Medela has been producing breast pumps for over 50 years and has gone from a small, family owned business in Switzerland to a global market leader in breast equipment.
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 educates mothers on breast milk and it being the optimal nutrition for babies.
A relatively new product for the company, the Swing Maxi pump came on the market in 2012 and has won numerous awards. What makes the Swing stand out from the crowd is its 2-phase expression technology.
Medela has designed the pump to mimic babies’ natural nursing rhythm – fast and light to start with and then slower and deeper. This is meant to make the job of expressing milk more efficient and according to Medela, enable women to express up to 18 per cent more milk in half the time.
You may have also seen recent reports (October 2016) in the news about Medela issuing a safety warning on its breast pumps.
What actually happened with the recall?
A few parents reported that the detachable power plug on some electric Medela breast pumps broke apart, causing a potential risk of electric shock.
It effects Type G detachable power plugs only, but Medela have since stopped selling the pumps and started a “precautionary and voluntary plug replacement programme”.
You can check to see if you have a recalled Swing, Swing Maxi and Freestyle pump using these product numbers:
Medela Swing: 200.4730, 030.0030, 030.0032, 030.0035, 030.0039, 030.0039 01, 030.0043, 030.0044, 030.0048, 030.0052, 030.0056, 030.0057, 099.0017
Medela Swing Maxi: 200.4726, 040.0005, 040.0007, 040.0010, 040.0014, 040.0015, 040.0016, 040.0019, 040.0024
Medela Freestyle: 042.0009, 042.0011, 042.0013, 042.0013 01, 042.0015, 099.0272, 099.0274.
What Medela say:
“The wellbeing and safety of mums and babies is our upmost priority and will always come first for Medela. There have been a few isolated incidents with the detachable plug, therefore we have decided to put in place a voluntary replacement programme. We would like to reassure all parents that our breastpumps themselves are fine and you can continue to use it with batteries. We will be able to serve parents who register for a new plug as of next week.”
What you can do:
- Medea says you should removeg the detachable plug from the power supply adapter slowly, with as little force as possible, to prevent it from breaking apart.
- If the plug does break apart, you should turn off the power source before removing the power supply adapter from the wall.
- You can order a free replacement plug on the Medela site or Facebook page. And while you wait, Medela will send customers batteries to use.
- Originally Medela stopped selling the pumps, but they have updated the pumps and the new ones are now available to buy.
Unlike hospital-grade breastpumps, which look like toolboxes, the Medela Swing Maxi double electric breastpump is small, round and discreet. It’s substantial enough to be used on a daily-basis, but so light it can easily be carried wherever you need to be.
Did the pump take long to put together?
It took slightly longer than you may expect, simply because the pump consists of 14 pieces in total, most of which you have to take apart and clean after every use. The instructions provided by Medela are clear, but I found breaking the equipment down and assembling it again quite tricky at first.
Is it easy to use?
Yes, the pump has just four buttons – one to start expressing, one to skip the first ‘stimulation’ phase, one to increase the speed and intensity of expression and another to decrease it. I personally like this, it’s straightforward, no nonsense and functional.
How did the Swing Maxi express?
Before I used the Swing Maxi I used a manual pump, but I’m so glad I switched to this one. It is simple to use and, most importantly of all, effective.
While the pump looks inconspicuous, there is nothing subtle about the way it sounds. The Swing Maxi can run on batteries and is marketed as a pump you can use when you’re on-the-move, but there is no way of disguising the noise it makes, and that limits where I would feel comfortable using it.
Does the 2-phase expression technology really work?
Yes, it really works! I’m able to express around 25 per cent more milk when using the Swing Maxi than when using a manual pump – plus it’s a lot easier on the arm muscles.
Is it transportable?
Yes, but it can be a pain because although the pump is lightweight and easy to carry, there are lots of bits and pieces to lug around. I’ve mainly used it when at home, but I have taken it with me when we’ve visited family and making sure all of the various parts of the pump are together has been a hassle. If Medela provided a case for the pump, it would be much more portable.
Tell us about the Calma bottle?
Calma is Medela’s most recent innovation. It’s a feeding bottle that allows your baby to maintain his natural feeding behaviour learned on the breast and therefore drink, breathe and pause regularly.
My baby is able to control the flow of milk when drinking from Calma because it creates a vacuum, so he needs to apply a certain amount of suction in order to get the milk out.
This means far less milk is wasted than when using other bottles, as it doesn’t dribble down his chin. The Calma teat is also meant to help prevent colic and I’ve noticed that my baby doesn’t gulp down as much air when drinking from the bottle.
Is it value for money?
Not really, retailing at around £239 the Swing Maxi is more expensive than other double electric pumps on the market – for example, the Lansinoh 2-in-1 Affinity Pro Electric Breast Pump is priced at around £120.
It costs around £100 more than the single Swing pump, saying that, Medela does throw in a Calma bottle with the Swing Maxi.
What’s in the box?
- Swing motor unit
- 2 x PersonalFit breastshield 24 mm
- 2 x Connector
- Valve head and membrane?
- 2 x Breastmilk bottle
- 2 x Multi-Lid
- 2 x Bottle stand
- Mains adapter
- Calma – feeding device
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
Made For Mums verdict?
At more than £200 the Swing Maxi is quite a hefty investment at a time when there are so many other things you need to buy. It doesn’t look substantial enough to be worth the money, but if you need to express on a regular basis, then it’s an attractive and efficient product.