Medela Harmony Breast Pump review

Our rating 
4.6 out of 5 star rating 4.6
User rating
£39.99 RRP
medela-harmony-breast-pump_83910

In a nutshell

A slightly updated version of the groundbreaking 2004 manual breast pump, which still includes the 2-Phase Expression Pumping technology, but also has Medela's latest Calma innovation
Ease of use
4.0 out of 5 rating 4.0
Comfort
5.0 out of 5 rating 5.0
Ease of cleaning
5.0 out of 5 rating 5.0
Design
5.0 out of 5 rating 5.0
Durability
4.0 out of 5 rating 4.0
Worth the money
4.5 out of 5 rating 4.5
Pros: Expresses milk quickly, gentle on the nipple, quiet, convenient if you’re out and about, easy to wash, good value for money
Cons: Requires both hands, only comes with one size nipple shield
Skip to view product specifications

Medela has been producing breast pumps for over 50 years and has gone from a small, family owned company in Switzerland to a global market leader in breast equipment.  

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Committed to highlighting the importance of breastfeeding, it sponsors lactation research around the world and adheres to the World Health Organisation’s International Code of Marketing of Breastmilk Substitutes. Meaning it depicts breast milk as the optimal nutrition for babies.

Originally launched ten years ago, the Harmony has garnered a variety of awards, over the years, including the Winner of the Best Manual Breast Pump in 2008. 

Still one of the company’s bestsellers, the Harmony has been updated with a newer connector and valve.  But unlike it’s previous version, this new Harmony only has one nipple shield, as opposed to two.

Away from the pump, the kit now includes Medela’s latest innovation, the Calma.  A new bottle teat, the Calma has been designed to make it easier for infants to switch more easily between breast and bottle and I was curious to see exactly how it would work.

What’s in the box?

  • Nipple shield
  • Membrane
  • Valve
  • Connector
  • Bottle
  • Handle
  • Base

Any additional extras?

  • Disposable nursing pads – £3.99
  • Nipple shields – £8.99
  • Calma Solitaire -£11.99
  • Nipple formers – £9.99
  • Purelan Nipple cream – £6.99
  • Quick clean microwave bags – £12.95
  • City style breastpump bag – £35.00
  • B-well bottle warmer – £55.00

First impressions?
My electric breast pump died, so I thought I’d give the Medela Harmony Manual Breast Pump a whirl. I was skeptical at first and when I opened the box I saw various daunting gizmos.  But I soon realised that I didn’t have to feel intimidated, because everything assembled easily.  

The pump, however, only comes with one size nipple shield (24mm) and, as luck would have it, it fits me fine. But if I’d needed a different size (they have five PersonalFit nipple shields, which they call breast shields), I would have been a little miffed that I’d have to buy it separately.

Did the Harmony take long to assemble?

No, it was quick and easy. I used the instructions, complete with illustrations, to put it together in minutes.

How did the Harmony express?

The Harmony is the only manual breast pump in the world to the use the 2-Phase Expression. It mimics a baby’s suckling rhythm of short sucks followed by longer, more intense ones. By doing this Medela promises a simple, effective breast pumping and feeding experience. 

To the more cynical, the 2-Phase Expression technology could sound like a gimmick, but it actually works. It promises more milk in less time and it certainly delivers!  I expressed milk faster with the Harmony than with my old Ameda Purely Yours electric pump. I produced 75ml (2½ oz) in 10 minutes.

Even though the suction is very effective, it was super-gentle on my breast. My electric pump would often leave my nipples sore but, thankfully, that hasn’t happened with the Harmony.

Did it work well as a manual pump?
Yes, but obviously, a manual pump requires more work than its electric counterpart. I had to use both hands when pumping with the Harmony, so I wasn’t able to multitask, and after about 10 minutes, my hand got a bit tired.

The Harmony isn’t intended to be used every day. It’s positioned as “ideal for occasional manual pumping”, so if you need to use a breast pump frequently, this one probably isn’t for you.

However, if you’re on a budget and don’t want to shell out for an electric pump (plus don’t mind a sore hand), I don’t see why it couldn’t be used more regularly.

What do you think of the Harmony’s style?

The design of the Medela Harmony is great – it’s small enough to fit in my bag so I can pump on the go, and the handle is easy to hold and manipulate.

Is it easy to clean?

Yes, after use the parts are simple to disassemble and clean.

Tell us about the bottle that came with the kit?

The feeding bottle uses Medela’s latest innovation, ‘Calma’. The Calma teat is specially designed to allow the baby to pause and breathe regularly while feeding, which maintains their behaviour at the breast.  I anticipated that it would take a while for my eight-month-old to get used to the Calma bottle, but as soon as it hit his lips, he guzzled away faster than you can say, “Wait, that’s not a nipple.”

Who Is The Medela Harmony Breast Pump Best For?

Mums who need to express milk infrequently, pump on the go, or give their breasts a break from the harsh suction on their electric pumps. 

MadeForMums Verdict

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This pump really is wonderful. It delivers on the promises it makes, is good value for money, and I was staggered at how much milk can be expressed in a short space of time. Medela knows its market and knows what breastfeeding mummies need. I would highly recommend the Harmony if you’re looking for a manual pump.   

Product Specifications

Product

Brand Medela
Model Harmony Breast Pump
Price GBP £39.99
Type Manual

Features

Compatible bottles Medela
Component parts (excluding bottle) 6
Features
  • Free of Bisphenol A (BPA)
  • Dishwasher and microwave safe
  • Ergonomic handle

Accessories

Optional extras
  • Disposable nursing pads - £3.99
  • Nipple shields - £8.99
  • Calma Solitaire -£11.99
  • Nipple formers - £9.99
  • Purelan Nipple cream - £6.99
  • Quick clean microwave bags - £12.95
  • City style breastpump bag - £35.00
  • B-well bottle warmer