that choose to breastfeed, Medela is helping to provide the same high quality equipment that they would receive in the hospital during their stay at a Ronald McDonald House. How amazing is that?

Now that you know why we think this program is so wonderful, here is how it works…


What kind of breast pump can I recycle?

Medela electric breast pumps

Where do I recycle it?

You mail in your breast pump and Medela pays for shipping. Fill out your information online and you can print out a shipping label.

Which components do I mail in?

The motor unit. Some motors are not intended to be removed from the carrying bag, so you will have to send in the whole bag. Check out the FAQs to see which kind you have to determine if you should send the motor with the bag.

What happens to my returned breast pump?

It is sent to a third-party processing center which breaks down the parts to be recycled appropriately. Medela does not reuse donated parts.

I have my Medela electric breast pump sitting on a closet shelf. Since I hope to breastfeed again in the future, I am not quite ready to part with it. But after my breastfeeding journey is over, I will definitely be recycling my pump. If any moms out there have done this, I would love to hear from you. And please help us support all of those precious mamas in need by spreading the word and sharing this post too!


  1. Who is this “third party” and what are they doing to make a single user, open system pump useful? This is a terrible idea, sorry. If you want to help charities, donate hospital grade, closed system pumps. There is nothing you can do with a used medela pump.


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