When I was pregnant with Jack, the amount of baby paraphernalia that I supposedly ‘needed’ to buy before he arrived was baffling (and endless), but one of the items that was recommended time and time again was a breast pump. Having decided that I was going to breastfeed, if possible, it really was a ‘must have’, so I bought a Medela Harmony. To be perfectly honest, I was really impressed with it and it served me well during my short breastfeeding period (Jack refused to feed from me at 4 months!).
But when I fell pregnant with Phoebe and the lovely team at Medela offered me the opportunity to review a Medela Swing, I jumped at the chance. The infamous Medela Swing breast pump is hailed the ‘creme de la creme’ of the breastpump world and 9 months in, it has most definitely lived up to its reputation. It’s easy-to-use, comfortable and incredibly effective in expressing milk effortlessly (compared to the manual Harmony).
Designed with simplicity, efficiency and comfort in mind, it’s no wonder the Medela Swing has won so many awards. It isn’t overcomplicated, in fact its really straightforward with only a few component parts to assemble before use and just four buttons on the main control unit. It’s also portable thanks to the option of using battery power (four AA batteries) when you have no access to mains power and it’s compact enough to fit in your handbag / changing bag.
Assembling the pump, as well as cleaning each of the component parts, is very straightforward and putting it together takes a matter of seconds; ideal when you are trying to juggle expressing with looking after a baby!
The pump comprises of the following parts:
1 // Swing breast pump motor unit
2 // Valve head
3 // 150ml Bottle (You can purchase larger 250ml bottles separately if needed)
4 // Standard 24mm Breastshield (Medela offers a wide range of breastshield sizes to ensure comfort and efficient pumping – read this to find the perfect fit)
5 // Valve membrane
6 // Tubing
Similar to a nursing baby, the Medela Swing has a ‘2-phase’ expression technology that mimics a baby’s natural sucking behaviour. The ‘stimulation’ phase has a fast pumping rhythm to stimulate the milk ejection reflex and start the milk flowing and 2 minutes later the ‘expression’ phase kicks in which is slower, expressing milk gently and efficiently. The pump switches automatically between the two phases, but it also allows you to switch between phases yourself should your let-down kick in before the 2 minutes.
The + and – buttons on the motor unit also give you the ability to increase or decrease the suction of the vacuum for comfort. I tend to have it on the most powerful suction setting as it allows me to express a lot quicker – perfect when i’m trying to entertain Phoebe at the same time!
As a bonus, the Medela Swing now comes with the Calma feeding device, which allows your little one to feed from a breastmilk bottle in a similar way to breastfeeding. Using the Calma, the breastmilk won’t leak from the bottle, and will only flow when sucked. As soon as the baby pauses, the flow is stopped, in the same way as breastfeeding. Genius!
The Medela Swing isn’t the cheapest breast pump on the market; it usually retails at around £130 which is likely to be a large chunk of your baby budget, but in my opinion it’s worth every penny! It was a lifesaver for me in the early days when I was really uncomfortable as my milk came in and I have used it regularly ever since to stockpile milk for the freezer. It’s quiet, intuitive and importantly has brilliantly clear and concise instructions.
I’ve been really impressed with the Medela Swing. It allows me to express milk quickly ( I can easily pump 150ml within 10 minutes), comfortably and stress-free – what more can you ask for in a breast pump! You also only need one hand to operate it, so you can still multi-task and read a book / surf the web while you use it.
I would thoroughly recommend the Medela Swing to all mums who intend to breastfeed, and regularly do when the topic of breastfeeding and expressing come up.
*Disclosure: I was very kindly sent this breast pump free of charge for the purpose of this review, however all opinions are my own and I’d still rave about it even if i’d paid for it!