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Are you thinking to buy Medela Swing breast pump? Then, this post is for you. In this review, I will discuss thoroughly the pros and cons of Medela Swing electric breast pump. I personally own this (purchased around 2 years ago) and have been using it regularly ever since.
Table of Contents
Medela Swing is a single electric breast pump that receives Mother & Baby Award 2012 as the gold breast pump.
Breast pump type: electric (run on power source or 4-AA batteries)
Suction adjustment: yes, up to 10 different suction levels
Speed adjustment: automatically adjusted based on suction level
Breast flange size: 24 mm standard size (other sizes are available but sold separately: 21 mm, 27 mm, 32 mm)
Size: 12x12x5 cm
Weight: 2.5 lbs
Available at: Amazon and retail baby stores
What you get out of the box
- Pump motor unit (battery not included) – 1 year warranty for motor
- Power adaptor
- Breast pump tubing
- Breast shield (24-mm diameter)
- Pump connector
- Yellow valve and white membrane (extra piece for membrane)
- Medela 150-ml bottle with cap
- Bottle stand
- Medela calma teat
- Draw string bag
Click here to read more product specifications.
This is the smallest and lightest Medela breast pump that comes with two-phase expression. That means the breast pump starts in ‘massage’ mode to stimulate let down for 2 minutes, then automatically switches to ‘expression’ mode for deeper and longer suction. The ‘massage’ mode is pretty effective in stimulating let down. With Swing, typically I achieved my first let down after one minute.
It is also very light and compact. It fits in my palm (I have a small palm by the way), and comes with a neck strap and waist strap to allow pumping on the move.
The pump runs equally well both using power adaptor and battery. I’ve been using batteries all the way since I started working. I don’t need to fiddle with all tangled-up power cable every time I pump.
I bought rechargeable ones which is nice because I don’t need to repeatedly buy new batteries. (Here’s the brand that I use, it’s called Eneloop, very good battery life).
I also love that this little breast pump has a great and adjustable suction (typically I’m on level 7 out of 10). Oh, by the way, the suction level can be adjusted for both ‘let-down’ mode and ‘expression’ mode.
- Custom-fit breast shield since Medela is one of the brand supporting different sizes of breast shields (21, 24, 27, 32 cm). This Medela Swing can also be used with Pumpin Pals breast shields.
- Easy to clean and assemble. The breast shield is separated from pump connector, making it easier to clean compared to Avent’s, Spectra’s, and Maymom’s one-piece breast shield. It also consists of 5 parts (including bottle), much less than Avent’s 7 pump parts)
- Since it runs of regular AA batteries, no need to panic when you accidentally forgot to bring the power adaptor. The batteries are a regular one that can be purchased anywhere.
- Widely available spare parts. Since Medela is such an established brand, its spare parts are easily bought off retail baby stores, not limited to authorized Medela representatives. Additionally, Maymom offers various Medela-compatible spare parts, including breast shields, valves, membranes, tubings, power adaptor, all at much more affordable price compared to original Medela spare parts.
- Medela Swing is an open-system breast pump. That means there’s no separation between the tubing (which delivers the suction) and the pump body where breast milk enters. Which also means, it is possible to have milk goes up inside the tubing, then to the pump machine. When this happens, mold can grow in the pump machine, which may contaminate your milk (Eww…, kind of gross, right).
It is also possible to get condensation inside the tubing, which may reduce the suction strength. Personally, I only had one single experience with milk going inside the tubing, so I don’t have personal proof about the mold. However, I did experience condensation inside my tubing (because I don’t wipe dry my pump after washing), so some moisture gets trapped there. And yes, it’s difficult to get rid of condensation even though I’ve hung the tubing vertically overnight.
Update: You can try to get rid of condensation by running the pump motor with tubing attached (but not attached to pump flange) for a few minutes after pumping.
- Small white membrane that can be misplaced and wear out easily. This little white membrane can easily disappear at wash, hidden below soap bubbles, or worst, get flushed into the sink. Additionally, I used to need to replace it every month because a weary membran can weaken the auction. Only upon my friend’s suggestion, I stopped putting this white membrane into the sterilizer and just soak it in a warm water. Since then, I was able to extend the life of the membrane and change it only every few months.
Tips: Maymom produces Medela-compatible membrane which is thicker and last longer, so I prefer to buy that compared to original Medela membrane.
- Not silent. Well, let me clarify. This is not the loudest pump in the market. I know that Medela Mini Electric is even worst and Avent Comfort electric is noisier. But.., Medela Swing is simply not quiet. As you increase the auction, the motor gets louder, and that can be annoying. Definitely, I won’t recommend using this pump in a cubicle (for working mom) or beside a sleeping baby.
- No LED display. As pictured, Medela Swing does not have LED display, you don’t know which suction level you are at, except by feeling it.
- Long pumping time. If you rely solely on Medela Swing to express milk, be prepared to spend at least 30 minutes to empty both breasts.
- Pumping can be uncomfortable at high suction setting. The Medela rule is to use the highest most comfortable suction level for pumping. I found that as the suction increases, pumping becomes less comfortable. Be sure not to go overboard with suction unless you want sore nipples after pumping.
- Milk removal efficiency. I would rate this breast pump 8 out of 10 regarding its efficiency in emptying breast. I can still get 20% more milk with my manual pump right after using Medela Swing.
Single vs Dual Electric Breast Pump
The original Medela Swing comes as a single electric breast pump and has been moms’ favorite for quite some times. I remember, when I purchased my Medela Swing, it was chosen as the best single electric breast pump in Amazon.
A few years after Swing’s release, Medela released the dual version called Medela Swing Maxi.
Swing Maxi is simply a twin sister of Swing, with improved design, since it is a closed system pump.
A more detailed comparison between Swing and Swing Maxi can be seen in the table below.
|Features||Medela Swing||Medela Swing Maxi|
|Breast pump type||Single electric||Double electric|
|Batteries used||4 AA batteries||6 AA batteries|
|Open/closed system||Open system||Close system|
Who is this breast pump for
Medela Swing breast pump is suitable for occasional use for stay at home mom, or working mom who can afford flexible work schedule. For full-time working mom or mothers who need to use breast pump very frequently (e.g. exclusive pumping), I’d recommend to choose Medela Swing Maxi instead.
Medela Swing is a nice litle breast pump that has dual phase expression. Using this breast pump, you don’t need to worry on how to stimulate your milk flow because it is already taken care by the massage mode of the pump.
This breast pump has a simple model, yet it gets the job done. Being small and portable, this breast pump is suitable for pumping on the go. But for a working mom who needs efficiency and time-saving as priority, opt for the dual model which is Medela Swing Maxi.
PS: If you are looking for a portable, dual electric breast pump which has closed system, comparable (or even higher) efficiency in extracting milk, I strongly recommend you to take a look at Spectra M1 (here’s my detailed review about this little pump). With price even lower than Medela Swing single pump (now less than US$100), it’s really a steal.
I hope this article helps you to learn more about the pros and cons of Medela Swing breast pump.
Have you tried Medela Swing before? What’s your experience?