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Medela Pump In Style Advanced Breast Pump Review: Pump it or Dump it?

The Medela Pump In Style Advanced Breast Pump has an inventive new two phase expression technology that allows mothers to get more breast milk every time they pump, however buyers should beware that though this product can be magically efficient it has also been known to arrive broken, have poor suction or make horribly loud sounds that might scare your precious bundle of joy.

Pretty Nice Reviews

Overall the Medela Pump In Style Advanced Breast Pump with Tote Bag has excellent reviews. Typically most people seem to love this product, while only a few people have horrible experiences that bring the ratings down some.

  • 5 stars, 114 Reviews – Target
  • 6 stars, 864 Reviews – Babies R Us
  • 8 stars, 30 Reviews – Walmart
  • 5 stars, 15 Reviews – Bed Bath and Beyond
  • 4 stars, 17 Reviews – Buy Buy Baby

Shown below with the tote and extra features:

Shown below the starter kit version of the product:

Key Features

Two Phase Expression: The biggest selling point of Medela Pump In Style Advanced Breastpump is that it mimics how babies nurse. Before a baby actually starts nursing they begin vigorously sucking in order to achieve milk let down. Then they began feeding normally. This Medela pump mimics this behavior by having a letdown button you can use before you actually begin pumping. This method has been thoroughly tested and proven to get mothers 18% more milk during each pumping session.

Varying Intensities: In addition to the two step expression process the Medela pump also allows you to change the speed and vacuum settings to optimize your comfort, time constraints or physical needs. The controls are easy to locate, on the front of the pack, and have an intuitive dial that goes from min to max. These settings are important because sometimes the suction get’s less powerful as the machine ages so it’s necessary to up the intensity every so often.

Expansion pack: The Medela Pump in Style Advanced Breastpump starter set comes with a little black case and handle for the machine and two bottles with attaching tubes however it doesn’t come with a tote bag or any other features. Though the starter set may be optimal for mothers who are trying to save money it is often not enough equipment if you plan to breastfeed more than once or twice a day. Thankfully there is another option. The Medela Pump in Style Advanced Breastpump with On the Go Tote includes a lot more of the accessories needed for a working or primarily pumping mother. In this option there are 4 extra bottles, an ice pack, insulated cooling bag, a carrying bag, a battery pack, and other valves, tubes and instructions.

Covered by Insurance: One of the reasons that the Medela pump is well loved by mothers is that a lot of insurance companies will pay for it. This isn’t without downsides though as often times this pump will come in a unwieldy box without safety packaging and may even be labeled for insurance purposes only not for consumer retail. Though this may not affect the quality much, it seems a little sketchy and it could be questioned whether or not this is a new and unopened product.

Can Use Any Bottles: Another excellent feature of the Medela Pump in Style Breastpump is that you can use any mainstream bottle. You don’t have to buy any special brands, any bottle from your local stores will fit so long as they aren’t wide necked.

Easy to Use

Compact: The Medela Pump in Style  Advanced Breastpump is very compact and easy to use. There are two holes in the machine for the tubes, one hole for the charger, a let down button and the speed/vacuum dial. To get started all you have to do is plug it in and adjust the settings.

Battery or Plug: Another way the Medela pump is made easy is through the options of battery or plugging it into the wall. Though the battery isn’t included in the Medela starter pack you can always purchase it as an add on item or simply buy the Medela pump with the tote bag. Having two charging options gives you the freedom to use the Medela pump anywhere you go with ease. And if your battery runs out  you can always plug it into the wall so that you are never left in a situation with a solution.

Cautions

Difficult to Clean: Like all other breast pumps it is advisable that you sterilize your Medela Pump in Style Advanced Breastpump after each and every use. This is not an easy feat since the tubes can only really be flushed with water and not scrubbed. If you rinse the tubes immediately after use the milk will easily rinse off, but whoa to the mama who lets it sit for a bit before trying to clean out the tubes after the milk has dried and adhered. And as every mom knows it’s not always possible to do things immediately. Though this is a definite caution it will be this way with almost any breast pump you choose to use.

Heavy: If you go cheap and just get the Medela starter pump it is only around 4.6 pounds; this is heavy but it isn’t totally unreasonable. Should you decide to get the full-on Medela Pump in Style Advanced Breastpump with On the Go Tote, it weighs in at 7 pounds! 7 pounds may not seem like much as a number but if you have to carry it around with you at work or even around your home in addition to an infant it feels like a tote of rocks. After nine months of pregnancy who wants to lug around a 7 pound breast pump in addition to your infant, purse and diaper bag?

Some Reliability Issues? The Medela pump often arrives working like a charm however with any technological instrument there’s room for quite a wide array of issues. Some of these include poor suction, incomplete latching of tubes, holes in tubes, broken machine, or a machine that doesn’t work well and dies within a few short weeks after it’s been bought. Having some issues is unavoidable, and not a big deal if you can get them fixed or replaced quickly, but that’s where you may run into a problem.

Unreliable Warranty System: The Medela pump doesn’t come with a warranty or refund process in place. So if anything happens to your machine you are advised to contact the original seller, Medela. Unfortunately in most cases you are left out of luck with a broken machine, and on the off chance that you do get a refund or a replacement it may take too long and you’ll have to buy a new pump in the meantime before your milk supply dries up. It also leaves you to figure out how you are going to be feeding your baby while trying to get a new machine, or a refund, and no one wants to deal with that.

Loud: Nobody would ever wake a sleeping baby, but is the Medela breast pump that considerate? Or is the noise from pumping going to force you to bounce your baby asleep for the one hundredth time today? I made this video so you can judge for yourself:

Pros – Things I Like

  • Two Phase Expression Technology
  • Easy to Use
  • Any Bottle Can be Used
  • Varying Speed/Vacuum

Cons of the Medela Breast Pump

  • Loud
  • Heavy
  • Unreliable Return/Refund System
  • Difficult to Clean

My Overall Recommendation

I currently own the Medela Pump in Style Advanced Breast Pump with Tote Bag and while I haven’t used it yet since my baby isn’t due for a few more months I intend to use it frequently and am confident that it will work well. Overall the reviews are great and most of the machines work flawlessly. The two phase expression technology allows you to capture more milk with each pump which saves you time and could save you money. Though there is risk involved like there is with any product, buying and testing it ahead of time should keep you from getting yourself into a lurch.

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Holly Harris About Holly Harris

I'm a mom to be, a writer of novels and poems, and a maniacal researcher of all things baby.

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