When I was pregnant I remember researching breast pumps and wondering if I would end up using one, if I would end up breastfeeding etc.
During my research, one pump came into online conversation time and time again, which was the Medela swing. Everywhere from Facebook groups to forums hail this as la crème de la crème of breast pumps so I couldn’t wait to try it!
When it arrived even the packaging lived up to its expectations, I love the Medela branding and colours etc. To me it shouts quality and oozes a bit of class! I know I’m already starting to annoy you, but even the instructions were amazing… Why don’t more brands use photos/diagrams, colours and a decent sized font in their instructions?!
Anyway I digress, let’s get back to the main event…
How it works/how I use it
The pump comes in a few parts – 4 pieces make up the pump/bottle then you have 2 leads plus the main unit….
It’s easy to put together, helped by clear instructions…. the bottle has a valve system inside it…
You need to make sure you wash and sterilise the parts before you put it together as per the instructions. Once you’ve set it up, plug it in and hit the power button 🙂
As with using a manual pump, I didn’t really know what to expect in terms of how it would feel but it felt fine – painless and comfortable! It has a ‘2-phase’ method so it starts pumping as if a baby was suckling, then kicks into the expression mode 2 minutes later – but if your milk/let-down starts flowing within that 2 minutes, you press a button to go into expressing mode early. It has + and – buttons to increase/decrease the vacuum effect – I tend to use the + button to encourage the milk a bit when I’m struggling… and conversely I’ve used it when the milk is flowing well and can go quicker!
Result? In a good session when I have lots of milk in, I can easily express about 400ml of milk. While it’s not hands-free, you only need one hand to operate it so you can be reading/scrolling through the internet/ reading a magazine etc while you use it – essentially it does all the hard work for you!
A couple of times I’ve looked down and realised my nipple is no longer moving so it’s stopped working – it usually means a bit of my clothing has got in the way which stops the ‘vacuum’ effect from working. Once I realised I hadn’t plugged the cable in – doh!
Easy-to-use, light equipment, comfortable and very effective in expressing milk in an effortless way (especially compared to a manual pump!)
You can use it with batteries, and the main unit has a clip on it – so you could walk around the house doing it etc (you’d just need to keep your hand on the ‘breastshield’ (the funnel-looking bit!) as you do if you’re sat down i.e. it’s not hands-free!)
Probably just me being an idiot but I couldn’t get the UK adaptor bit to fit, so I’m using it with an adaptor plug instead!
If the bottle tilts a bit too much I have had a little bit of leakage – I think this is down to me not closing it tight enough rather than being a design fault but thought I’d mention it so you make sure yours is always closed tight, and always use the stand it comes with when you’re placing it down on a surface!
The set also comes with a handy drawstring bag for when you’re out and about (I’ve not taken it out so not used this yet, but you can see from the photo that it’s a decent size – more than enough room for the main unit and all the accessories!)
As I said, you can use it with batteries so in theory is transportable but I’m not sure how discreet it is – I wouldn’t say it’s loud but I wouldn’t say it’s really quiet either – I wonder how mums get on with it when they’re pumping in work etc?
The set also comes with a Medela Calma teat to use as with the bottle. I’ve not used this as we’d got baby used to the Tommee Tippee bottles and I don’t want to confuse him, but I’ve heard good things about the Calma as it’s supposed to mimic the way a baby breastfeeds.
I love the Medela swing – I now use it daily so it’s become an essential part of our routine and so much easier than using a manual pump. Even when I had a cold and my milk dried up a little, I managed to express a little using the Swing – although I have no idea how effective it is, if you have problems breastfeeding – hopefully it can help!
The Medela swing retails at around £130 and I don’t think it’s discounted often (or ever!) – this is likely to be a big chunk of your baby budget, but if you’re exclusively breastfeeding then it’s the money saved from not buying formula milk! You can buy it in places like Mothercare and Boots so maybe you could ask family and friends for vouchers towards it 🙂 Also, I think some of these retailers (and NCT) have rental options.
I hope you found this useful, have you tried the Medela swing or any other electric pumps? How did you get on?
Disclaimer: I was given this product in exchange for a review, but views and opinions are my own!