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I had heard friends rave about it, read good things in various magazines and seen that it has won various awards, but had myself always been intimidated by electric breast pumps (images of me hooked up like a dairy cow to some noisy apparatus would spring to mind!).
Opting to use manual breast pumps with my first two children, I was constantly suffering with hand cramps and aching nipples from overzealous pumping, and vowed I would give an electric one a ago when I had my third…and here I am!
Medela has been around for over 50 years, starting as a small Swiss family owned company that has now grown to be a well-known and respected global brand, developing and producing technologically advanced breast pump, based on thorough breastfeeding and lactation research, making them worthy of awards. Medela aim to promote breastfeeding and support families at this time with their products and results of their research, making breastfeeding as simple as possible.
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.
- Although the brand has stopped selling the pumps, they plan to replace all the plugs and get them back on the market soon, we will keep you updated on the date.
For more information about what breast pumps to buy take a look at our buyer’s guide to breast pumps
What’s in the box?
As well as coming with all the parts for the breast pump, you get a bottle stand, mains adapter, storage bag and a sling/belt cord, a spare valve membrane, a Calma Solitaire teat, Calma multi lid & detailed instruction booklet. There are also various feeding accessories and spares you can buy to go with the pump, these are listed in the instruction book.
I found the Medela Swing very easy to assemble and clean thanks to the very thorough and simple to follow instruction book, it would be hard to make a mistake! I loved the fact that there was a lot of extra information and notes on subjects such as, how to make sure you are using the pump properly, storing expressed milk and for how long. Great for first time mums!
The Swing’s design is very sleek, compact and light, I found the smooth rounded shape of the monitor unit quite tactile, and its subtle yellow colour pleasing to the eye.
I was a little worried at how comfortable it would be to use at first, but I need not have worried!
The pump uses Medela’s 2 phase Expression technology that simulates baby sucking behaviour at the breast, making for a more comfortable and natural, which also helps more effective milk expression. There is also the option to increase or decrease the pumps vacuum so you can find what feels best for you.
I found the pump very efficient, I had expressed a substantial amount of milk in no time at all, thanks to this 2 phase technology.
It is also amazingly quiet, not at all like the mechanical humming I was expecting. I found the hushed rhythmic sound the pump made was actually quite soothing! I could easily express without waking my little one or my husband!!
The Swing can be either mains operated with the adaptor or powered with 4 AA batteries, which combined with the sling/belt cord, makes it very portable. I found the latter option very handy, as I could move about the house wearing the monitor unit, doing bits and bobs while expressing, instead of being stuck in one spot until I was finished. It also means it’s very easy to travel with too! I took it with me on an outing to my friends (in its little pouch!), and it was great, so light to carry about and it fits snugly in my change bag.
The Swing also comes with Medela’s Innovative Calma Feeding Technology Teat (and BPA free bottle), designed to make it easier to switch from breast to bottle and back again, for both mum and baby, as it mimics the breast so that baby does not change their feeding behaviours. It is unlike any other teat on the market at the moment.
Although I am not planning to combination feed my newborn for a while yet (he is a week and a half old) and use the pump mainly to relieve breast engorgement (I am producing milk at a rate of knots!), I was curious as to how effective the Calma teat was and how my little one would take to it, so gave it a go.
I found he took to it really well and fed from the bottle better than I expected, he also went back to the breast with no problem at all, I was impressed!
Having now used the Medela Swing, the manual pumps I have used before it do not even begin to compare! There is no doubt that I would recommend it, and I wish I had used it sooner, Expressing is almost effortless!
This product is fantastic for any mum looking for an efficient, comfortable way to express milk at home or on the go. It is also useful for those suffering from Mastitis, for alleviating the symptoms and helping to recover from it. Although it seems quite pricey, it is definitely worth the investment, as the experience is far superior to any manual pump, and it more than lives up to the awards and accolades it has achieved.