Monday, May 23, 2011

Medela Swing Product Review

Early on in my pregnancy I decided I would set a goal of breastfeeding exclusively for six months.  I expected the challenge to be first in getting established and second in returning to work full time when C was 10 weeks old.  Luckily, breastfeeding was easy for us, so that challenge was no biggie.  What I hadn't anticipated was mastitis after a little over two weeks.  Part of the solution for me (along with antibiotics and hot and cold compresses) was to start pumping sooner than I'd considered previously, so I set out to get a pump WITHOUT doing any research or really thinking about it much.  Hello, Target.  I went with the Medela Swing, and I honestly can't remember why, but I'm guessing it was because of the moderate price (currently $149.99), recognized name, and all-inclusive package (it came with two bottles/nipples/rings, two caps, extra membranes, the optional AC adapter, a breastshield, a bottle stand, and a drawstring bag).  In retrospect, if I'd had more time for research and had been in less pain, I would've opted for a double pump, such as the Medela Freesytle, but I have no regrets and saved some money.

In the beginning, I only pumped a couple of times a day, just to make sure I was properly draining each breast (my son fed best from one specific position, and I had overactive production), but when I returned to work I needed to pump throughout the day.  In this situation, the Medela Swing wouldn't work for most women, but I work from home and had the luxury of taking as long as necessary to pump, whereas most women would want to use a hospital-grade double pump to get it done as quickly as possible.  Anyway, I thought I'd make due with my Swing until I stopped breastfeeding at 6 months or until the pump gave out, when I'd just go rent one from the hospital to finish up.  However, my trusty Swing kept on going and going.  I experienced oversupply for several months before my body perfected the system and produced just about exactly what my son needed, so I was pumping a lot for awhile there.  Probably about six or seven times a day on each side for a month or two, dwindling down as time went on.  Soon the six months had passed and we introduced solids.  Things were going so well with breastfeeding, though, that I continued until my son was just over 13 months old before switching to cows' milk.  Oh, and I used it while traveling, too, since it can operate on battery power.  The Swing has now moved into storage, but it did the trick.  It was comfortable and easy and although it was time-consuming, it did the trick.  That $150 investment kept my baby fed for 13 months.  I'd recommend it to part-time pumpers for sure.  Full-timers, such as myself, might opt for a double pump, but if the Swing could handle my situation for 13 months with ease, it can handle almost anything.

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