While mothers with a busy schedule often prefer the faster operation of a double breast pump, they’re not necessarily for everyone. For one… Some mother’s can find it difficult to get the hang of operating two pumps at once and there’s also the extra bulk when transporting it around. There are benefits to both types of pump, and in the end, it really comes to down to personal preference and lifestyle.
Today we’re looking at a single electric breast pump, the Medela Swing. The Medela Swing has a single flange that fits comfortably over the breast, with the bottle attached just below.
Much like it’s double breast pump cousin.. the Medela Pump in Style, it uses Two-Phase expression technology that mimics your baby’s natural feeding pattern. The first phase, known as the simulation phase operates at a faster cycle for the first 2 minutes to help achieve let-down (where the milk starts to flow naturally). Once this phase is complete the pump automatically switches to expression mode, which assists in helping the milk flow at a slower, but more effective rate.
Using a pump can be a daunting task at first, so the two phase expression technology is a blessing you’re starting out. Once you get the hang of it you can override the simulation stage by simply pressing the let down button and changing the settings to your liking.
How much should I pay?
This pump retails anywhere up to $150 but if you do some research you should be able to find it cheaper. At last price check Amazon had the best deal we could find. They also offer free shipping for selected items over $25 and have a great return policy on all baby products.
What settings does the Medela Swing Breast Pump have?
On the control console you’ll find a + and – button to adjust the vacuum level to find the most comfortable setting. Holding down one or the other will adjust the vacuum more rapidly and a green LCD light with flash when you’ve achieved the minimum or maximum vacuum level for the pump. Just above and below the vacuum controls, you’ll find the on/off button and the let-down button. Overall it’s a very simple, easy to use control system that you should get the hang of in no time.
Is the pump safe for my baby?
As is the case with most breast pumps on the market, all the parts of the Medela Swing that come into contact with the milk are BPA free. Meaning that the plastics used are free from contaminants that could harm your baby. While this is common place in most baby products today, you should always check with the manufacturer or retailer if you’re unsure. The other consideration when it comes to safety is whether or not a pump uses an open or closed system. A closed system means that the tubing and motor are protected from the milk overflowing by a diaphragm. This helps prevent parts of the unit becoming contaminated if milk accidentally gets inside it. The Medela Swing uses an open system which means there is no diaphragm to prevent this from occurring, however you’ll find that as long as you keep an eye on how much milk you have expressed it’s very, uncommon for any overflow to occur. If it does, you should ensure all parts are cleaned immediately after use.
Is it operated by batteries or AC power?
Both. The Medela Swing Breast Pump comes with an AC adapter cord for home use and also has a compartment to fit 4 AA batteries for when you’re on the move. When using battery power you’ll generally find the Medela Swing Pump will give you 2-4 hours of operation. A common problem in many pumps is that there will be a noticeable loss of power or vacuum when switching to battery operation, however this is one problem that the high quality Medela pumps generally overcome. While you may notice a slight loss of power in battery mode, it’s not as noticeable in the Medela Swing Breast Pump as it is in many other breast pumps on the market.
Is it easy to transport?
One of the great benefits of a single pump is that they’re much more discreet and easier to store and transport than the double pumps. The Medela Swing Breast Pump comes with a carry bag, but will also fit comfortably inside many purses too. For this reason, many mothers prefer a single pump for use in the office. It’s a lot more discreet to quickly duck out with your purse in hand than it is with a backpack or tote over your shoulder.
Is it loud?
The Medela Swing Breast Pump is one of the quietest, if not the quietest pump on the market. Some of the reviews from mother’s who regularly use the pump even say it’s quieter than their baby’s are while feeding.
Is the Medela Swing Breast Pump easy to clean?
One of the drawbacks with the Medela Swing Pump is that handwashing is recommended by the manufacturer over using a dishwasher which is possible with some of it’s competitors. After each use, the breastshield, pump body, valve, membrane, bottles and bottle caps need to be disassembled and hand washed in warm soapy water or boiled. It will take a little longer than some of it’s competitors pumps but overall it’s not a huge issue.
What accessories does the pump come with?
Out of the box you’ll find 2 collection containers and lids, a collection stand, a carry bag, shoulder strap, AC Adapter and an instruction manual. The drawstring bag isn’t exactly a fashion accessory but it’s a nice addition for those who decide to use it. Most mother’s will likely prefer to carry the pump around in a purse or something equally conspicuous. The manual is brief but manages to cover pretty much everything you’ll need to know about the pump from operation, to cleaning and troubleshooting.
What others have to say about it…
“I had rented a hospital grade dual medela pump, when it was time to return it to the hospital I purchased this medela swing pump. I never thought it would work anywhere near as good as the hospital grade pump, and I also thought that it would be annoying going from a dual pump to a single pump. To my surprise, this pump works amazingly” – omccombs
“I used this pump once I returned back to work part-time. It worked perfectly for me since I only needed to pump once per day. Very compact, fabulous suction.”-kristinmbeck
“The pump-in-style is a bit larger and clunkier to carry around, so I will use this swing pump when I go back to work – to pump during my lunch hour. If you are looking for a portable, decent pump this is a good deal – amazon’s price is the best anywhere that I could find.”-bestemp
What we like about it…
The best feature of the Medela Swing Breast Pump is definitely the size. The power and suction it produces is comparable to the much larger double pumps while still being small enough to carry around in a purse. The other noteworthy feature is the durable motor. We research a lot of pumps and scour sources far and wide for user feedback and it’s very difficult to find mention of Medela pumps declining in power with prolonged use. Certainly not to the same extent as you’ll find with other pumps.
What we don’t like…
For this price it would have been nice to see a couple more accessories included such as a cooler bag for the milk bottles, but the Medela pumps are generally priced higher because of the overall quality of the unit and it’s hard to find fault with the pump itself.
The only other gripe is the cleaning. The Medela pumps generally require handwashing for all parts which does take a little longer.
What’s the verdict on the Medela Swing Breast Pump?
It’s probably the most expensive single electric pump on the market, but you really do get what you pay for and the Medela do manufacture high quality breast pumps, the Medela Swing is no exception. Highly recommended.
Where can I buy it?
As always we recommend Amazon for all breast pumps and baby related products. They have a 356 day return policy on baby products and offer free shipping for items over $25. You’ll find it very hard to find a cheaper price in shops or anywhere on the internet.
Item Code: 67050
Item: Medela Swing Breast Pump