With most mamas returning to work next week I thought it would be the perfect time to post our review of the Medela Symphony Double Electric Breast Pump. It really has won me over to expressing and I feel pretty proud every time I see our milk stash staked in the freezer.
I use to hate pumping. I found it very uncomfortable, even painful at times, and didn’t even try storing breastmilk when Lia was little. Although I loved our breastfeeding journey it definitely drove me a little crazy not being able to leave her for longer than 4 hours or overnight with grandma. To be honest, I was dead tired at times. Now, with the help of Breastpumps + Beyond, I’ve finally learnt how to build a milk stash with ease, giving me a little more freedom and dad an opportunity to help too.
I’ve tried so many different breast pumps over the past 5 years but to us, Medela is the best! Sure, it’s a pricey brand but read our previous post on why I would still recommend them above all the others here.
Now however, back to the Medela Symphony Double Electric Breast Pump. This hospital-grade, multi-user breast pump with it’s technical features and accessories is based on clinical research and is designed to support mums to meet their individual needs throughout their lactation journey. It features Medela’s 2-phase expression technology, comes with overflow protection and is equipped for double and single pumping.
Reasons I love it so much:
1.Hands down the gentlest breast pump available.
At first I would constantly check to make sure the vacuum was working seeing as I could barely feel anything. I am still amazed at how much milk I can express without any discomfort.
2. It is also almost completely silent making it possible to pump while everyone is asleep or while Ava feeds from my other breast without disturbing or distracting anyone.
3.Being a mama of 3 my biggest concern was finding the time to express.
Previously it would take me at least 40 minutes to express just one feed! Now, thanks to double pumping 15 minutes is all I need to collect between 150 and 250ml. Double pumping also increases milk supply by 18 % and “ups” the fat content of your milk making it higher in energy.
4. The 2-phase expression technology also makes for more effective pumping (saving me even more time).
During phase 1; the stimulation phase, the pump mimics the initial sucking behaviour of babies – fast, light sucking to get the milk flowing. Then during phase 2; the expression phase: as soon as the milk starts flowing, baby switches to slower, deeper (stronger) sucks, to get milk as quickly as possible.
5. The pump comes with a Symphony Standard program card which can easily be replaced by a Symphony PLUS program card thus offering a unique upgrade functionality. Giving users access to the latest research findings by simply changing the card.
This keeps this breast pump at the forefront of breast pump excellence. The standard program card comes with the The Preemie+ initiation program mimics the irregular and more rapid sucking and pausing pattern of a pre-term-born baby in the first days of lactation. It thereby helps pump-dependent mamas to successfully get their milk supply going. Making this pump a MUST for mamas with premies or even twins.
Set-up and use is easy!
Not being small and easily portable can be seen as a disadvantage but the Medela Symphony Double Electric Breast Pump was never designed with travel as it’s main focus (that is the work of the Medela Freestyle – more on the Freestyle soon). Efficiency is key! It does however come in a sturdy travel case but you’ll need a powerpoint close by to use the pump. Consider having a specific place at work where you can easily pump. (It will be quick). Being a WAHM I’ve set up my own little corner in our room where I can take time to relax, catch up on some reading and pump.
My pump is always ready and waiting for whenever I have 15 minutes to spare. I just grab my cleaned and sterilised, already assembles bottles, attach them to the tubing and presto. We are a GO!
This pump allows for customised feeds too. With the press of the let-down button and a turn of the vacuum adjustment knob I can easily move from phase 1 to phase 2 expression and back again. No need to wait for the pre-programmed times (although these help while you are still establishing your pumping routine). The vacuum adjustment knob also makes it possible for mamas to set their own comfort level ensuring NO PAIN while expressing. So many of my previous pumps would “suck way too hard” making my nipples sore and sensitive and even causing milk ducts to become clogged. Now, as soon as my milk starts flowing I press the let-down button, turn the vacuum adjustment knob just past my comfort level, then back again to where I feel most comfortable and the milk flows well.
Cleaning is breeze.
No need to clean the entire pump. With the overflow protection your tubing should stay milk-free and shouldn’t need more than a quick rinse every now and then, NEVER sterilise these as they will damage and need replacement. The PersonalFit breast shield, PersonalFit connector, valve head, valve membrane, milk bottle and lid should be sterilised after every use but the membrane caps and protective membrane can be cleaned every now and then to ensure optimum use. Run your pump on 2nd phase maximum expression for at least 5 minutes every week or two. Also remove the sponge from your pump to ensure no condensation build up.
Expressing straight into the bottle or milk storage bags makes even less mess and convenient storage.
Tips for mamas going back to work:
1. Start expressing and storing milk a week or two before going back to work.
2. Return to work midweek if possible. This gives you time to adjust and ease into your new routine and pumping schedule.
3. Remember to keep breastfeeding your little one when you can. This will help maintain your milk supply and who can resist those feeding cuddles.
Where to rent your Symphony Rental Double Electric Breast Pump
You can rent this breast pump on a month to month or even week to week bases from Breastpumps + Beyond. Their team or friendly and expertly trained staff will assist and help you in any way needed. The Medela Symphony Double Electric Breast Pump is the only hospital-grade breast pump available in South Africa and there really is nothing else like it. It will help you establish and maintain a good supply of milk. It will also get you to build a massive milk stash in no time, it will stay working month after month even when using all day , everyday! It’s the “go-to” pump when it comes to special care, like pre-term babies that are unable to latch to mama’s breast or if you have twins and need to increase milk supply. It’s also perfect for working moms, mamas with inverted nipples or that have little ones that prefer the bottle above the breast.
PHOTO CREDIT | Anje-Ilana Nel from Madison & West