When you choose to breastfeed I don’t think pumping enters your mind to start with, especially in the very early days. But as you get further down the line it does become something that you may think about a bit more – maybe because you want to go back to work, or want to let someone else take over a night feed or 2. Choosing a breast pump can be a bit of a nightmare – there are so many types – manual, electric, single, double – it can be hard to know which way to turn!
Over the years I have come to love the Medela brand. When my first was in neonatal care, I used a Medela pump to express milk for her, and again with my second. It was so much more efficient than hand expressing, and a manual pump at home yielded hardly anything, so an electric pump would always be my first choice.
The Swing electric breastpump combines a multi-award-winning design with the latest technology. The electric breastpump is very quiet and therefore represents the ideal solution for regular and discreet breast pumping.
The Swing comes with everything you need to express for your baby – the pump itself and a Calma bottle and teat ready to feed your baby. Setting up the pump is slightly fiddly, but I think they all are to be honest – fitting the tubing is never going to be the easiest job. Once you have done it once or twice it becomes a lot easier.
To use the pump, you simply attach the pump section to your breast and start the stimulation setting. This works in the same way your baby would – it encourages the let down of milk. This then automatically changes to the expression phase, where your milk is pumped out. You can adjust the vacuum level using the plus and minus buttons to get the setting that is comfortable for you. The Medela 2-Phase Expression Technology simulates the natural infant sucking behaviour at the mother’s breast, and as such the electric breastpump feels very comfortable to use – almost like breastfeeding itself. Its faster let-down and maximum milk flow significantly reduces pumping time, so you can express more milk in less time – ideal if you intend to pump at work. Once you have finished, turn off the pump, screw the cap onto the bottle and store – or attach the teat if you are feeding straight away.
I have found the Calma bottle is usually accepted by most babies – it is a small teat that does resemble a nipple, and with breastmilk flowing through it most babies seem happy!
Medela also make a Harmony manual pump. As I have said before, I haven’t had much success with manual pumps but I know a lot of people who swear by them. A close friend has been using the Harmony, and has told me it is comfortable with a good suction level and a pump lever that is gentle on hands – which sounds good to me!