If you’re a regular to Mama Milk you will be well aware of my love for the Medela breast pumps. Not only are they great quality, but they have a breast pump to suit all needs from occasional to exclusive pumping. As the most basic of the range the Medela Mini Electric breast pump is like the baby of the family. Winner of the ‘Which? Best Buy Breast Pumps 2011’; I was intrigued to find how this little pump held its own against the rest of the Medela family. Keep reading to find out what I thought of this breast pump.
Who would benefit most from the Medela Mini Single?
This breast pump is most suited to you if you:
- need a small, portable pump
- need a pump for very occasional use
- pump at work
- have temporary health issues (e.g mastitis, thrush)
Medela Mini Electric Breast Pump Review
The Medela Mini Electric Single breast pump is designed for very occasional use. Go for a coffee with friends, have a night out, as this pump will allow you to express for the occasional feed. Its compact size and portability make it ideal for returning to work . This is a single pump, so it will take a little longer to express both sides compared to using a double pump. This shouldn’t be an issue if you don’t plan to pump very often. The Medela Mini Single Electric breast pump costs around £65-80 with various online offers, however if you find it for under £75 snap it up as it’s a bargain price.
How comfortable is the pump?
Comfort is a huge factor in Mama Milk breast pump reviews, because our biology dictates that uncomfortable mum will not yield as much breast milk as a mum who is relaxed when expressing. I have to admit I was quite impressed with the Mini Electric as even a basic model, Medela have included a suction control feature which can be operated with one hand. You won’t get features like the Medela Swing two phase suction, but you can still benefit from Medela great range of breast shield sizes. The pump comes with the standard 24mm breast shield (medium); however you can get shields ranging from 21mm-36mm, which can be purchased separately if needed.
Is it an effective pump?
If you are using a manual breast pump then the mini single is a great step up. It’s great for occasional use without the hand ache that manual pumps give you. Most mums report to getting around about 4-5oz in 20 minutes when using this pump, which is equal to an empty breast or a feed for baby. The minimum suction power is around 100mmHG and maximum suction power of this pump is 250mmHG which is the same as the Medela Swing.
The Medela Mini Electric has a simplistic piston type design which is very slim line and portable. The design makes it can be easy to hold and operate with one hand. It’s lightweight so won’t give you an aching arm after holding for a while. It comes with a simple but secure bottle stand that will keep the bottle upright when the shield and pump are attached, so nobody is crying over spilt milk!
This breast pump can be use with either a mains power supply or by using two AA alkaline batteries. It’s basic but this little machine actually packs quite a punch for such a simplistic design.
Ease of use
Cleaning and assembly takes a couple of minutes as the Electric Mini is made up of only five parts. A huge bonus is that you don’t have to fiddle around with tubing and unlike higher spec models. The shield and bottle are suitable for steam sterilisation so can be easily popped into a microwave and sterilised within minutes.
The motor part of the pump has a simple flick on/off switch, and the suction speed can be controlled with a turn dial at the side of the motor.
The Mini Electric is an open system breast pump. This means that the pump motor is ‘open’ to contact with particles of breast milk. This means you need to make sure the pump is cleaned and sterilised after each use to prevent mould from forming in the motor parts. It is recommended that open systems are ‘single user’ only pumps i.e. don’t borrow or buy one second hand. Doing so can be a health hazard as viruses can be easily passed from the previous owner to your baby.
One of the best features of this pump is its portability. It’s compact and light at only 150g (less that a packet of baby wipes) ,It’s great for travelling, work or when you’re on the go.
It’s designed to be mainly used with the battery option as it means you can walk about whilst using the pump or even use it somewhere without mains supply, such as a car. We recommend getting rechargeable batteries if you mostly plan to use the battery option as it will save you money in the long run. The pump can also be used with a mains power supply which is great if you plan to use mainly at home.
This pump isn’t known for being very quiet. Although most mums will rate the pump as really effective, they state that the noise of the pump is what lets it down. This may not be a problem if you’re at home; in fact some mums commented that it the white noise sent their baby to sleep! However do keep it in mind if you are pumping at work and colleagues are within earshot, as the noise won’t make the process very discreet.
The Mini Electric comes with a standard collection 150ml bottle. The pump doesn’t come with a feeding bottle. You’ll need to buy bottle to transfer the expressed milk into before you feed baby. Medela have a great range of bottles you can collect to milk directly into, or check out the Mama Milk article on bottles designed specifically for breastfeeding babies.
Warranty and Customer Care
A one year warranty is provided with all of breast pumps by Medela. They have a UK based customer service helpline: 0161 776 0400. Mums who have used the helpline found the callers very helpful and Medela are very quick to any issues you have with your products.
All of the parts of the pump are BPA-free.
- Electric Mini Breast pump
- 1 x 150ml collection bottle
- 1 x 24mm Breast shield
- Bottle holder
- AC mains adapter
- Instruction manual.
What do Other Mums Think?
Comments from mums who have purchased this pump:
- “This is one of 7 pumps I’ve owned and I would recommend it.”
- “This breast pump is a great investment.”
- “It works like a dream and I’ve managed to express more than with manual Pumps and increased my milk supply with it.”
- “This is a great little pump very convenient for taking out and much cheaper than the other electric pumps.”
- “it’s very powerful despite its small size.”
- “My midwife recommended this pump”
- Expensive if not on offer
- Need to buy additional feeding bottles and bigger collection bottles
Where can I read more reviews on the Medela Mini Electric Single Breast Pump?
Amazon has over 120 reviews of this breast pump from mums who have bought and used the pump.