Friday, 21 March 2014

Medela Swing Electric Breast Pump: Review

From the day I found out I was pregnant, I’d always known that I wanted to breastfeed my baby. That was providing I was actually able to, and thankfully, from day 1 I was.

I had looked into buying a breast pump while pregnant but didn’t want to get ahead of myself or jinx anything by buying one, so I waited until breast feeding had been established before looking into it again.

I knew that I wanted to get an electric pump (I’m really impatient and can’t be done with manual labour! Ha!) so started doing my research.

I did initially find a pump and started using it. It was bulky, extremely loud and would take me forever to express any milk, often only  1oz in 20 minutes, which was laborious and painful!

I didn’t want to give up though and knew there had to be a better pump out there.

Pretty quickly it became obvious that the most popular pump on the market which repeatedly got fab reviews was the Medela Swing.

Everywhere I looked this pump was given glowing reviews so I decided this was the one I needed to try.

The Medela Swing combines a multi-award-winning design with the latest technology, resulting in a pump which is quiet but extremely effective.

When a baby latches on to your breast  to feed, it does so in two phases.     

1.       Initially they suckle fast and light: To stimulate the milk ejection reflex (MER) and to start the milk flowing
2.       Once the breast has been officially stimulated, they switch to a slower and deeper suck for the actual feeding phase: To get as much milk as possible. 

The Medela Swing replicates this with its 2 phase expression, which allows you to express more milk, quicker!

To begin with, the pump has a fast pumping rhythm to stimulate the milk let down reflex.

Next, a slower pumping rhythm gently expresses the milk quickly and efficiently.

Firstly, this is a really compact little pump! It’s small, stylish and dare I say it, even pretty! Its size makes it easily portable which is great if you need to express on the go. You can use it attached to the mains if you’re at home but it also takes batteries so you can take it out and about too.

Its super easy to use too- I was slightly daunted when it arrived and I saw all the parts, but it’s extremely easy to assemble and clean and the pumping unit is easy to understand and use, in part thanks to the instructions which come with photos you can refer to to ensure you’re definitely using it correctly.

Now, they say this pump is quiet, but boy were they right! Compared to the other pump I used this was practically silent, which is perfect and means I can still watch the TV AND hear it while pumping, which is always useful! It also means that you’d feel less self conscious if expressing in a less private place as you don’t have a really obvious and loud whirring going on!

It is a really gentle pump that won’t aggravate or damage already sore nips. The pump comes with its regular sized breast shield but if it doesn’t fit properly (It fitted perfectly for me) you can order another individually adjustable PersonalFit Breastshield.

For comfort and productivity, the pump is designed so you can increase or decrease the strength of the expressing phase of the pumping to ensure it is comfortable for you and allowing you to express effectively but gently too.

All these features are great but the proof is in the pudding, or the milk I should say, and The Medela Swing didn't disappoint!

The first time I used it I managed to express 1oz in less than 10 minutes as opposed to the usual 20 mins!

The more I used it, the more I found I was able to express! I now regularly express 3oz in less than 10 minutes, which has made such a huge difference to my daily life. Before, I’d be spending every spare minute I had when Franky wasn’t feeding or crying, expressing. 

Now, I can fit it into a short 10 minute period, meaning I have far more free time to myself now and as I’m able to express more in 1 go, I don’t have to keep trying again and again throughout the day.

On top of all this, the Medela Swing comes with a unique feeding system called Calma. It is essentially the top of the bottle, with teat that you can attach to the bottle that has collected your milk to feed your baby, but Calma is different from any other bottle you’ll feed your baby from.

Calma is an innovative solution which supports your baby switching from breast, to bottle and back again. With a conventional teat, your baby doesn’t have to suck very hard to get the milk, rather, it just flows freely and instead your baby has to stop the flow of milk in order to pause and breathe, totally different to when they feed from your breast.

With Calma, your baby can feed, pause and breathe regularly. The milk won’t flow unless a vacuum is created and the milk flow stops when your baby relaxes to pause and breathe.

This is hugely reassuring as one of my main worries was that Franky would get used to drinking the expressed milk quickly and easily from a bottle, then wouldn’t want to go back on the breast as the bottle was easier.

I’m thrilled to say that this hasn’t been the case at all and he has no trouble switching from breast to bottle and I’m convinced that this is down to Calma. I’d have been mortified if he hadn’t wanted to go back on the breast and insisted on being fed from a bottle all the time.

Medela have clearly thought of everything!

So, as you can see, I literally don’t have a bad thing to say about this pump and only wish I’d had it from the word go and not wasted my time with any other one.

I am now able to express enough milk to allow my husband to give him a bottle of an evening and share in the feeding experience, as well as giving me and my boobs a break from a feed!

The Medela Swing Electric Breast Pump is available from various Online retailers such as John Lewis, Mothercare, Amazon, Boots and has an RRP of £134.99, though John Lewis has it on sale for £96.73.

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