Best in Pumps: Medela Breast Pump Swing Review

A lot of on-the-go mamas are saying the Medela Swing Single Electric Breast Pump is the best.

Breastfeeding requires some logistical planning, especially if you’ve decided to pump. You need to do your research and make sure you have the best breast pump for your specific needs. And what is the best pump? A lot of mamas are saying it’s the Medela Swing Single Electric Breast Pump.

You’ve committed to nursing your baby whenever and wherever you can, and straight from the breast is your goal. But life happens, and you may want a stockpile of milk for a date night or mom’s morning out. You may decide you’d like to work outside of the home, or you may have a million other reasons you’ll need to find a powerful, affordable, portable single pump.

Your search will most likely bring you to the Medela breast pump swing.

When my son was nursing, I thought I was doing a great job. I fed him whenever he wanted, as I’d been told, “feed on demand,” by my lactation consultant, and wanted to do right by him (and me). I had plenty of milk, and even though friends and family told me to have a breast pump, “just in case,” I couldn’t figure out for the life of me why I’d need one.

The problem was, my son didn’t demand much. At a two-week checkup, my lactation specialist told me I was doing a great job as he was doing well and I said, “Yes, and such a great sleeper too!” She asked how his sleep was and when I told her he was sleeping six- to seven-hour stretches, she nearly had a heart attack.

Related: 5 Reasons Babies Who Sleep Through the Night Should Raise Concerns

Apparently, my little guy preferred to sleep rather than to eat, and she and our pediatrician agreed I should pump regularly throughout the day/night to stimulate my milk production as well as a stockpile for supplementing him.

And that’s when I entered the world of breast pumps, researching what was best for us. There are so many on the market, and if we are really honest, it can be overwhelming.

At the recommendation of my lactation consultant, I fell in love with the Medela Pump-In-Style, and it was my workhorse.

It was amazing: I had to pump every three hours around the clock, and it’s no surprise as to why Medela is known for world-class breastfeeding products. But, much as I loved it, it was big and bulky and sometimes, I just needed a quick and easy pump, particularly if I was on the go and didn’t want to lug my Pump-In-Style around.

Related:  Is Your Child A Picky Eater Or A Resistant Eater?

That’s when I met the Medela Swing Breast Pump.

The Medela Swing Breast Pump is a single electric pump, which makes it perfect if you’re looking to have an efficient and powerful pump for the occasional pumping needs you may have.  The truth is a single manual pump will most likely do the job, but honestly? Many mamas agree — manual pumping for whatever reason can be tiring and laborious. When you’re already tired, and lots of things already feel laborious, something that makes what many consider a necessary evil a little bit easier is a good thing.

It’s a super affordable pump alternative to pricier double electric pumps, and its portability is so convenient.

It’s perfect for moms who won’t necessarily depend on pumping for major milk supplies (or who depend on double pumps for that but still want a powerful single pump that makes life easier on the go), and are looking for an occasional use.

And, if you happen to be a working mama who wants to have a lightweight and easy to use/carry pump at the office? This is the perfect one for the job.

It’s compact and can fit in most purses/tote bags/gym bags. It comes with a breast shield, though we know not all women are made the same. Medela includes the medium-sized (24 mm Personal Best Fit) shield with the pump but also recommends making sure you get the best shield fit and includes a guide to doing so. As well, a belt clip, neck and shoulder strap and drawstring bag are part of the package.

It runs on AA batteries, or with a power adaptor, and most moms say that they like the versatility of battery power as they’re not always in a place they have access to electrical outlets.

Like most Medela products, it’s so easy to clean, and for busy mamas who don’t pump all the time, that’s a dream. Medela recognizes that time is so valuable to mamas, and so ease in use and cleaning was a primary goal they had in mind when designing it.

One of the best things about the Medela Swing Pump is that it uses the 2-phase expression technology so many moms love Medela for.

Medela uses evidence-based research to design their products — and invests a lot of time and money into the feeding habits of babies. Peter Hartmann is a world-renowned lactation scientist and Medela turned to him and his team at the University of Western Australia to help them be the leaders in efficiency for moms who pump.

The result, 2-Phase Expression Technology, mimics the natural sucking rhythm of your baby so that you can express more milk in less time. The first phase includes stimulation — this is what gets the milk ejection reflex going and the milk flowing. In phase two, a slower pumping rhythm that more closely matches a baby’s natural suck gently and efficiently expresses milk and leaves mama more time to do all the things that busy mamas do.

Often, the reality is that you’d most likely rather be nursing your baby personally, so something that gets the milk out quickly and effectively in the absence of that ability really can make a difference in a mama’s mind and heart. Pumping tends to be such a heart-tug sometimes, and it’s nice that Medela has our back in so many different options.

Moms also love that they have some freedom when controlling the settings on their pump, much like many only get on pricier double pumps.

Sometimes single pumps just hurt, if we’re really honest, because we are settling for less comfort with the vacuum feel around our breasts. The Swing gives you some control in that pressure, which makes what could sometimes be considered a less than comfortable chore so much more comfortable for mama’s tender breasts.

Because it is an electric pump, we have to tell you that we don’t think it’s the quietest pump in the world.

It’s not the loudest, either though, but if you are at work looking to be more discreet, it may be best to find a more quiet place to pump. A lot of moms like to pump with their babies near (if they can, and are building their stockpiles) and some moms say that the noise may be distracting to a sleeping baby, so just something to keep in mind. That said, many reviewers on Amazon noted the same thing and said that they solved that problem easily by buying longer tubing (particularly mentioned was the 42-inch tubing that typically comes with the  Medela Symphony) that helped reduce the noise and backflow.

Related:  Pumping at Work: Expert Tips for Combining Breastfeeding and Your Job

And that’s super easy to do because all Medela products are designed to work in conjunction with each other. There’s a reason it’s often a Medela pump that insurance programs will cover as you leave the hospital. That flexibility between products of the same company, particularly a company that has such great customer focus and service like Medela does makes the journey of pumping so much nicer.

More, even though it’s something so basic, having it fit in an easy to carry, compact drawstring bag makes it nice for if you have to pack it around in your briefcase or in your backpack on the way to the in-laws.  Sometimes (most times!) it’s the little niceties like that that make such a basic piece of equipment so much nicer to have, particularly when breastfeeding and pumping can be so harried.

The bottom line for this pump is that it may not be your every-day, all-the-time pump if you pump regularly or especially if you are an exclusive pumper. It’s not designed to be that pump, and you may be disappointed if that’s what you hoped it would be.

But if you’re looking for a powerful, single electric pump that is convenient in both its portability and use of batteries so you can go just about anywhere, this one will be tough to beat.

It’s Medela quality and customer service in an affordable single pump that you can depend on, and for a breastfeeding/pumping mama, that’s gold. Almost like liquid gold, if you will!

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