The Medela Symphony breast pump is medela’s latest innovation in hospital grade electric double pumps. These rental pumps are ideal for mums who either have a medical need for them or who only wish to use the same pump used while in hospital.
Medela initiated the extensive research on breast pumps for the development of medela symphony led by the world famous lactation researcher, Dr. Peter Hartman, Ph.D. The research was geared towards the development of the innovative two-phase technology that is now used in medela electric breast pumps.
Unlike most other pump models on the market, the symphony is not portable; it weighs approximately fourteen pounds. Due to its weight, the medela symphony does not comes with a convenient tote or bag to carry it, but there is a separate carrying case that you can purchase for this purpose. The standard model of the pump is not sold with the battery pack. However, you can still purchase a package that comes with a battery pack.
What advantages does the two-phase technology offer?
Pumping Rhytm: Two Feeding phases:
According to Dr. Peter Hartmann’s research, babies breastfed in 2 phases
i) Simulation phase – when the babies first start suckling, they do it light and fast to start the milk flowing
ii) Expression phase – after milk “let down” or flow starts, babies breastfeed with slower, deeper sucks, bringing out more milk each time.
The Symphony breast pump simulates the same sucking motions that babies make every time they start suckling. The pump creates a pumping rhythm that pumps at roughly 130 cycles per minute, the same rate at which the baby suckles during the simulation phase. Once milk letdown starts and a steady milk flow is established, the pump slows down and imitates the deeper, slower sucking motion that only a baby would produce while at the breast. The pumping rhythm during this second phase varies from 50 to 76 cycles per minute, depending on the level of suction set on the machine. This phase is also called the expressive phase.
Comes with an overflow protection system to allow for multiple users:
Apart from helping you produce more milk within a shorter period, the Medela Symphony has a system that keeps your milk clean and safe. It comes with an overflow protection system that prevents your milk from flowing into the pump or motor components. It is therefore considered as a closed system breast pump which can be shared between several mothers. Only hospital grade pumps are designed for sharing between different mothers, and the symphony falls into this category. This is one of the advantages the symphony holds over competing products.
Note: if you intend to share the pump between two or more people, it is important to make sure that each mother uses her own breast pup tubing and accessories.
Symphony standard 2.0 card:
The medela symphony comes with a standard 2.0 card that is inserted into the pump. On powering on the pump, the LCD display screen should display “symphony 2.0.” Otherwise you may have to check whether the card was inserted correctly. The card contains programming that helps the machine mimic the babies’ natural suckling patterns.
To use the pump, set the vacuum level to its minimum setting. At this stage, the pump would start pumping at the stimulation phase rhythm. However, when milk letdown starts, the card would automatically increase the vacuum setting slowly to avoid causing any discomfort. The LCD will display three bars. Although it can do this automatically, the Medela Symphony breast pump also comes with a “let down” button which can be manually switched on for easy transition between the two feeding phases.
Single and dual breast modes available:
The medela symphony is designed to pump both breasts at the same time in dual breast mode. Pumping from both breasts is ideal for working mothers who don’t have too much time to spend working the pump.
Supplied with a preemie initiation card to help improve your output:
Medela Symphony breast pumps also come with a preemie initiation card. When this card is inserted into the breast pump, it records information about varying outputs in different pumping sessions. This information can be used by a health care provider or lactation consultant to determine whether you will be able to build enough supply for the baby when he/she comes out of NICU. The card therefore helps new mothers deal with the challenge of producing enough milk to adequately keep the baby nourished on breast milk without having to resort to supplement formulas.
The medela symphony basic package is not supplied with a rechargeable battery pack. Instead, the pump uses ac power and you would therefore need to be near a power outlet when using it. However, the Medela Symphony + package comes with a rechargeable battery stand. This allows mothers the freedom to pump anywhere.
This model is highly recommended for mothers who are always on the go. The pump is also easily serviceable and comes with many replaceable parts (although you may never really have to replace one) and exchangeable flanges if you require different sizes. The buttons are also foolproof.
The only gripe most people have with this breast pump is its weight. It isn’t easy to lug around thanks to the hard case it comes in for protection. A little condensation may also build in the tube after some time but you can easily fix this by pumping without attaching the bottles.
The pump is also pricy but it is definitely worth renting if you will be pumping often. If the pump develops any mechanical problem, simply take it back for servicing. You can also exchange it for another if it stops working since you are only renting the pump.
Best Breast pumps were created to satisfy the needs of mothers who are always on the go or have medical conditions that do not allow them to breastfeed their babies the natural way. However, stay at home mums can also use this to save time while doing light choirs at home. The Medela Symphony breast pump was designed to satisfy all these needs and also help mother experiencing difficulty in supplying enough milk.