We were sent a Medela Swing Electric Breast pump to use as part of the Medela Mum campaign. I was really looking forward to putting it to the test, as I only had a manual pump when I was trying (and failing) to breastfeed Busby, and remember spending hours on the sofa, only to produce a minute amount of milk for her.
I started using the electric pump when Indy was a couple of days old to try and bring my milk in. My milk took around 4-5 days to come in this time round, and I was reluctant to start giving him formula as I desperately wanted to breastfeed. Once my milk arrived, I used it almost daily in the early days to increase my milk supply.
The Swing has so many fantastic features and it’s very easy to use, but what I love the most is the 2-Phase programme; studies have shown that babies naturally nurse in two phases:
- An initial fast and light suckle to stimulate let down and encourage milk to flow.
- Once the milk starts flowing, the suck turns deeper and slower to get as much as milk as possible.
The 2-Phase programme is definitely something you can’t mimic with a standard manual hand pump, and I really do feel like it assisted my successful pumping sessions.
I also love that you can adjust the speed of the pump in both stages, as I respond better to a higher speed.
It’s so easy to assemble and clean – even in a highly sleep deprived state.
The Swing is ideal if you travel around a lot, or for trips away, as it’s compact and can also be used with batteries, so you can use in the car on long journeys when you’re feeling very full! It’s also very discreet and a lot quieter than a squeaky manual pump, so you can pump in public – or even with a sleeping baby next to you – without worrying. I found the Medela microwavable sterilising bags really useful for taking away with us when we went to visit family for convenient sterilising of the pump.
The storage bottles that come with the pump are fantastic, and have lids for easy fridge storing. They also come with a teat, so you can feed straight from the bottle! The Medela breast milk storage bags fit onto the pump too, so these can be stored in the fridge/freezer, without having to decant from a bottle.
I have to admit that my breasts don’t respond brilliantly to being pumped, but this is my own physiological problem, rather than an issue with the pump! I definitely had more luck pumping with the Swing than I did with the manual pump we had when I was feeding Busby, and found it most useful for pumping full, swelled breasts when my milk supply was establishing.
I really do think that an electric breast pump is a breastfeeding essential. Even if you can’t pump tons as I can’t, it’s so useful to have for assisting your milk coming in, increasing supply in the early days, and for taking the edge off achy breasts when your little one sleeps for longer than usual.
We were also sent a Harmony manual breast pump. I haven’t used this much at all as the Swing is so fabulous, and as I said above, I don’t respond particularly well to manual pumps. You can read more about the Harmony pump on the Medela website.
The Swing electric breast pump costs £134.99 and the Harmony manual pump costs £40. Find out where to buy the pumps (and look at more items in the pumping range) on the Medela website.