Are you a new mama or a mama-to-be who is on the hunt for a breast pump? This post is for you. I’ve been an exclusive pumper for several months now and I thought it might be helpful to share an honest review of the Medela breast pumps that I’ve been using. Note: this post is not sponsored by Medela.
Pause here: I should tell you that the rest of this page contains affiliate links, which means that if you click on a link and a purchase is made, it may allow me to earn a small commission. But it comes at no additional cost to you.
This is a hospital-grade, single or double electric breast pump. The term hospital-grade doesn’t necessarily mean better suction, it just means that it’s approved for use by multiple people by plugging their own pumping kit (tubes, storage bottles, connectors, flanges, valves and membranes). I rented this pump for about a month from a maternal and newborn care facility when I first started pumping.
– It’s a powerful and efficient pump.
– Pumping sessions tend to be fast (depending on your let-down).
– You can easily switch from single to double pumping simply by plugging the second collection kit.
– It starts with a stimulation phase which tends to mimic baby’s natural nursing rhythms when he/she starts feeding hungrily (short and rapid). It has a let-down button that you can press once let-down starts. The rhythm then turns into longer and slower suckles which naturally mimics a calmer feeder on the breast.
– The pumping kit comes with membranes that are designed so that the pumping motor does not come in contact with breast milk, making it what’s called a “closed system” which prevents bacterial growth in the pump motor.
– It comes with a program card which stores your pumping program. This is really convenient so you don’t have to adjust the settings at each pumping session.
– It stops after 30 minutes of continuous pumping to prevent you from over-pumping. This could be a disadvantage for those who take time to empty.
– Pricey — it costs over 2000 USD.
– It’s bulky.
– It’s noisy but not irritating.
When it became clear that I would be an exclusive pumper, I decided to buy my own breast pump. I was able to get one through my private insurance — I just had to provide a medical reason for it and my personalized receipt.
I knew I wouldn’t get a $2000 pump but I wanted to stick with the Medela brand because I already had a good experience with it and it helped me increase my milk supply.
I bought the Medela Pump-in-Style Advanced. I thought for its price it was super worth it.
– It’s affordable. It regularly retails for 250 USD but it sometimes goes on sale (150 USD for the pump in tote bag, 170 USD for the pump in backpack).
– It’s light and compact.
– It’s stylish — it comes in either a backpack or a tote bag.
– It also comes with the calma which is Medela’s innovative nipple that is useful for transitioning or introducing an exclusively breastfed baby to bottle-feeding.
– It’s equally efficient as the Medela Symphony.
– It has a battery pack for on-the-go pumping.
– It’s noisier than Medela Symphony.
– It does not have a closed system so it’s a bit more high maintenance in terms of cleaning pumping parts.
Overall, I find the Pump-in-Style Advanced is a great breast pump. I’m still using it to this day although I’ve already replaced some of the pumping parts. That’s one key tip for exclusively pumping mamas: replace your pumping parts to make sure you stay efficient in your pumping. I bought a lot of my replacement parts on Amazon.