- Features a 2-phase expression cycle
- Assembly and cleaning are a piece of cake
- Powered by both AC power and standard batteries
- The spare parts are widely available
- Open system causes condensation in the pipes
- Quite loud when it's working
When it comes to breastfeeding devices, Medela is undoubtedly one of the most well-known manufacturers. Their breast pumps have always been held in high regard due to their quality, efficiency, and comfort that they offer to moms. That’s precisely why we’ve decided to take a look at their new battery-operated model, which is called Medela Swing Breast Pump.
It’s a very popular model since it runs on standard batteries and features a useful 2-phase expression cycle, while also being very easy to assemble and clean. Is this thing worth the money? Let’s check it out!
Features of Medela Swing Breast Pump
The motor unit of this model is so small that it can fit into one hand and lightweight enough to clip it on your clothes while pumping on the go (even with 4 AA batteries inside). It’s a compact model, which makes it very portable and easy to transport around in your handbag.
The pump itself looks very sleek and modern, which is something we expected from Medela. The fact that the collection bottles that come with this pump are also compatible with all other pumps of this company also deserves a commendation. There’s also a “Calma” nipple in the box, which you can screw onto the collection bottle and feed your child with it (provided that the baby accepts it).
Just like all other breastfeeding devices made by this company, the Swing is also quite easy to assemble and take apart, particularly when you’ve already done it a few times. The five pieces that make this pump all fit together intuitively, which is always a big plus in our book. And if any kind of confusion comes into play, it’s nice to know that the included instruction booklet is very detailed and easy-to-understand.
Like with other devices of this type, the Swing needs to be taken apart for the initial sterilization boiling, after which you’ll have to air-dry every piece and reassemble the device. A word of advice, though – check the booklet to find out which parts aren’t supposed to be boiled.
A thing we particularly like is that the bottle is securely attached to the connector, which means that there’s no risk of spilling the milk.
During our testing period, we found out that the Swing feels extremely comfortable, and that it causes no pain or discomfort. One is able to sit in a relaxing position while pumping, which is very important and a decisive thing when it comes to buying a new breast pump.
The model comes with just a single 24mm breast shield, but that’s nothing to worry about – the manufacturer offers other sizes for purchase, both smaller and larger.
Figuring out how this thing works isn’t a hard task – there’s just a couple of buttons on it, and it shouldn’t take longer than a few moments for you to start pumping (don’t forget to sterilize it first!). There’s a button to turn the device on and off, two buttons for lowering and increasing the suction level, and one for the let-down phase. The thing that will let you know if you’re at the maximum or minimum suction level is the green light, which flashes rapidly on certain occasions.
With this device, the whole process of pumping starts with the so-called “stimulation” phase, which mimics the infant’s rapid sucking and should get your milk to start flowing. It lasts two minutes, after which comes the expression phase which will get most of your milk out. It’s worth noting that you can still control the suction level during the stimulation phase, and even to switch to the expression phase whenever you want.
Getting a tight seal between the breast and the breast shield is easy with this pump, and the model sports enough suction strength to thoroughly drain the breast. The sessions won’t cause any nipple pain or discomfort, while the limited number of buttons allows smooth operation even in total darkness.
It’s important to note that, unlike the company’s Symphony and Freestyle models, this device doesn’t provide a hospital-grade suction power, but it’s still efficient enough to do the trick.
Even though it’s not dishwasher-safe (well, not entirely), the Swing is very easy to clean and maintain. One thing you should be particularly careful about is the thin white membrane which is notoriously delicate. But even if you break it, there are two spare ones in the box.
Since the Swing is an open-system breast pump, there’s always a chance for the condensation to appear in the tubing. Don’t forget to clear it out and to give the tubing a good air-drying.
The sound that this model makes while it’s working is quite noticeable and is our biggest complaint about it. Pumping in the room with a sleeping baby isn’t exactly a good idea with this model, and we hope to see this fixed in the next iteration of this device.
Even though it certainly isn’t a flawless product, this battery-operated pump is yet another example why Medela is such a reputable company. The Swing is undoubtedly worth the money – its useful features make it a model worth considering for purchase.