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While my newborn son was still in the hospital, I was given the opportunity to use a hospital grade electronic Medela breast pump for free. To buy the Symphony Medela breast pump, you would need to shell out a thousand dollars or more. So the million dollar question is this: is it worth the money?
The Symphony Medela breast pump definitely has it’s pros and cons. First of all, if you find that nursing an infant is awkward for you, then putting a couple of plastic funnels to your boobs and letting a machine drain them may not be much better. That, however, is of course a matter of personal taste.
Now onto more pressing matters. Does it work? Yes. Even though my milk hadn’t come in yet, or had just barely started to come in, the Symphony was able to express colostrum. Unlike nursing a newborn, when using a breast pump, you can choose when to pump, and for how long. Even better, the Symphony Medela breast pump allows you to adjust the intensity as well. If you don’t feel like the suction is strong enough, or if it’s too much to handle, you can turn the suction up or down. This of course is a feature you won’t find with manual pumps.
How effective is the Symphony Medela breast pump? Well, I hate to break it to you but I was actually able to hand express as much breast milk as the machine in the same amount of time as it took the Symphony to pump. I also own an Avent Isis breast pump that works just as well as the Symphony even though it’s manual.
Another downside of the Symphony Medela breast pump is that cleaning the machine is a complicated process. You have tubes, funnels, bottles, pumps and all manner of parts to clean after every pumping session. Especially if you plan on pumping every two or three hours, this could easily become a massive chore-and headache!
The Symphony Medela breast pump had one feature that I was especially not fond of. The pump comes with a sort of rack to set the bottles on while the machine isn’t in use. You really have to get creative in order to make them stay there or otherwise they keep falling out. I wouldn’t suggest leaving bottles with milk in them in the rack for any amount of time, regardless of how brief.
The biggest stand-alone advantage that the Symphony Medela breast pump holds over competition is it’s ability to pump both breasts at the same time. This is definitely a reason to choose to rent this machine over other similar electric pumps.
When it comes down to it, the choice of whether to use an electric pump or a manual one is really personal preference. While I may be the type of person to choose a manual pump in lieu of renting a hospital grade electric pump, I can honestly say that if I didn’t prefer a manual pump, the Symphony Medela breast pump would definitely be the one for me!