Not long after Sam was born, I realised I was not going to be able to exclusively breast feed him.
I was determined to ensure he got breast milk for as long as possible though, so after lots of online research I bought a Medela Swing breast pump. It is a single breast pump, designed for regular use. It comes complete with a carry bag, 2 bottles, a mains adaptor and 2 breast shields.
To begin with, it worked brilliantly, but after a few days, I began getting sore. I realised it was because the breastshield was rubbing me as it expressed the milk. I did yet more online research and found out you can buy larger breastshields to stop the rubbing. (They are available online from Amazon). This made a huge difference for me. Not only did the pain stop, but I managed to express more milk too.
I was using the pump every 2-3 hours around the clock for 14 weeks, thanks to the Medela Swing. After this time, my milk supply began to dwindle, so in the end I packed up the breast pump and switched to formula. I was very happy with the Medela Swing’s performance though, and felt it enabled me to provide Sam with breast milk, despite his issues latching on.
The pump was easy to use, and the 2 phase expression helped too. (It changes how it draws milk out to simulate how an infant suckles, which encourages more milk). You can also change the strength of the pumping action to suit your milk flow and your tolerance level. I had a manual pump as well, but I never got anywhere near as much milk using that. The pump was easy to clean and it fitted into my microwave steriliser easily.
My only niggle with the Swing Breast Pump is the amount of valve membranes I went through. It is true I was using the pump heavily, but a pack of 2 valves and 6 membranes cost £6 and I was going through one pack a month, easily. The membranes would get damaged as I removed them for cleaning. If you intend to use your pump a lot, then factor in this additional cost. (I found Amazon cheapest for the membranes too).
All in all, I give the Swing 4.5 out of 5. I loved the fact it could be mains or battery operated, so I wasn’t tied to a seat nearest the plug socket when I used it. I loved the fact you could buy bigger (or smaller) breast shields if you needed to – this is something a lot of other breast pumps don’t offer, so it is worth remembering if your nipples are on the thick (or thin) side. The pump is quite expensive, with an RRP of £129.99, but it is well made, and it works very well. I hope I won’t need to use the pump so heavily with Robyn, but if needs must, I am confident the Medela Swing is up to the job.