MOMMY GUEST POST
Tamara Granek | Mom
Medela Breastpump Products Review | Harmony, Freestyle, Calma
First of all I have to say that I have been extremely lucky to be able to breastfeed all 3 of my children. It is something that I have always wanted to do and am grateful that I am able to. I did not pump much for my first two children, so even though this is my third child, pumping is a new experience for me. The reason I am embarking on this new experience with my third child is because my middle child is going to be having heart surgery next month. This includes a 3 day stay in the hospital and I want to be at his side and continue to breastfeed my 6 month old. In order to do what I hope is the best for both my children I have chosen to pump and bottle feed breastmilk for the short time that I will have to be away. It is definitely more work than simply breastfeeding and I am in awe at the commitment of many moms who do this on a regular long-term basis. That being said, Medela really did their research and created products that definitely make pumping easier and more effective for moms and dads to bottle feed their child(ren) breastmilk. There are quite a few different products on the market from Medela and I will go through my experience using a few of those products.
Medela Harmony Breastpump
I tried the Harmony hand pump first. This pump is good for occasional uses and not an everyday thing as you can only do one breast at a time and it can be a bit tiring to use. It was really useful to use when I needed to express just a bit of milk to mix with baby’s cereal. It was much easier than simply using my hand to express for even a small amount. You do need 2 hands to use it, at least at first, one to hold it and the other to pump. I did like that the unit is compact and that it had 2 different strengths of pumping. I haven’t seen this on any other hand pump before. You can do quick short pumps to stimulate the letdown and then switch to the longer pumps. This worked well to help with the let down. I did notice that you can’t rush pumping. It takes a few minutes to even get any milk going and then if you pump too quickly nothing comes out. I found that if I gave a few seconds between pumps I was able to get the most milk out. I was able to get almost 3oz before the flow seem to have stopped. There are not too many pieces to assemble and store, and it is very easy to put together and take apart. Cleaning is easy, especially if you make sure to rinse the parts right away. Another neat feature is that Medela’s freezer storage bags can attach right to the unit, so you don’t have to transfer from a bottle to the bag. This is great because you have less parts to sterilize and clean and less chance of contamination.
Medela Quick Clean Micro-Steam Bags
Speaking of cleaning and sterilizing, Medela has a great product for that. They have microwave steam bags. They are really easy to use, you just add some water, drop in your pump pieces, bottle, nipples etc. and microwave. Each bag can be used up to 20 times and there is even a chart to mark right on the bag to help you keep track. This way when travelling you don’t need to bring a whole box for just a couple of days. It is great for hotel stays where you don’t have access to a stove but do have a microwave. At home it is great too because it is quicker than boiling water on the stove and you do not have any extra dishes to clean up.
Medela Calma Nipple & Bottles
Medela has a unique nipple on their bottles that I haven’t seen anywhere else before. It is the Calma nipple and bottle. The nipple is neat because it is designed so the baby actually has to suck in order to get the milk, since it works on suction. Unlike other nipples where the milk just flows on its own. This way you don’t need to worry about buying the right size or having different sizes as baby grows, or right amount of holes. This means baby actually has to work at it to get milk. It also does not leak like others even if it is held completely upside down. One thing I did notice is that the nipple is pretty hard so my baby wasn’t too sure what to do with it and tried chewing on it. Since he wasn’t used to a bottle a lot of milk was drooled out as he thought it was more of a teether than for feeding.
Medela Freestyle Breastpump
Finally the last product I wanted to share with you is the Freestyle pump. This is a double breast electric pump. At first I really only wanted to use a hand pump because I knew I was only going to need to use it occasionally and thought the electric pump was more than I needed, especially because of the jump in cost. I was really surprised at how much I preferred the Freestyle. For starters, you really get your money’s worth, everything you need to get started is included and you don’t have to buy anything else like you would with the Harmony pump. I was really impressed with what comes included. Here is a list of everything that comes in the box:
- Accessory kit which includes freezer storage bags, nursing pads, a quick steam microwave bag, lanolin nipple cream sample and a calma nipple.
- Compact cooler bag with 4 bottles, lids, and a shaped ice pack (The cooler pack holds 4 bottles and keeps cool for up to 10 hours.)
- Straps for hands free use, with different clips to attached to different nursing bras
- Electric pump with all parts and charger
- Carrying tote bag big enough to hold not only the pump and accessories but the cooler bag fits in with extra room to spare.
Although the Freestyle pump is meant for double breasted pumping, you can still use it for only one breast if you want. You can hold the unit or attach the straps for a hands free experience. It really is adaptable to so many different needs and preferences. The pump itself has two settings, it has a let down feature first that pumps short and quick and then changes to slower, longer pumps to simulate baby sucking. You can adjust the suction and save your settings so the next time it remembers your setting. The instructions are very clear and they use actual coloured pictures in the manual. First time use, you have to charge the unit for 24 hours so keep that in mind for when you want to use it. I took it out to use one morning that my baby over slept and I was very full, but wasn’t able to use it that day because I needed to charge it for 24 hours.
It is very obvious that a lot of thought and research has gone into all of Medela’s products and they are very pro-breastfeeding. They also include a breastfeeding information guide that has a lot of information about breastfeeding in general including benefits of breast milk and practical tips. It even explains a bit why and where they got their research to design their products the way they have. I definitely recommend Medela’s products for any parents needing supplies for breastfeeding and pumping.
For more information, check out medela.ca
Disclosure: Although TopDaddies received a product to review, our opinions are absolutely authentic! TopDadddies was not financially compensated for this review.