If I could afford it, I would buy it. Disregarding the cost of Symphony, it is a highly effective and efficient pump. I started using it in the hospital and hired on discharge. Yes, yes, it costs $30/week - but in 6-8 min of pumping I am able to pump 100ml from each breast. Yes, it's bulky but I am not transporting it anywhere and if I need to go out somewhere, I can quickly express and go. I can adjust suction settings to go easy on the super sore nipples.
As I have a robust letdown and good supply, I am conscious not to pump for more than 8 min to avoid overstimulation and tricking my body into thinking that I have twins - it does a fantastic job stimulating milk production, by the way.
In the first 4-6weeks after birth, it was a necessity for me and money well spent on the hire - it did a superb job when I needed it to. Nine weeks on, with a well-established milk supply, I am looking to return the hire and buy a pump that has the robustness of Symphony but is more affordable. I would hire Symphony again should I need to.
I used this pump for 4weeks in hospital and then hired one for another 3weeks at home. I had next to no supply but the pump managed to get the small amount of milk I did have. I found it easy to use and they double pumping kit does make life so much easier. It is bulky so not very portable and you would want somewhere for it to be set up ready for use. As others said it is a bit expensive to hire but it is a hospital grade pump and it has a let down sucking to simulate what the baby does. I think for short term pumping to help establish supply this is an awesome pump to use but for long term maybe something cheaper and more portable to fit in with your life style.
I have hired this pump for 2 months (at $25/week as an ABA Member) and it had been a god send. My daughter was 5 weeks prem and has been on EBM since birth due to attachment issues,
The pump is fantastic at drawing milk, I don't have a huge supply but can express about 150ml in 20 minutes when double pumping. I like that there are many different suction settings.
I initially started out with a single collection kit but quickly upgraded to a double which has made life so much easier. The kit comes with a standard Medium size shield but sizes range from XS-XL.
- Fantastic at drawing milk
- Easy storage with the Medela Collection Kit
- Easy to clean
- Price. Expensive to buy and hire, even as an ABA member
- Bulky, you cannot easily take the pump anywhere
- Not easy to store, it's so bulky it's best left set up which when you want to pump in comfort, means the living room. I'm forever quickly trying to pack it up when people come over.
I am about to return mine as my daughter has now figured out breastfeeding. I love this pump and wouldn't use any other if I were going to beexclusively expressing. I think if I were to be expressing just for top ups or relief, I would look for a cheaper, smaller pump.
I used this pump when I was in hospital with my twins and was pumping around 8 times a day with it for a week only.
It costs around $1500, though can also be rented at around $30/week from chemists etc, which works out at around $1500 for a year.
Not that I want to compare breastmilk and formula, but if you were exclusivley pumping with this pump, it would cost about the same as exclusively formula feeding. However there are many many pumps available a lot cheaper than this!
It was effective at removing milk, which I suppose is what it's meant to do, but only using it for my first week expressing I cant comment on how quick etc it was as I was only just establishing my supply.
The main thing I hated was the part you put to your breast. I don't know the real name, so will call this the horn.
I was only given the 'disposable' collecting kit, so the horn bit was one size and hard plastic... I am not sure what options are available when hiring or buying this pump, but I would hope it was better than this, as I found it uncomfortable.
I also hated the fact the horn bit was clear (other ones i've seen are frosted) so you could see my nipples being pulled into the machine - it made me really uncomfartable when I was just learning to pump and people were coming into the hospital room etc. I didnt even want my husband to see it, because it looks weird and kind of gross to me.
Other drawbacks were the fact that whilst it is a double pump, there is only one control level, so if you have one sore nipple, or your breasts just have different tolerance, you couldnt adjust for this... it was also near impossible to adjust the settings whilst using the pump in double mode - I mean you have each hand holding a bottle to a breast so how do you turn it up or down, or even on or off for that matter. These things are fairly common in double pumps, but for $1500, I would have thopught they could maybe add a control button to the bit you hold to your breasst? I suppose if you were spending that much, buying a pumping bra for hands free wouldnt seem like a big deal.
The machine was far not exactly portable, it was pretty big and heavy, so if you were going away fora weekend or something, you would need to have an alternative mode of expressing.
After leaving the hospital I started using my own cheap electric pump and found this just as comfortable and was expressing the same amount of milk in the same amount of time (which increased over time), so I just don't see why this machine is worth the price.
I used this pump while my son was in NICU for 11 days.
It is awsome if you are going to be expressing full time as it mimics the babies sucking pattern. You also have the option to double pump which saves so much time.
Really easy to use, well worth the extra cost.
I was really dissapointed with this pump,
I found that by the time I had finished expressing ds was ready for another feed. (this didn't happen with another pump I used) I found the "cup" piece very uncomfortable,