Tips For Troubleshooting When Your Medela Breast Pump Isn’t Working

We're always here to help. But if you can't reach Customer Service for some reason, here are some basic troubleshooting steps for your breast pump.

We know how much moms rely on their pumps to provide breast milk and we can’t imagine the frustration a mom must feel when her pump isn’t working properly. Our Customer Service team helps thousands of moms each month resolve any issues they’re having with their products, but we never want you to feel helpless if you can’t reach us for any reason.

If you’re ever in a pinch, please use these Medela troubleshooting tips to help. Here are some basic troubleshooting steps for frequently asked questions about your breast pump.


My breast pump is losing suction.

If you are experiencing low suction, first check the valves and membranes:

  1. Separate the membranes from the valves.
  2. Inspect the valves and membranes for damage, including cracks, chips, holes, or tears, and make sure the pieces fit snugly and lie flat. If a part is damaged, discontinue use and purchase a replacement.
  3. Wash the valve and membrane using warm, soapy water. Allow parts to dry completely before reassembling.
  4. Reassemble your breast pump, ensuring that each piece fits snugly and lies flat.

Then, check the breast shields and connectors to make sure there are no cracks, and make sure they attach securely.

Clean your Medela tubing.

Remember, cleaning your tubing is only necessary if milk, condensation, or other dirt or debris are present! 

  1. Begin by turning off your breast pump and removing it from the power source.
  2. Remove tubing without wiggling or pulling at an angle.
  3. Rinse tubing in cool water to remove any breast milk residue.
  4. Wash tubing in warm soapy water, rinse in cool water and hang to dry thoroughly.

Wash your faceplate.

This option applies to Pump in Style Advanced users only. If you have a Pump in Style Advanced breast pump, here's how to wash your faceplate:

  1. Snap off the faceplate using the thumb tab and soak in warm, soapy water for 5 minutes.
  2. Clean with a soft brush or dish cloth and allow it to dry completely.
  3. Wipe diaphragm with a clean damp cloth (no soap).
  4. Then, locate the 3 connection points on the reverse side of the faceplate and reconnect the faceplate back to the pump.

Inspect these connection points to ensure they're attached securely:

  1. Tubing adapter to breast shield connector
  2. Tubing end to faceplate port
  3. Faceplate to backplate

Once you’ve completed these steps, turn on your pump and check the suction.

There's condensation in my tubing.

If you notice moisture in your tubing, leave your tubing attached with the pump still running while you store your breast milk after you’re finished pumping.

This will allow any condensation that has formed from the natural results of humidity to dry in the tubing.

There's milk in my tubing.

If milk accidentally gets in tubing, turn off the pump and remove it from the power source (above faceplate instructions only apply to Pump In Style Advanced models.)

  1. Remove tubing without wiggling or pulling at an angle
  2. Wash tubing in warm soapy water and hang to dry thoroughly
  3. Snap off the faceplate using the thumb tab and soak in warm, soapy water for 5 minutes
  4. Clean with a soft brush or dish cloth and allow it to dry fully
  5. Wipe diaphragm clean with a damp cloth (no soap)

If you still experience problems, check out our YouTube channel for more troubleshooting advice, or reach out to Medela Customer Service. We’re happy to help and will do our best to come up with the best solution possible. Also, refer to your instruction manual for more details.