During my third pregnancy I spent countless hours researching breast pump reviews. After weighing up all the pros and cons and what I needed from my pump I eventually decided that the Medela Swing was the best option. I don’t think I’ve ever loved an inanimate object so much, the pump was a life saver at times. My only gripe with the Swing was that it was only available as a single pump. As I was contemplating exclusive pumping, I purchased two of them to allow me to double pump – insert milked cow joke here! Fortunately Medela wised up to the oversight of having the option of double pumping with the Swing and created the Medela Swing Maxi Double breast pump. Keep reading to find out why I think the Swing Maxi is one of the best double breast pumps on the market.
Who would this breast pump suit?
The Swing Maxi is ideal if you:
- need to express quickly
- want to increase your milk supply
- need to build a breast milk supply (i.e for childcare when returning to work)
- need a high usage pumping (3-5 times a day)
- have twins or triplets
My thoughts on the Medela Swing Maxi
The Medela Swing is the most popular single breast pump on the market. The quality of Medela products speak for themselves. With thousands of breastfeeding mums singing the praises of a breast pump you know your onto a winner. Even more so when they are feeling very emotional and hormonal, making them a bit more scathing, we’ve all been there right?
For mums who need the added advantages of using a double pump (quicker pump times, greater milk yield, convenience etc.) the Swing Maxi pump combines the quality of the Medela Swing with double pumping. This pump is for mums wanting to pump up to 5 times a day, if you are looking to pump more than this check out the Medela Freestyle. This pump is priced between £210 -£250 depending on what offers are available online. I would suggest that you don’t pay any more than £240 for the pump and only if you get free delivery at that price.
How comfortable is it?
Medela invest a lot into making their pumps comfortable for mums to use. The size of the breast shield is important. You want to get the right amount of nipple into the funnel or the experience will be painful. Fortunately there is the option of different shield sized ranging from small (26mm) to XXL (36mm) to accommodate for those with smaller and larger breasts.
The two phase expression allows you to have short, quick suctions until your milk starts to flow and then change to long, slow suctions to express the milk. The simple up and down buttons allow you to control the vacuum to suit your comfort levels as this is when your milk will flow best.
How effective is the pump?
The suction strength for the Swing Maxi is 270mmHG which is slightly more powerful than the single swing breast pump. Double pumps require more suction to bring them up to the power of a single pump. The Swing Maxi performs just as well as the Swing single. Double pumping will allow you get around 4-6 Oz in 15 minutes. This saves you an additional 10-15minutes with each pump, so over the day that can accumulate to an extra 30min-1hr 15 min, if you have other children or twins this is a big deal!
The design is rather simplistic with its small yellow motor, yet this make it extremely portable. At first the tubes, charger and parts can seem a bit much to take in, but once you have a quick read through the instructions they are surprisingly easy to assemble and dissemble. Nobody wants to be scrubbing small fiddly equipment, especially when time is so precious, but the parts are easily cleaned and can be microwave sterilised for convenience.
The Swing Maxi can use both a AC adapter main power source and has a battery option (6 AAA batteries). You will get around 1hr pumping time when using the batteries, which is handy for the occasional use but not really practical for everyday use. This pump is much more suited to using with at home where you know you’ll have a reliable power source.
The Medela Swing Maxi is a closed breast pump system. A diaphragm means the milk does not come into contact with the motor or the tubing. This prevent mold or condensation forming in the tubing or motor. Some mums recommend running the pump for a few minutes without attaching it to the breast. This removes any moisture from the tubing and prevent contamination risks from milk being exposed to the air.
Is it noisy?
The Swing has a mechanical churn to it, which means it does have somewhat of a noise. This may put some mums off, or make them feel a bit like a milked cow, but it’s not more irritating than a slight drone. If you distract yourself during expressing most people tend to filter the sound out.
The Swing Maxi comes with a Calma teat which mimics the breastfeeding suction, a bottle and a flat lid for storage. You’ll probably want to buy an additional set of bottle to decant the milk into for later feeds. Medela have a huge range but some mums prefer to use the Tommee Tippee closer to nature bottles. If you intend to still put baby to the breast whilst expressing then check out our guide to the best bottles for breastfeeding babies, to prevent nipple/teat confusion.
Warranty and after care
Medela provide a 1 year warranty with all their breast pumps. If you run into any problems with the pumps they have a UK Customer services helpline on: 0161 776 0400. Mums who have used the customer services have high praise for them. They found them helpful and quick to solve any issue with the products.
What others say about this pump
- “recommended by every my friend who had baby in the past.”
- “Upon opening the box, the various tubes, etc can be overwhelming… but luckily the manual is really clear, therefore it doesn’t take much time to understand.”
- “this is the best pump in the market. I do recommend it – do not try the cheaper ones you will end up spending more money because you will finally buy a Medela”
- “I’ve tried a couple of other brands but Medela really is the Rolls Royce of pumps.”
- “I was delighted to hear they had brought out the Swing Maxi a double version, and I was not disappointed.”
- “this is quite a pricey unit, its quality makes it worth the money.”
- Milk can leak into tube is held at the wrong angle
- Can fluctuate quite a bit in price (keep an eye out for good deals online)
- Would benefit from rechargeable battery option
- Open systems can be susceptible to mould
Where can I read more reviews on the Medela Swing Maxi Double Breast Pump?
Amazon has over 40 reviews from mums who have bought this pump, so you’ll get a good idea of what they think of it.