swingpump.gifThis past week I took my first trip since having my baby. At six weeks old there was no leaving him behind but I knew I was going to have to spend some time away from him, and that this would require some pumping. Which made it the perfect time to test my new Swing pump from Medela. Believe it or not, since leaving the hospital, I had not had occasion to pump. It was almost like pumping for the first time…again.
In the past, with my other babies, I used a dual electric (now eight years old!) pump that we can now safely refer to as “Ye Olde Electric Pump”. This pump is actually quite effective, but so large and cumbersome as to have required its own reservation at the hotel. No way was I lugging that thing along. Alternatively my old handheld single was so slow and laborious to use, it was a severe handcramp waiting to happen. Plus it gave me an inferiority complex as I was never able to get more than a couple of ounces when I used it.
I was not sure how easy the Medela Swing would be for me to use. I barely had time to pack, let alone read the manual so I did like my husband does with new stuff and decided to wing it. I don’t recommend this practice to others, You should always read your manuals fellow breast pumpers! But lucky for me the Medela Swing only has four button choices, and two of them are plus/minus signs to adjust the intensity. So I was not all that likely to lose an eye. It really was simple to figure out and I had no problem getting up to pumping speed.
Using the Medela Swing Pump I was pleased to find that it was as powerful as Ye Olde pump. Which was surprising since the Swing is barely bigger than my kids’ yoyos. It looks a little like a yoyo too. You can wear it around your neck like big ‘ol pendant, which makes pumping easier as well. One of my problems with pumping has always been my lack of four hands. I’m barely coordinated enough to breast feed, when I figure the baby is doing half the work. Holding onto a device, my boob and a breastshield all at once has always been slightly too much for me. So this necklace approach is genius.
The Medela Swing operates in two modes, using patented 2 Phase Expression technology designed to mimic the way babies feed naturally. The first phase is a let down mode and employs gentle, fast suction, and the second is a nursing mode that uses slower, longer and stronger pulses of suction. I’d like my baby to get a memo about this as he usually attacks my breast like a hungry Hoover on steroids. But for the record, the two phase action did a stellar job of painlessly emptying my breasts of their milk, faster and far easier than any other pumps I have used. Clearly my son has something to learn from those nice polite two-phase babies of the world. Note to Medela: if you want to make a pump that sucks like my baby you will have to sell one that only operates on the highest setting and bites me. I’m not sure anyone would buy that one though…
swingpump2.gif With the Medela Swing Pump I was able to pop the pump in my bag and pump virtually anywhere, anytime. The pump works with electricity or can be battery operated for use in the car. Can you imagine me pumping as I cruise down the I-5? Sorry for that visual. Don’t worry or call the CHP, by the way — I’d have a designated driver. I am pretty sure it is not safe to pump and drive.
The Medela Swing Pump worked so well for me on my little trip that I have kept it out and used it a few times since coming home. I’m working on a plan to store away enough milk to go away for a night without my little bundle of joy. A romantic night that involves me, my pillow and ten hrs of uninterrupted sleep. Well, except to spend a few moments Swinging that is. The Swing is the ideal partner for this sort of retreat — it lets me get right back to sleep after a session!
If you are in the market for an occasional use pump I don’t think you could go wrong with this one. As a side note, all the bottles and parts of Medela pumps are Bisphenol A free, something that should allow you to rest easy.
Albee Baby has the Medela Swing Pump on sale currently for $119.00.

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